Christian Coalition President Pat Robertson suggested yesterday that assassinating troublesome world leaders would be a preferable alternative to U.S. policy that prohibits assassinations. "It would just seem so much more practical to have that flexibility," Robertson said.

"I know it sounds somewhat Machiavellian and evil, to think that you could send a squad in to take out somebody like [terrorist] Osama bin Laden, or to take out the head of North Korea," Robertson said on the "700 Club," his nationally syndicated religious television program. "But isn't it better to do something like that, to take out [Serbian President Slobodan] Milosevic, to take out [Iraqi president] Saddam Hussein, rather than to spend billions of dollars on a war that harms innocent civilians and destroys the infrastructure of a country?"

Robertson critics took note of the proposed strategy's inconsistency with biblical principles.

"As a Christian, Pat should ask himself, `What would Jesus do?' " said Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. "In my Bible, Jesus never said anything about assassinating heads of state. . . . Maybe we should put the Ten Commandments in Robertson's office."

Robertson, though, answered that charge on the show. "I just think it's the intelligent thing to do," he said "I don't see anything un-Christian about it."

Robertson caused an uproar on the same forum last year when he suggested a natural disaster would strike the city of Orlando after officials there put up gay pride flags.