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Jewish World Review March 13, 2003 / 9 Adar II, 5763

Dick Morris

Dick Morris
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It's time for U.S. to play hardball at U.N. | If the long-awaited second resolution authorizing the use of force in Iraq does not pass the United Nations Security Council, the Bush administration should deconstruct the U.N. vote and pin the blame on specific countries.

It is one thing to ask Americans if they would support an invasion of Iraq if the United Nations approves, but quite another to ask if they would support it even if France or Russia or, should the United States fail to get the required nine votes for passage, a country like Angola disapproves. By cracking open the process and identifying the nations that voted against us - or who vetoed the resolution - the administration will salvage a public relations' standoff from the jaws of defeat.

Indeed, Bush should go further and move to hang around the neck of the Security Council the same badge of irrelevance that now adorns the General Assembly.

Would anyone think of asking the body that named Iraq chairman of the disarmament committee and Libya head of the panel on human rights what it thought of invading Baghdad? Ever since the General Assembly labeled Zionism a "form of racism" nobody has asked its opinion on anything. The same irrelevance must be pinned on the Security Council if it turns down the resolution.

If Bush and Powell get the nine votes needed to pass the resolution only to have the French, Russians and/or Chinese use their veto, the administration line is obvious: We got the council to agree but these permanent members vetoed the resolution and stood in the way of global opinion.

But if we fail to get the nine votes in the Security Council, we should identify the nations that voted "no" and, in effect, ask Americans if they want their foreign policy to be hostage to such nations. Except for Chile and Mexico, none of the swing votes in the council are democracies and several have long records of human rights abuses. We should allude to their undemocratic conditions to dismiss their vote as irrelevant.

The United States should be willing to play hardball in pursuit of votes on the council. If Chile opposes us, should we put plans for a free trade zone with them on hold? If Mexico votes no, should we not re-evaluate NAFTA?

In battling for the resolution, the administration needs to point out that even the French concede that it is only because the United States has 200,000 troops in Kuwait that Saddam is even pretending that he is disarming. We need to ask Paris how long they propose that we keep a goodly portion of our army there in order to give inspections a chance to work. Are the French prepared to pay for the cost of their maintenance? How about their combat readiness as we ask them to endure desert heat week after week, month after month, to give France and Russia time to go along?

If the United Nations does not approve of the attack and the United States and Britain invade anyway, it will not hurt either of our two nations, but it will destroy the credibility of the United Nations. Countries such as Angola, who have no power except their votes on the Security Council as elected members and nations like France whose sole claim to power is its veto, will suffer far more than we will. For us, going to the U.N. is the price we are paying for British support and for a measure of approval around the world. But for these nations, the U.N. is central to their world position. Anything which demeans it, strips them of their essential power in global affairs.

But, in a larger sense, we must realize that this is a war that will provide all the retroactive justification we will ever need. Any who doubt us now will become convinced by what we find when we occupy Iraq. The weapons, laboratories, and the testimony of Iraqi scientists will easily persuade any doubters that invasion was the only course.

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JWR contributor Dick Morris is the author of, among others, "Power Plays: Top 20 Winning and Losing Strategies of History's Great Political Leaders" Comment by clicking here.


03/10/03: The whole (Hispanic) world is watching
03/07/03: Anti-war errors
03/05/03: Domino theory II: Toppling Mideast despots
03/03/03: Europe's triangulators: Chirac and Blair
02/27/03: Invasion? More like a coup
02/21/03: The first casualty of Iraq war: Liberal credibility
02/19/03: Old Europe's last hurrah
02/14/03: Corzine throws down gauntlet on Wall St. fraud
02/12/03: An exile deal for Saddam
02/07/03: The Dems give up the House
02/05/03: France: Saddam's ally
02/03/03: War critics will suffer
02/30/03: Even by Clinton standards, it's sheer chutzpah
01/24/03: Rebirth of the balanced budget Republican
01/22/03: Next to Bubba, Dubya's got it good
01/16/03: End racism in affirmative action
01/13/03: The new swing voter
01/10/03: Political e-mailing comes of age
01/07/03: In Dem race: Home field no advantage
12/31/02: Hey, Hillary: Want to appear like a stateswomyn? Stay silent
12/19/02: Kerry in the lead
12/19/02: Lieberman the frontrunner
12/17/02: In defense of Lott
12/02/02: An issue for Bush: Drugs
11/27/02: Women gone wobbly?
11/25/02: The U.N. over a barrel
11/15/02: Gore's suicide
11/15/02 One-party control is an illusion
11/13/02 The House of Extremes
11/08/02 I have egg on my face
11/01/02 Is Bush losing control over events?
10/25/02What is causing Bush's free fall?
10/25/02: Anybody sense a trend?
10/23/02: A deadline for Iraq
10/18/02: Only sure bet of 2002 elections is voter angst
10/16/02: Endangered incumbents
10/11/02: Why multilateralism doesn't work
10/09/02: Hey, Dems: Believe NYTimes polling at your own risk
10/03/02: Dem suicide: Let's count the ways
09/30/02: The Dems just can't stop themselves
09/26/02: The perils of polling
09/19/02: W. boxed in the U.N.
09/19/02: Welfare reform: Keep on keeping on
09/12/02: Are Dems insane on Iraq?
09/09/02: Twin shadows of Election '02
09/05/02: GOP should triangulate
08/28/02: Trust the military
08/22/02: It's not the economy, stupid
08/09/02: As America unites, Gore goes divisive
08/01/02: Bush must focus on big picture
07/23/02: Election 2002: Advantage Dems
07/19/02: Rudy for SEC tough cop
07/17/02: The investor strike
07/15/02: Door open for drug testing students --- go for it, GOP!
07/12/02: Dubya looking out for No. 1?
07/03/02: The DNA war for Bush's soul
06/21/02: Why are conservatives winning?
06/19/02: Learning to love the feds
06/14/02: Hey, journalists and Dems: Dubya is doing just fine
06/12/02: It's terrorism, stupid!
06/10/02: Sanctions are a potent weapon
06/04/02: Al Qaeda's more dangerous new front
05/31/02: Why '04 looks tough for liberal Dems
05/24/02: Democratic self-destruction
05/22/02: The Clinton failures
05/15/02: Pataki positioned to win
05/08/02: A wakeup-call for American Jewry
05/03/02: Give Bush back his focus
05/01/02: Immigration fault li(n)es
04/25/02: It's the war, stupid
04/17/02: Bush goes small bore
04/12/02: Bush must be a gentle partisan
04/10/02: In defense of polling
04/08/02: Focus on Iraq, not the Palestinians
04/01/02: Only Internet will bring real campaign finance reform
03/27/02: Where W's drawn a line in the sand
03/22/02: Enron scandal will not trigger a wave of economic populism
03/20/02: Term-limited --- by war
03/15/02: Europe doesn't have a clue
03/11/02: Bush popularity = GOP win?
03/01/02: Will America be forced to chase its tail in its war on terrorism?
02/27/02: The Arafat/Saddam equilibrium must be destroyed
02/21/02: Campaign finance reform won't hurt GOPers
02/13/02: Dodd scurries for cover
02/11/02: U.S. 'unilateralism'? The Europeans don't have a case
02/06/02: WAR: What women want
02/01/02: They all talk in the end
01/30/01: The odd couple: Chris Dodd and Arthur Andersen
01/22/01: His father's son? Bush better get an 'Act II' fast!
01/18/01: Dubya & the 'vision thing'
01/14/01: The Rumsfeld Doctrine 01/03/01: A President Gore would have been a disaster
01/03/02: Clinton's priority: Political correctness over fighting terror
12/27/01: Terror network grew out of Clinton's inaction, despite warnings
12/24/01: Call 'em back, George
12/18/01: What Bush did right
12/13/01: Libs worry too much
12/11/01: "Open Sesame": Feinstein's proposed bill allows 100,000 non-immigrant students from anti-American countries to our shores
12/07/01: The non-partisan president
12/05/01: Both parties are phony on stimulus debate
11/29/01: When terrorists can enter legally, it's time to change the laws
11/21/01: Go for the jugular!
11/16/01: You are all incumbents
11/14/01: Clinton's failure to mobilize America to confront foreign terror after the 1993 attack led directly to 9-11 disaster
11/12/01: To the generals: Don't worry about losing support
11/08/01: The death of the white liberal
11/07/01: Our leaders are being transformed in a way unprecedented in post-World War II history

© 2002, Dick Morris