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Jewish World Review March 26, 2003 / 22 Adar II, 5763

Dick Morris

Dick Morris
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Consumer Reports


Carping pessimism of TV anchors and interviewers fails to give Americans a sense of defeatism


http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | Right before the Midterm elections, the conventional wisdom, driven by the liberal media which shapes it, was that Americans had moved past terrorism, the area of Bush's strength and were more worried about economic issues, the Democrats' turf.

The media proved to be wrong. The election results showed that Americans were still focused on 9-11and the war on terror and still wanted Bush to lead us through the crisis, this time with a compliant Congress at his back.

Now, negativism hits us again - through the same agency: overwrought and liberal news anchors. Anyone watching television coverage of the war cannot but be astonished at the carping pessimism of many of the anchors and interviewers on all the networks and cable stations. Astounded that we are taking casualties, horrified that we have lost prisoners, amazed that we face ground fire, they radiate what used to be called defeatism.

But it is not a defeatism or even an impatience shared by the American people. Mourning each casualty, they realize that our military will have to lose valiant men and courageous women. Regretting each POW, they understand that Americans will be captured. Praying for our soldiers' lives, they grasp that some will die.

But Americans are also relieved that the horror stories painted by the liberal media in the days before the war have not come to pass. Iraq's oil fields are overwhelmingly not ablaze. Nor are millions of barrels of oil spilling into the Gulf creating a global ecological disaster. Our troops have, thus far, not faced chemical or biological weapons. We have found a massive 100 acre chemical weapons plant. We have shot down the SCUD missiles.

And, above all, we have not been hit with the domestic acts of terrorism of which the more hysterical critics - and, indeed, our own government - warned us.

We are advancing on Baghdad and reducing the circle of land Saddam controls to a tiny portion of his country, a portion without oil, without resources, and with only mouths to feed.

In the remainder of the war, our biggest adversary is likely to be our own humanitarianism and the political atmosphere that surrounds the war. Saddam's troops are obviously planning to withdraw into Baghdad and use the population there as human shields for their dying grasp on power.

We cannot permit our concern with Iraqi civilian casualties to lead to American combat deaths. Unless and until we convince the Iraqi military that they cannot hide behind women and children, we will needlessly expose our own soldiers to risk and casualties.

The American people must be prepared to let our military call Saddam's bluff and do what is necessary to take Baghdad without having to engage in the hand-to-hand, street-by-street fighting that will grind up American lives. If civilian casualties occur, it is to be regretted. But war is messy and the actions of the Iraqi military in taking shelter behind the innocents leaves us with no choice.

Will American casualties and POWs erode public support for the war? Not in this life they won't. The reports of torture and interrogation of US POWs in violation of international agreements, the sale of military equipment to Iraq by Russia, the discovery of chemical weapons plants, and the trickery of Iraqi units pretending to surrender taking advantage of American good will all simply serve to enrage our people and redouble their determination. The more we see of the Iraqi tactics the more we realize how brutal and inhuman are their leaders and the more focused we are on destroying this corrupt regime.

The American people will not soon tire of this war. Just as they remained focused on the war on terror in the Midterm elections, they will remain with our efforts now. Americans are in this for the long, long haul. They made that commitment on 9-11 and they are not backing down now.

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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.

Up

03/17/03: Poll: Get on with it
03/13/03: It's time for U.S. to play hardball at U.N.
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