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Jewish World Review April 8, 2002 / 27 Nisan, 5762

Dick Morris

Dick Morris
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Focus on Iraq, not the Palestinians | The Arab world is attempting to sell the idea that the United States must use its power to pressure Israel to solve the Palestinian problem before it can proceed to invade Iraq or smash terrorism. "Eliminate the cause" the Arabs say and the terrorism will stop and Saddam Hussein will cease to be a problem.

For some, hatred of the United States does indeed stem from their rage against Israel. But for most of our adversaries, it grows out of an animus against western civilization in all of its manifestations. Israel galls them, but so do Hollywood, Harvard, Wall Street, and Main Street. It is our way of life that they oppose, not its Israeli manifestation.

For Saddam, however, hatred plays no role. It is ambition that drives this would-be Hitler. His desire to maximize his power motivates his desire to acquire weapons of mass destruction to terrorize the world. If Saddam played in a James Bond movie, he'd be stroking the white cat as he unfolded his plans for Armageddon.

If the Palestinians disappeared, Saddam would still covet global power and Al Queda would still pursue its jihad.

Even for those whose hatred of the United States is motivated by the plight of the Palestinians, the corollary tenant -- that their animosity can be assuaged by a diplomatic solution trading land for peace -- is fundamentally flawed. Diplomacy cannot end bigotry or racial hatred. To imagine that the burning fire of vengeance that consumes the Palestinians can be extinguished by a grant of land is na´ve at best and mendacious at worst.

Israel can only solve the Palestinian conflict by acquiring for itself the means of its own security. Most likely, this will certainly not be found in diplomacy and probably won't come through offensive military action either. To imagine that you can militarily defeat an enemy eager to die for its cause is an absurdity. Its like imposing the death penalty for those who commit the felony of attempting suicide. When the United States faced a similar adversary in kamikaze Japan, it took nuclear weapons to end the war. Israel will only be secure when it gathers its people behind defensible borders and uses mines, walls, checkpoints, and sentries to keep everybody else out. (The million Arabs who live in Israel are not the problem, those on the West Bank are the difficulty).

In the meantime, the United States cannot accept the idea of Palestine first, Iraq second. The Palestinian situation did not cause Saddam Hussein's desire to blackmail the world with weapons of mass destruction nor will solving it lessen his ambition.

Getting rid of Saddam Hussein is America's problem. Stopping the Palestinian terror attacks is Israel's problem. Each nation must act in its own interest to stop the threats it faces.

There is no linkage between the two and there must never be.

The only linkage we can accept in dealing with Iraq is its complete acceptance of unlimited inspections of its arms sites to determine if and where Saddam is acquiring the weapons that can truly threaten the world. If he give us access - don't worry, he won't - and we find nothing there, then who cares if Saddam runs Iraq? But if he tries to impose limitations or refuses inspection entirely, the United States has causus belli to attack and destroy his regime.

The Arab Summit makes clear that we can count on no Arab support for an invasion of Iraq. But do we really need any? If we could run the war in Afghanistan off an aircraft carrier, surely we can run the war in Iraq from Turkey, Bulgaria, and the Persian Gulf. In any case, we may well be able to enlist the help of Kuwait, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates by the time the dust settles. We can probably even occupy northern Iraq to provide bases for our forces.

It won't take half a million troops this time to subdue Saddam. He cannot have rebuilt his armored units in the face of a decade-long arms embargo and US aerial inspection ever since. What worked in Afghanistan will work in Iraq - local soldiers (Kurds and Iraqi dissidents) plus U.S. advisors and special forces along with close and intense American air support.

We must ignore the beat on the Arabian drums.

JWR contributor Dick Morris is the author of, among others, The New Prince. Comment by clicking here.


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03/11/02: Bush popularity = GOP win?
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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
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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

© 2001, Dick Morris