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Jewish World Review July 17, 2003 / 17 Tamuz, 5763

Dick Morris

Dick Morris
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Let's hear the good news


http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | An unexplained vacuum of good news from the Bush administration has surrendered the stage to the media-inspired doubters and naysayers who have searched since Sept. 11 for a way to blunt the nation's momentum as it confronts terrorism and terrorists.

Worried ever since the World Trade Center came crashing down that America would become a citadel of Republicanism as it confronted terrorism at home and abroad, the left has scrambled to distract and divert our national focus.

Having tried to persuade us that our civil liberties were in danger, that we faced massive costs and thousands of deaths in Iraq, that we were alienating the entire world, and that it was the economy rather than terror that merited our attention, they have now, at last, hit upon a question with which to capture the agenda: Did Bush and Tony Blair lie to us about the reasons to go to war?

The question itself is akin to asking when we stopped beating our wives. To even ask it, we must assume that there are no weapons of mass destruction to be found in Iraq and that reports that Saddam Hussein tried to acquire the means to make nuclear weapons are and were inaccurate. Such an assumption flies in the face of Saddam's conduct from his use of poison gas on the Kurds to his construction of a nuclear power plant so dangerous that Israel had to bomb it to keep Iraq non-nuclear.

But why has the question gained such traction? The administration bears much of the blame for its inept job of presenting the good news that abounds on every side in the aftermath of the Iraq War.

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Peace is breaking out all over in the Middle East. Is there anyone who doubts that Israel and the most extreme of Palestinian factions have agreed to a cease fire because, and only because, of a chain of events set in motion by our invasion of Iraq?

Does anyone believe that Israel would take risks for peace if the United States did not have 150,000 troops in Iraq? Can anyone seriously maintain that Hamas, Hezbollah, and Fatah would have agreed to a cease-fire if the United States did not have a robust military presence next door and if our invasion had not dried up their funding from other nations?

In the Clinton White House, there was a constant refusal of foreign policy and national security officials to articulate good news and discuss accomplishments. Don't claim that we have stopped violence in Bosnia, it could break out again. Don't talk about how we have ended the dictatorship in Haiti, Aristide could make us look bad. Don't revel in our success in Ireland, terror could break out again.

One suspects that the same voices of caution are muzzling the Bush administration and stopping it from speaking about the positive accomplishments that are flowing from our bold action in Iraq. Why are we not speaking about the student demonstrations in Iran, doubtless emboldened by the U.S. presence next door? How about North Korea's increased willingness to come to the conference table now that we have shown our military prowess and our willingness to use it?

The ongoing casualties in Iraq are indeed tragic and demonstrate that the path to peace will be long and filled with peril. But we have stopped the torture and the killings that victimized the Iraqi people and have sent a chilling message to those in Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Syria who subsidize and harbor terrorists.

Bush, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice and Donald Rumsfeld need to speak up and explain to the American people what their sacrifices have wrought. We need to stop the media from marking our invasion a failure and undermining our support for the long battle against terrorism.

Bush will never win another term based on his domestic policy record. Even if the economy recovers in '04, it will be a while before the good vibes filter down to the average voter. His accomplishments in education and in reducing taxes are not sufficient to anchor a case for a second term in an increasingly Democratic nation, driven by the inexorable changes in demographics. His positions on the environment, campaign finance reform, and, despite a deathbed conversion, on healthcare, are not echoed by a majority of Americans.

Bush needs to be seen — correctly — as the innovative and bold foreign policy leader that he is. He needs to get out and make the case, or surrender the field to those who keep pecking away with doubts, misgivings, and fears.

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JWR contributor Dick Morris is the author of, among others, Off with Their Heads: Traitors, Crooks & Obstructionists in American Politics, Media & Business" Comment by clicking here.

Up

07/14/03: Sending troops to Liberia could be a bridge too far
07/10/03: McGovern II
07/07/03: French: Toast
07/03/03: At moment of truth, Hillary turns backwards
06/27/03: And now the dominos begin to fall
06/25/03: W's triangulation
06/23/03: Presidents often fall victim to their own success: Some advice for the president
06/18/03: Times not a-changing
06/13/03: Why did Hillary write the book?
06/11/03: Will the Rev go rogue?
06/05/03: Napoleon's maneuvers at Austerlitz have nothing on prez's
06/02/03: Prez's tax-cut catch-22 for Dems
05/29/03: Liberal author documents Clinton's wasted second term
05/16/03: Early Democrat handicapping for 2004
05/14/03: Gephardt: AWOL
04/30/03: Prez can lose
04/25/03: My message to Putin: Call President Bush
04/23/03: NO OIL FOR BLOOD
04/21/03: The war that network news lost in Iraq
04/15/03: Media meltdown
04/10/03: Giving government a good name
04/03/03: Polls' message to Bush: Relax and win the war
03/31/03: Bomb as you need
03/28/03: The strong grow weak through inhibition
03/26/03: Carping pessimism of TV anchors and interviewers fails to give Americans a sense of defeatism
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

© 2003, Dick Morris