Jewish World Review July 21, 2003 / 21 Tamuz, 5763
begin to fall
Does anybody seriously believe that there would be a cease-fire
between Israel and the most extreme Palestinian terrorists groups if the United States
did not have 150,000 troops in Iraq?
Isn't it obvious that Israel's willingness to ignore scattered acts of violence and seriously pursue negotiations is
closely linked to a newfound sense of security born of the willingness of the United States to use its muscle to
reward its friends and punish its enemies?
Can anyone deny the linkage between American pressure on Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia and the new attitude
toward negotiations among Hamas and Hezbollah?
And what about the massive and growing student demonstrations in Teheran and other Iranian cities against the
repressive regime of the ayatollahs? Can there be any doubt that the students are encouraged to stand up to the
government's religious police and vigilantes by the massive American and British presence next door in Iraq?
The most sensitive weather vane in the region, Saudi Arabia, seems to have a new determination to close down
the terrorists operating out of its territory. Do you think the U.S. invasion of Iraq could be a catalyst?
The so-called global community, amazed that the United States is prepared to act on its own when it drags its
feet, seems energized after the war in Iraq. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), after its dismal
performance in Iraq, now seems keen on tracking down and stopping Iranian efforts to build a bomb.
Even North Korea seems more willing to talk after watching the United States military make short shrift of the
vaunted Iraqi army.
In this space, before the war, I spoke of a new domino theory, predicting that a successful attack on Iraq would
trigger a chain reaction of peace, negotiations, regime changes and cease-fires across the region. Now it's
unfolding before our eyes.
But the American and British media are far more focused on determining who lied about weapons of mass
destruction before the war started.
Never mind that we have been searching for only three months in a nation the size of California, or that we have
found chemical warfare suits, gas masks and mobile weapons labs. The media have rushed to the conclusion
not only that there are no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, but that Bush and Blair - and Clinton - lied when
they said there were. That story, likely to be debunked by reality any day, occupies their full attention at a time
when the dividends of the Bush policy are evident to anyone with eyes to see.
The ongoing terror raids in Iraq against our forces indicate that we have not finished paying the price for setting in
motion the forces of humanity and peace. The sniping at Bush and Blair from the liberals and the media
demonstrate that, domestically, no good deed goes unpunished in our harshly partisan environment. But why
can't the left bring itself to admit that the war in Iraq has catalyzed the forces of peace in a way nobody thought
possible a year ago?
The liberal mantra of the spring of '02 - that no invasion of Iraq was possible without first settling the
Palestinian-Israeli conflict - has been stood on its head. It is now obvious that no solution to that intractable
battle could happen until the invasion of Iraq had succeeded.
It is only by the demonstration of American willingness to act and to accept casualties that Israel felt sufficient
wind at its back - and the Palestinians a sufficient gale in their faces - to make serious talks possible. Until Bush
acted in Iraq, the Israelis felt alone and isolated and the Palestinian suicide bombers seemed triumphant.
But now, the American military presence in Iraq has bolstered those willing to take risks for peace in Israel and,
likely, made the Saudis, Syrians and Iranians think twice before aiding their Palestinian allies. Facing a sharp
drop in funding from their traditional friends, the Palestinians may be willing to sign the peace that can bring
them American funding in return for a cessation of violence.
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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"
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© 2003, Dick Morris