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Jewish World Review Oct. 3, 2003 / 75 Tishrei, 5764

Dick Morris

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Get ready for Iran's drive to be national suicide bomber


http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | After 60 years of the threat of nuclear war, we have become a bit blasť when other nations such as Israel, India and Pakistan acquire nuclear weapons.

But if Iran gets the bomb, as it appears to be in a headlong rush to do, it will be a very, very different world in which to live. President Bush needs to be far more aggressive in alerting the American people to that danger and in pressuring Russia to cut off its aid to Iranian nuclear reactors.

As shocking as the actions of individual suicide bombers are to Western sensibilities, imagine what could happen if Iran were to acquire nuclear weapons. Would the ethos of men and women willing to die to kill Israelis and Westerners transfer to a nation willing to ignore the constraints of deterrence in its desire to wage a global jihad against the "Great Satan?"

Once, the very tactic of suicide bombing by individuals was so incomprehensible to the American way of thinking that our security measures took no account of the possibility that fanatics would willingly lose their lives to pursue their religious agenda.

The recommendations of the Gore Commission on Air Safety in 1997 focused largely on ensuring that all passengers who checked baggage on a flight actually were on board. The idea that one of them might happily enter a plane that he had arranged to destroy and die with the heathens was so far from the ken of the commission that it did not even address the possibility.

If Iran gets the bomb, do we seriously believe that the concept of deterrence will effectively preclude its use? What is to prevent the logic of the homicide/suicide bomber from functioning at the nation-state level? Is it beyond the realm of possibility that the Iranian ayatollahs might, indeed be willing to sacrifice the faithful in Tehran to obliterate the infidels in New York, London, Washington, Chicago and Los Angeles?

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In the '60s, much was made of China's huge population and the willingness of its leaders to accept huge casualties in a nuclear exchange with the United States. But China never had elevated suicide to an art form as the radical Muslim community has done.

Anyone who doubts Iranian efforts to acquire nuclear weapons need only ask one basic question: Why is this nation with among the world's largest oil reserves seeking to develop nuclear power if not for a bomb? It cannot be a need to replace oil. Iran is drowning in enough oil to last it for decades if not centuries.

Bush seems to have been finessed by worries that he will be accused of crying wolf if he stands up and accurately warns us of the danger we face from an Iranian bomb. But the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq will appear to history to have been an odd reason for complaisance in the face of determined Iranian efforts to go nuclear.

North Korea, while also a deadly nuclear threat, is susceptible to pressure from China, its leading source of food and fuel. But Iran is not subject to pressure from anyone. The insanity of the regime and the fanaticism of its religious devotion to countering the infidel make it the very worst country to get the bomb.

But the instability in Iran, the massive student demonstrations, the overt rejection of the theocracy by three quarters of the voters in the last two elections, all show the vulnerability of the Ayatollah Ali Hoseini-Khamenei's regime. Strong American pressure, economic sanctions (enforced on other countries through the D'Amato Amendment of 1996), television broadcasts into Iran and saber rattling by American troops next door in Iraq could work together to solve this problem for the world.

Bush just needs to get it going. His relative silence on the subject and reluctance to elevate it to its proper place in presidential rhetoric is not just bad politics (inexplicably so) but poor policy, as well.

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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

10/01/03: Dean's E-reform
09/26/03: An open letter to Karl Rove
09/24/03: Why Clark will fade
09/18/03: Terror fears fade too fast
09/10/03: As Dubya sinks, Al & Hill scheme
08/25/03: Bias-mongers on rocks as viewers taste straight news
08/14/03: Arnold & Dean's political revolution
08/08/03: Hillary Clinton might not want to wait until 2008
08/06/03: Revolution
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07/21/03: Peace dominoes begin to fall
07/17/03: Let's hear the good news
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
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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
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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
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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
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02/21/03: The first casualty of Iraq war: Liberal credibility
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02/14/03: Corzine throws down gauntlet on Wall St. fraud
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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
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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
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12/19/02: Lieberman the frontrunner
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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?
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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
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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
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08/09/02: As America unites, Gore goes divisive
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07/23/02: Election 2002: Advantage Dems
07/19/02: Rudy for SEC tough cop
07/17/02: The investor strike
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06/21/02: Why are conservatives winning?
06/19/02: Learning to love the feds
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06/04/02: Al Qaeda's more dangerous new front
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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
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05/01/02: Immigration fault li(n)es
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03/11/02: Bush popularity = GOP win?
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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