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Jewish World Review Nov. 21 2001 / 6 Kislev, 5762

Dick Morris

Dick Morris
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Go for the jugular! -- TERROR is like cancer. If we do not destroy it everywhere, we have not really destroyed it anywhere.

Now comes the most difficult moment in the war on terror. President Bush must decide whether or not to repeat the error of his father - to leave Saddam Hussein in power. Having scored an amazing triumph against the Taliban, Bush must now decide whether to go ahead and take on Saddam.

We need a full-scale effort to invade Iraq - taking Baghdad, and toppling and killing or arresting Saddam Hussein. Nothing else and nothing less will suffice.

If it takes the mobilization and deployment of another 500,000 troops, so be it. If it takes expansion of our military manpower or even a return to the draft, let it happen.

America is ready for war against terror and an invasion to topple Saddam. What we are not ready for is any flinching at this obvious task when it stares us in the face.

Bush must realize that if he leaves Saddam in control of Iraq, he has only defeated a branch office of terrorism, not its international corporate headquarters. He has killed a tentacle, not the head. With Saddam in charge in Baghdad, terror will grow back in some other part of the world.

If Bush moves to crush Saddam, it will send a sobering message throughout the Middle East. Lebanon, Libya, Sudan and Syria will clean up their acts, realizing that they will be next on the hit list if they don't. Iran will continue its pro-Western drift. The Palestinians will realize that the United States is a power with which to reckon in their own backyard and the Israelis will come to believe they can count on America to back them up should the risks of peace backfire.

The result will be to hamper terror and catalyze the prospects for peace. Look at how our action in Afghanistan has moved Iran closer to America and our global action against terror stimulated the long delayed de-commissioning of weapons by the IRA.

More importantly, if we attack Iraq, it will show that the war against terror is more than just a revenge killing for the Trade Center and the Pentagon. It will be what Bush has always said it is: a war against international terror wherever we find it.

Do we have proof that Saddam was behind the 9/11 attack or the anthrax letters? Don't even go down that road. We have ample proof of Saddam's commitment to the development of weapons of mass destruction, his use of terror (and gas) against his own people and his fomenting of terror against us throughout the world.

Nobody will claim that Saddam does not deserve to be toppled. Otherwise, why are we still enforcing sanctions which, thanks to Saddam, leave people in Iraq starving?

Just demanding that Saddam permit arms inspections is a cop-out. It is an invitation to play the same game of hide and seek, cat and mouse, in which Saddam has ensnared us for 10 years now.

Will the international coalition stay with us as we move against Saddam? Part of it will. Part of it won't. But enough will so that we will have bases from which to operate against Iraq.

Who cares if France or Russia stay in? The United States has the right and moral obligation to act unilaterally, if need be, to defeat terror.

Let's hope that Secretary of State Colin Powell does not repeat his mistake of 1991 and let the maintenance of an international coalition against terror become his end rather than the means to the end of defeating terrorism everywhere.

The United States let the war in Bosnia rage on for years because it was hamstrung by multilateralism and had relegated the "trigger" for our bombing missions to the United Nations. It was only when President Clinton took the trigger back in 1995 and vested it in NATO that we were able to end the human slaughter in Bosnia.

We must not let any squeamishness on the part of our allies deter us now from the inevitable and vital next step in the war on terror.

Some have urged that we tackle Lebanon first. But we should not hit another branch office of terror - go for the jugular. That's in Baghdad. His name is Saddam Hussein.

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


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