By Dick Morris
March 16, 2003
Asked if it is "time to get it over with in Iraq," 71% now say yes, up from 56% last month. The survey reflects the wear and tear of the uncertainty and on-again, off-again diplomatic cycle in which we hang on every word out of Angola or Chile and tremble at every verbal blast from Paris. By 74-21, people believe that the US, not the UN, should make the final decision on what action to take against Iraq, and they don't like the delay.
Americans realize that an attack on Iraq will increase the chances of terror attacks at home. 67% feel that an invasion of Iraq will increase the chances of terrorist attacks against the United States. But 58% say that doing nothing will also make terrorist attacks more likely. Damned if we do. Damned if we don't.
But Hillary is on the wrong track in criticizing Bush for inadequate steps to prevent terror attacks at home. Two-thirds of Americans say the federal government "is doing everything it can to prevent terrorist activity in the U.S. - up from just over half one year ago. However, two-thirds also believe that "homicide and suicide bombings similar to those in the Middle East will start happening in the U.S.."
Those who are standing in the way of prompt US action can expect to suffer for it. By 57-29, taxpayers (read UN dues payers) feel the U.N. will have become irrelevant if it fails to enforce its resolutions requiring Iraqi disarmament. Almost half of all voters favor a boycott of French and German products and, by 50-39, they favor restricting foreign aid to nations that are supporting us on the Iraq issue. French President Jacques Chirac has a 4-1 negative rating among Americans.
While President Bush's job approval has risen back to 60% after a few unhealthy months in the mid-fifties, he looks weak and without a clue as he lets himself be buffeted by the winds of the UN Security Council.
Mark Twain wrote that there were two things nobody should ever have to see: sausage being made or a law being passed. He might have added deliberations over a UN Security Council resolution to the list.
While the US dithers in the UN, we face urgent and gathering problems in the rest of the world. North Korea grows more and more aggressive, firing off its missiles and rattling its growing nuclear capacity. Iran edges ever closer to nuclear weapons. (Is there anyone who believes that it built a nuclear power plant so that it could supplement its vast oil reserves with a little extra power?)
Iraq is a necessary step in the war on terror, but its only a step and the evidence is gathering that diplomacy is stretching the step into a long plateau that gets longer and longer with each effort to win nine votes on the Security Council.
But, as always, the American voters have it right. 87% believe Iraq is lying and that it has large inventories weapons of mass destruction.
It's time to say goodbye to
the UN and move on our own. Not just in Iraq, but for all time.
The proper forum for discussion of US action in concert with
other nations and out allies is not the round table of the Security
Council but the Oval Office in Washington.