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And Now The Dominos Begin To Fall
By Dick Morris


July 07, 2003
Monday - 1:50 pm


The Vietnam War, waged for the sake of falling dominos, gave the chain reaction a bad reputation as a reason for public policy.

When the United States troops departed by helicopter from the roof of our Saigon embassy, the world held its breath waiting for Thailand, Burma, Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore to fall to the relentless Red Tide.

Didn't happen.

But now, the reverse domino theory is coming true. As a result of President Bush's war in Iraq, peace and even freedom seem to be breaking out in the most unlikely of places.

It is amazing what a show of force and 100,000 troops in the middle of the Middle East are doing to drive Islamic terrorism to the wall.

Consider the global landscape in the wake of Bush's military success:

  • Iranian students pour by the hundreds of thousands into the streets of Tehran to demand reform and freedom, casting off the illusion that the Khatami government can deliver them from Islamic control. The students and the whole country seem to realize that the façade of democratic choice in Iran is about the same as in student government where the kids vote but the principal runs the school.
  • Palestinian operatives negotiate seriously with Israel to keep the peace plan moving down the Bush road map, despite obstacles placed in their path by Arafat, Hamas and, sometimes, Sharon's need to defend his people.
  • The Saudis fall all over themselves to convince us that they are now taking terrorism seriously, hunting down terrorists in public and, one hopes, curtailing their financing in private.
  • Sharon, emboldened by a robust American military presence in Iraq, actually begins dismantling settlements in the West Bank, a step once as unlikely as the Irish Republican Army's throwing away its machine guns.
  • The International Atomic Energy Agency actually stands up to Iran and, this time with Russian assistance and American troops over the border, demands the opening of nuclear plants to international scrutiny.
  • China cuts the flow of oil to North Korea for three days, giving it a taste of freezing and starving in the dark. The catalyst moves Pyongyang to the negotiating table and opens North Korea to the prospect of multilateral pressure from Russia, China, Japan, South Korea and the United States.

The Democrats can only stand by and watch as Bush grinds out the yardage in his pursuit of peace. Their lament that our intelligence was faulty in Iraq (it wasn't) or that we will never find weapons of mass destruction there (we will) are but reminders of their irrelevance as the tide of peace surges forward. While the Democrats argue about history, Bush is making it.

On the domestic front, the piracy of Democratic issues by the triangulating president continues apace. By offering prescription drug benefits under traditional fee-for-service Medicare, expanding education funding, boosting the Head Start program, broadening AmeriCorps, banning road construction in wilderness areas, providing tax credits for lower middle income families, ending racial profiling, replacing expensive branded medicines with cheaper generic drugs, Bush has cleaned out the Democratic locker of all its best issues.

Abroad, there's a lot more to be done and the dominos have only started to fall, but the president's foresight in using force in Iraq has kindled the momentum for peace in a way a Camp David summit could never have done. Bush realizes that it's a lot easier to risk taking a leap of faith with a gun at your back or with one trained on your enemy.

Dick Morris was an adviser to Bill Clinton for 20 years. Morris is a political consultant, commentator and best selling author. Look for his newest book, "Power Plays" available now and look for Dick's new book, "Off With Their Heads - Traitors, Crooks & Obstructionists In American Politics".


Copyright 2003 Dick Morris
Distributed by Cagle Cartoons, Inc. to subscribers for publication.


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