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Gloomy Hawkishness
Posted by: Dale Franks on Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Stanley Kurtz is gloomy. Very gloomy. He sees problems everywhere, and for a long time.
No, I don’t think our venture in Iraq has gotten us into this mess. I think this mess has gotten us into Iraq. And the mess will not go away, whatever we do. Our Islamist enemy has proven himself implacable — unwilling to relent in the face of either dovish or hawkish policies. That means we’re facing years — maybe decades — of inconclusive, on/off (mostly on) hot war, unless and until a nuclear terror strike, a major case of nuclear blackmail, or a nuclear clash among Middle Eastern states ushers in a radical new phase.
This is pretty much what I thought back in 2001, right after 9/11. I believed—and still believe—that 9/11 was the first major shot in a clash between the Muslim world and the West. And it is clash where the Muslim world holds the strategic initiative. We would prefer not to have this clash. And we will, no doubt try to fight it in such a way as to minimize the amount of "hot" conflict that occurs.

It is important to remember, however, that many of our preferred methods of "fighting" will probably not work as well as we might wish them too.
We need to appreciate the immensity of Castro’s achievement in preserving Cuba’s Communist dictatorship for 17 years after the collapse of his chief patron, the Soviet Union. It’s remarkable that, absent any great-power protection, and even after becoming, without Soviet subsidies, a permanent economic basket-case, Castro’s regime has not collapsed.

Let that be a lesson to those who wait for the collapse of regimes in Iran, North Korea, or Palestine because of long-term economic failure and/or economic sanctions. Yes, popular uprisings happen (as in Iran against the Shah). Yet it’s also clear that a posture of anti-Western defiance, combined with nationalism, ideology, and dictatorial rule is perfectly capable of sustaining a miserable, poverty-stricken, failed system far, far beyond the point that Westerners would consider tolerable or believable.
Cuba is a desperately poor country. Yet the people there seem resigned to living under the Castro dictatorship, and do what people in all totalitarian societies do: build the best lives they are capable of building, while keeping their heads down politically, to avoid drawing unwanted attention. People lived that way in the USSR for 70 years. They've lived that way in the Middle East for hundreds of years.

That won't change overnight, or through the use of "soft power" alone, no matter how much we might wish it were otherwise.
The destruction of the World Trade Center raised the possibility that a rogue state might supply terrorists with a nuclear bomb, or enough material to make such a bomb. Already, there was an alliance between a state (Afghanistan) and a terrorist organization. But in the war between Israel and Hezbollah, we’ve seen a further step toward the feared pattern. Hezbollah rockets have already inflicted far more damage and disruption on Israeli civilians than attacks in any previous Middle Eastern war. That is because military technology is getting ever cheaper, more advanced, and more available, and because of a military alliance between a supplying state (Iran) and a terrorist organization.

So we are already seeing a terrorist-executed proxy war against the West using advanced technology supplied by a rogue state. It only remains for a nuclear device to replace the cheap rockets. Iran is working on that.
And I don't think we'll stop them from doing so. Not really. We certainly aren't going to invade Iran, things being the way they are now. Economic sanctions won't stop them. So, I already count it as a given that the Iranians will end up with a nuclear arsenal.

What they—or their proxies—might do with them is anyone's guess.
The depth of the Moslem world’s failure to adjust to modernity, the profundity of its need for scapegoats, the seeming boundlessness of its willingness to accept the death and destruction of its own in exchange for the “honor” of “revenge,” are difficult for Americans to acknowledge...[B]ombing and war only breed more terrorists. True enough, but only because the underlying cultural dilemma of Muslim modernity has created a need for scapegoats. War ought to produce the realization that peaceful compromise is the way out. Instead it produces the opposite. Gestures for peace fare no better. Withdraw or attack, the results are the same: more hatred, more terror, more war. Compromise and settlement have been ruled out from the start by a pervasive ideology, an ideology that is a product of the underlying inability to reconcile Islam with modernity.
Islamic terror, over the last 30 years, has grown unabated, through both Republican and Democratic administrations. No policy of sticks, carrots, or both, has restrained the growth of this phenomenon. That is not because our policy makers have been incompetent, although, at times, they have been. It is because there are fundamental problems in the Arab Muslim culture, and its ability to respond or accommodate itself to Western technology, culture, and modernity. In addition, there is, on many levels a sense of rage that the Muslim world has been relegated to an economic, cultural, and technological backwater.

As long as Arab Muslim societies remain trapped in the shame/honor/revenge culture, those fundamental problems will not be addressed.
Meanwhile, short of a preemptive war, Iran is bound to get the bomb. No grand bargain or set of economic sanctions can deter it — especially now that Iran is convinced of its success in creating havoc for the West, and in consolidating popular support through its proxy attacks on Western interests.
The current Lebanese problem is a case in point. The way to defeat Hezbollah doesn't, in the final analysis go through Beirut. It goes through Damascus and Tehran. No matter how much damage Israel does to Hezbollah in the short run, Syria and Iran have the resources to reconstitute it as often as need be. And, as long as they can do so at no risk to themselves, there is no reason for them to stop doing so.
The West is on a collision course with Iran. There will either be a preemptive war against Iran’s nuclear program, or an endless series of hot-and-cold war crises following Iran’s acquisition of a bomb. And an Iranian bomb means further nuclear proliferation to Egypt and Saudi Arabia, as a balancing move by the big Sunni states. With all those Islamic bombs floating around, what are the chances the U.S. will avoid a nuclear terrorist strike over the long-term?
Not much.

As I've recounted before, I belong to a message board, one of whose members is also Military Sci-Fi author John Ringo. Right after 9/11, John opined that we would temporarily come together and make our displeasure known. Soon, though, we would try to go back to our normal lives, until we were hit again. He wrote that we'd repeat that cycle until the American people were the victims of such a terrible attack, and became so incensed that we'd wage total war against the Arab Muslim world.

Nothing that has happened since then has changed my mind. We could withdraw from Iraq, abandon Israel, and give our tacit approval of an Arab attack to drive the Jews into the sea. At the end of the day, it will accomplish nothing, strategically to do so. The US will still be the Great Satan, and for a very simple reason. A culture that is still trapped in the shame/honor/revenge paradigm doesn't look at itself in the mirror, and say, "I'm a loser". Instead, it looks around, and says, "Who is to blame for all this misery!?" And the answer to that question will always be the West in general and the United States in particular.

This is not a conflict we want, and it's one that we'll do everything we can to avoid. One of the reasons we are trying to build a stable, democratic Iraq is in hopes that, if some form of modernity and liberalism can get a grip, even a tenuous one, in a key Arab Muslim state, other peoples in the region might find themselves attracted to it as a solution, rather than to terror.

I really hope it works, which is why I've been so perturbed by many of the foolish politico-military policy decisions of the Bush Administration. And it's why I think we've got to continue to keep trying, until all hope is lost, damn the cost, and, frankly, damn the casualties. It really is one of our few options for seizing the strategic initiative in the conflict that's developing. Because a failure there means that the likelihood of a general conflict with the Arab Muslim world will grow exponentially. And that may very well mean costs and casualties that no one in the West has had to face for sixty years.

It doesn't matter whether we want to have this conflict or not. It only matters whether our opponents want it.
 
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Dale, I’m with you 100% here. One of the biggest suggestions I can make to whomever occupies the Senate and House post-November 2006 and whomever occupies the White House post-November 2008 is to strongly embrace a perfect counterweight to totalitarian Arab "Muslim" regimes: Southeast Asian "Muslim" regimes. We have recently begun a belated diplomatic initiative to secure friendships with the people of South and South East Asia. Long ignored, India, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, etc. are the future of Asia, not aging Japan and demographically lopsided China. One of the greatest diplomatic (and to a certain extent propaganda) benefits that can be achieved by this is to show beyond doubt that the US is not at war with Islam. This is not the classic Bernard Lewis/Samuel Huntington "Clash of Civilizations." Strong diplomatic, cultural, and, possibly, military ties with moderate, forward-looking Muslim nations will pay enormous dividends to the US in the long-run. I cannot understand the reason that this strategy has not been adopted until recently (and even now, it’s only half-hearted).
 
Written By: The Poet Omar
URL: http://www.asecondhandconjecture.com
Some background reading, for those serious about understanding Dale’s points:

Civilization and Its Enemies - Lee Harris (For a quicker, shorter version try Al Qeada’s Fantasy Ideology.)

The Other Side of Radical Islam, from which this extract comes:
ATol: "You reckon that there are so many contradictions between the West and the Muslim world, is there any chance of reconciliation and dialogue between the two civilizations?"

Munawar: "There is none. The basic concepts of both civilizations are in total contrast with each other. When I say this I do not address Western civilization as Christianity. I speak of a man-made system completely devoid of divine guidance. Our concepts of God, human beings, the universe, are totally in contrast with the concepts of the Western world. We cannot segregate human lives into private and public, our lives are ruled by divine guidance, not by man-made rules based on his own prejudices and specific mindset characterized by its own dilemmas and shortcomings.

The Roots of Islamic Terrorism (International Herald Tribune)

The Arab/Islamic World’s Cultural Gaps

From Stephen Den Beste:

Who our enemy really is, and what we’ll have to do to achieve victory over them.
The reason they hate us.


No doubt some would claim these are a result of confirmation bias on my part. Which of course says nothing to rebut the various points presented...
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
As to the Long War, Dale is right. Although the first shot at us was when the Shah of Iran fell, and our embassy taken hostage. And I fear, he is right about the American public. Unless directly effected, Americans are generally apathetic to others systemic problems. Oh, we’ll send aid the next disaster, but don’t get us involved in any long term project to really help them.

Well, I really think it comes down to, we get better at building up failed or failing regimes, before the regime reaches critical mass or drags us into a proxy war, OR we continue to wait for the threats to fully emerge, take out the regimes that threaten us, and then still have to build up the nation.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

If we want to prevent a future Rwandan genocide, isn’t it much better to make the economic, diplomatic, cultural, and yes, military ties before such an event occurs.

I agree with Omar, except to say that I guess I’ve been seeing more in this area then he. Our forces in Horn of Africa are doing a good job of not only training local forces COIN, but also helping them build infrastructure. Bridges, waterworks, hospitals, schools. Hearts and minds kinda stuff.
 
Written By: Keith, Indy
URL: http://
A few earlier articles on the Long War...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/02/02/AR2006020202242.html

http://usinfo.state.gov/mena/Archive/2006/Feb/06-849168.html

http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/011/909rqgza.asp

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long_War_(21st_century)
 
Written By: Keith, Indy
URL: http://
He wrote that we’d repeat that cycle until the American people were the victims of such a terrible attack, and became so incensed that we’d wage total war against the Arab Muslim world.

Yep.
And for all those advocating pulling out of Iraq to achieve peace...see how well that worked for Israel pulling out of Lebanon?
 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
Thanks for this post, Dale, you’ve hit right onto the formative idea for my support of the Iraq war. Here is a real opportunity for those arguing against the war to sway people like me to your side.

With most blog debates, people offer facts and ideas that fit their existing view rather than what actually formed their view. Thus, their view isn’t changed if the other side takes these non-formative ideas down. Views are changed when formative ideas are taken down. My support for the Iraq war is nearly 100% based on the subject of Dale’s post. I know I am not alone. I really hope there is some debate on this here, QandO is the most rational political site I’ve found.

Specifically, my view is based on what will happen worldwide if Muslim terrorists detonate a nuclear device on US or British soil. I say "if", but I believe the possibility to be high and have no doubt that given the chance they will do it.

In my view, it does not matter if Democrats or Republicans are running the show if it happened. Our reaction would be swift and devastating, with little choice of what to do, only how to do it and how much to do. I find it possible that Iran would be made an example of, hoping that Syria and other players would immediately fall in line. I don’t know how harsh of an example would be deemed necessary, but it likely would be beyond what many of us would consider. And if Muslim terrorists managed to detonate two devices, I have no trouble seeing the structural end of the Middle East as we know it, including the utter destruction of Iran, with even the most hawkish Americans distraught over what had been done — and domestic freedom restrictions that would make us long for the milder days of the Patriot Act.

Yes, that is a worst case scenario and many will reject it out of hand. Yet after 9/11 I find it plausible, as do many of my friends. This isn’t the Cold War, MAD makes no sense here.

The neocons put forth a weird, rightly-criticized strategy that attempts to prevent this from happening. It didn’t matter to me if it might fail, if there might be an Iraqi civil war, if Cheney’s Halliburton cronies get contracts, or anything else that was brought up as opposition. I was willing to listen to other strategies, but the only ones offered seemed to be more of the same old thing, so my group chose to support the Iraq war. And when my group of friends says, "Faster, please," we don’t say it out of bloodlust. We say it because we believe the clock is ticking on a potential circumstance that is much, much worse.

If you are against the war and can convince me that I’m wrong and/or nuts about this, I’ll gladly listen to your arguments and solutions concerning Iraq and pass them on to my friends.
 
Written By: Scout
URL: http://
Dale -
And it’s why I think we’ve got to continue to keep trying, until all hope is lost, damn the cost, and, frankly, damn the casualties. It really is one of our few options for seizing the strategic initiative in the conflict that’s developing. Because a failure there means that the likelihood of a general conflict with the Arab Muslim world will grow exponentially. And that may very well mean costs and casualties that no one in the West has had to face for sixty years.
Well, can America continue to squander 200 billion a year occupying a nation of Sh8th*eads taking 8,000 causualties a year to "give them freedom?" and can we afford to triple that at least in a post-war "nation-building" of Iran, the same outlay for Syria, and many more times that if democracy ever wins in Pakistan or Egypt and we have a radical terrorist regime in office???

I think not.

Iraq is our one-time "trying" exercise.

Hopefully we have a competent leader in when the stuff really hits the fan and we have solid allies cultivated and re-cultivated (EU, Canada, Russia).

I hope we don’t kick the can down the road but recognize that Islam is at it’s weakest now and if we realize their is an existential war where we cannot live together - then we have to do total war where we don’t care about their Jihadi children and breeders that much - do it sooner rather than later. Goal being to cleanse them back to the Ummah, end their ability to obtain modern weapons and modern technology, and isolate them from the other 80% of humaity like lepers other than those that renounce Islam.

Besides, the kids will be busy paying for Bush’s new entitlements, and the trillions he has borrowed to fuel his big Gummint, tax cuts for the wealthy, and wars back to the Chinese, Japanese, French, and Saudi money lenders.
Scout - I have no trouble seeing the structural end of the Middle East as we know it, including the utter destruction of Iran, with even the most hawkish Americans distraught over what had been done — and domestic freedom restrictions that would make us long for the milder days of the Patriot Act.
I think "distraught" is the wrong word. Few involved in burning Nazi babies and puppydogs described themselves as "distraught" over what had to be done. A-bomb crews were PROUD they ended the War. I also doubt there were many Roman soldiers sobbing over the salted fields and ruins of Carthage.

 
Written By: C. Ford
URL: http://
Careful now. Comparing the USA to Nazis and Romans only works on so many levels - there are circumstances to the current set of problems which don’t fit that model.

Let us remember that the USA was in general quite willing to let the nutcases in the middle east stain the desert sands red with the blood of their neighbors without raising an objection in voice, mannerism, or sanction - until they started killing Americans. That’s the real distinction - the fundamentalists taught themselves to hate us while we weren’t even paying attention.

Nobody burned a Nazi baby - because babies aren’t Nazi’s.

The saddest casualty of this war thus far may be the underlying truth of our commonality. Seen from an outsider’s perspective, this is two very closely related shades of blue arguing over the nature of the color red. Islam and Judaism are siblings, and Christianity is Judaism’s son. The USA is all three - that’s what refusing theocracy means, your state and religion needn’t be the same.

Why, having fought so hard for separation of church and state, are we allowing the people who hate us the liberty of defining us? The USA is not a christian nation. Nor a Jewish nation. Nor an Islamic nation. Nor any of the manifold other creeds. We are all of them, and until people started killing us for having pulled it off, we managed to live together relatively peacefully.

Want a good yardstick for how stable Iraq is? Count the minority houses of worship. Right now the score is zero.

-Gil
 
Written By: Gil
URL: http://
Spot on, Dale. Nothing like reading truth in the morning. Wish it were otherwise but it’s not. Wishful thinking won’t make it disappear- whether it’s the dream of negotiation on the left or the hope of a military strike on the right. It’s a long war. We’ll put it off as long as possible and hope that it goes away. Only after confronting another 9/11 will we take our gloves off and deal with it seriously. It’s our style.
 
Written By: kreiz
URL: http://
Good post, Gil. The US is not now and never has been a theocracy, despite what some (mainly on the left) want us to believe. One of the keys to success in modernizing ME totalitarian nations is expansion of religious freedom to minority religions as well as to Muslims in certain nations. Let’s not forget that some of those "fundamentalist Muslim" nations are absolutely nothing of the sort; they’re petty dictatorships masquerading as theocracies to gain a certain degree of sympathy in the world press. Iran, for example, comes to mind. How many Sunnis and Sufis do you think openly practice there? It’s nothing more than a secular dictatorship with the facade of Shia theocracy attached to it.

C. Ford : Great suggestion about committing religious genocide against Muslims. Yeah, that’s definitely going to win some hearts and minds there. I mean we all know all Muslims are nothing but dangerous, violent primitives who respect nothing but the threat of cultural annihilation. Have we been reading a little post-9/11 Coulter lately?
 
Written By: The Poet Omar
URL: http://www.asecondhandconjecture.com
The Poet Omar Wrote:
"I mean we all know all Muslims are nothing but dangerous, violent primitives who respect nothing but the threat of cultural annihilation."
Thing is Omar, that’s a good enough working description.

What Moslem’s there are who not merely don’t fit that description, but will risk their lives or what wealth they have to oppose it, they don’t seem to amount to much.

That’s coming from someone who doesn’t think much of C. "It’s the Jooos" Ford, BTW.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
Yep, the days of bombing nondescript camels, shacks and buildings to make a point were killed on 9/11.

Unfortunately, too few people believe there is a war going on. And too many are fighting against actually fighting a war. The state of the war in Iraq notwithstanding, too many want to surrender to anyone just to get it over.
 
Written By: capt joe
URL: http://
What Moslem’s there are who not merely don’t fit that description, but will risk their lives or what wealth they have to oppose it, they don’t seem to amount to much.
hmmm, I think there are some 250,000 or more Iraqis who are currently in the security services over there that might disagree with this statement.

You know the thing that has continually amazed me.

Lines and lines of recruits kept getting blown up by bombers.

And they kept lining up.
 
Written By: Keith, Indy
URL: http://
It doesn’t matter whether we want to have this conflict or not. It only matters whether our opponents want it.

That’s only true to a limited extent. We can’t avoid the conflict entirely, but a direct test of force between Al Quieda vs. the civilized world, we win in a landslide. Al-Quieda’s only hope is to get into our heads, infect us with paranoia and hatred, and ride our increasingly irrational behavior to a wider alienation of us from the billions of largely neutral arab masses, leading to.. well, not much, except our gradual decline as a world power - due to over-militarization, overextension, and loss of liberty at home -, and possibly a lot of carnage in Arab states - out of which Muslim fundamentalists might gain power...

and then rapidly get bogged down in the realities of it. This wave peaks long before mounting a serious military threat. They can’t take us on, and they won’t risk annihilation once they’re running the ship. The communists were equally "insane", and reality always kicks in.

Scout, the chances of terrorists detonating a nuclear device on our soil is low. The facilities are not portable and not clandestine, and no state will give them nukes, because that state will be nuked in return. Certainly, if that ever occured, we have failed to win with a rapier and events will turn us to the sledgehammer. The resulting economic shocks could quite honestly end the current geopolitical order as we know it. So that is the wildcard. Perhaps we shouldn’t be engaging in nuclear cooperation with india, eh?

There was no specific alternative to the Republican plan, because the Republicans were in power. It was a bad plan. A better plan is to, frankly, end support for Egypt & Saudi Arabia and cut deals with whomever emerges there, on condition that the system is democratic.







 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
What Moslem’s there are who not merely don’t fit that description, but will risk their lives or what wealth they have to oppose it, they don’t seem to amount to much.

With this comment, Tom, you have reached a final and profound peek of genuine stupidity. If you’re not with us, you’re against us, and even if you’re with us and you can’t crush Islamic fundamentalism by yourself, p*ss on you, huh?

Osama Bin Laden, outnumbered, outgunned, and competing with a world full of opportunities other than death by jihad, loves people like you to help him justify his worldview.
 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
And if the resulting systems in those countries is not democratic, and in fact, directly oppossed to US interests, what then???
 
Written By: Keith, Indy
URL: http://
What Moslem’s there are who not merely don’t fit that description, but will risk their lives or what wealth they have to oppose it, they don’t seem to amount to much.

With this comment, Tom, you have reached a final and profound peek of genuine stupidity. If you’re not with us, you’re against us, and even if you’re with us and you can’t crush Islamic fundamentalism by yourself, p*ss on you, huh?
I think the word you wanted was peak, not peek.

And fate of far less militarily capable societies when they finally piss off the very capable to the nth degree is usually tragic collective responsibility.

This isn’t even that unreasonable in this case when the usual interpretation of the Prophet’s words are that the kaffirs should be put to the sword or submit to Islam or dhimmitude.

If the less millitant moslems in the world who are willing to interpret these words of the Prophet into meaninglessness want to avoid having the West pissed off to that nth degree, then they should do much more than what they have to make sure the Wahhabists are destroyed. And they aren’t doing it.

I’m not complaining they aren’t crushing Al Qaeda, you pompous, exaggerating a$$. I’m complaining they aren’t even shouting down the mullahs egging AQ on, or dropping a dime on them with alacrity.

What they sow, or suffer to see sown, they may ultimately see brought back to them tenfold at least.

And it won’t even be unreasonable.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
Al-Quieda’s only hope is to get into our heads, infect us with paranoia and hatred, and ride our increasingly irrational behavior to a wider alienation of us from the billions of largely neutral arab masses,
It isn’t so much Al Quada but the Arab street, European Muslims, Palestinians electing Hamas, Leabanese supporting Hez, etc., that are showing us how twisted Islam is. It isn’t our paranoia, but their hatred.

One out of four British Muslims think that the London terror attacks were justified . . .
A better plan is to, frankly, end support for Egypt & Saudi Arabia and cut deals with whomever emerges there, on condition that the system is democratic.
Sounds like Jimmy Carter’s 1979 plan for Iran . . .
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Tom,

I see your point about moderate Muslims. I think it is exaggerated, but there is definitely a problem. I will spare everybody a long discussion in this comment thread, but if you would like to visit my site I discuss this in more depth here(and I quote you Tom.)
 
Written By: Lance
URL: http://www.asecondhandconjecture.com
Lance, I don’t think this is an exaggeration at all.

The preponderance of Moslems in the world are attitudinally accessories before the fact to most of the violent acts of the Wahhabist movement.

The Poet Omar and his like are very rare birds indeed.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
As I said Tom, I think it is an exaggeration. In my post (assuming you read it) I suggest we do something to help make it an exaggeration if it isn’t now. I don’t think we have a fundamental disagreement at all. Your assertion however made me realize that whatever the truth may be, too many of us spend our time either deriding the problems in the Islamic world, or apologizing for it. However, we don’t seem to be doing anything about it personally. I suggest we start. The post suggests a few simple ways of thinking about the issue and one concrete forum for doing something about it.

It seems to me you might be amenable to such an effort.
 
Written By: Lance
URL: http://www.asecondhandconjecture.com
Hi, Lance. You’re dreaming about Tom. Tom Perkins isn’t interested in positive steps: he’s interested in enacting his feelings of his country’s victimization and impending subjugation at the hands of The Caliphate. He’s also interested in mind-modeling our crushing revenge counterstrike. You can see him above delivering ultimatums to the Muslim moderates via Q and O.

Your views and mine about Islam, religion, and totalitarianism are pretty much the same. I absolutely support these kinds of steps - and I think America needs a crash government-run program - not neccesarily instead of military action in all circumstances, but certainly alongside it. A detailed proposal along those lines would make a great Democratic plank in 2008. On the other hand, if John McCain came up with it first, i’d consider voting for him.

It’s challenging though, because open US support for Muslim moderates really can be toxic. What we really need is a public diplomacy blitz through Arab countries by the president himself - complete with the announcing of lottery-type programs available to the general Arab public.

We won’t solve the problem in one speaking tour, but we could at least go a long way towards preventing problems with Muslim-Americans that have yet to emerge.

 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
And if the resulting systems in those countries is not democratic, and in fact, directly oppossed to US interests, what then???

Then, Keith, we accept that a free people living in a free nation are free to hate us if they want to. It is their Democratic right to do so. It is even their democratic right to vote a non-democratic government which is top to bottom full of fatwa spouting intolerant hyperclerics.

If the vote is fair, and if they can police themselves in accordance with the international standards of behavior we learned in kindergarten (Don’t Hit!), then we must acknowledge that they have a right to live as they choose.

Representative governance is no guarantee of love for the USA. Nor should it be. What is important is that, just one time, the people have the right to choose; whether or not to live in a theocracy, whether or not to elevate a dictator to unassailable power, whether or not to live a cheap life which may be cheaply ended. The choice will be theirs.

-Gil
 
Written By: Gil
URL: http://
"Tom Perkins isn’t interested in positive steps: he’s interested in enacting his feelings of his country’s victimization and impending subjugation at the hands of The Caliphate. He’s also interested in mind-modeling our crushing revenge counterstrike."
I’m interested in having this country adopt strategies to fight Islamists which can work. Preferably before my 2 year old reaches 18. I would rather not have us experience the sort of terrorist strike which aligns the American body politic to make total war on the Ummah.
"You can see him above delivering ultimatums to the Muslim moderates via Q and O."
They do need to understand that total war is far from being out of the question.
"It’s challenging though, because open US support for Muslim moderates really can be toxic. "
That’s because we are so widely and strongly hated, and there are so very few "moderate" Muslims.
"We won’t solve the problem in one speaking tour, but we could at least go a long way towards preventing problems with Muslim-Americans that have yet to emerge."
We won’t solve the problem with any number of speaking tours. If their problem with us is our policies, then we change our policies or they change their minds. If they are willing to kill us or tolerate those who would kill us, there isn’t much point in sweet talking them. If their problem with us is how we live and approach life, then we change how we live or they change their minds. Again, if they are willing to kill us or tolerate those who would kill us, there isn’t much point in sweet talking them.

I must be patient with you Glasnost, as you’ve mentioned you’re a moderately liberal person. This means you are only moderately intelligent, and dispensations made for you should be generous.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
How important is democracy in Iraq?

In this post, Dale states that it’s mearly a secondary objective:

Beyond that, I would frame our secondary war aims as:

  • Assist the Iraqis in creating a democratic government.
  • Assist the Iraqis in creating a security regime competent to defend the country against both internal and external threats.

This is in response to Jon stating that if we don’t bring democracy to Iraq, then we’ve failed in terms of objectives of the war.


However, above Dale states:


This is not a conflict we want, and it’s one that we’ll do everything we can to avoid. One of the reasons we are trying to build a stable, democratic Iraq is in hopes that, if some form of modernity and liberalism can get a grip, even a tenuous one, in a key Arab Muslim state, other peoples in the region might find themselves attracted to it as a solution, rather than to terror.

I really hope it works, which is why I’ve been so perturbed by many of the foolish politico-military policy decisions of the Bush Administration. And it’s why I think we’ve got to continue to keep trying, until all hope is lost, damn the cost, and, frankly, damn the casualties. It really is one of our few options for seizing the strategic initiative in the conflict that’s developing.
Is unlimited funds and casualties really worth a secondary objective? Or is democracy in Iraq really a primary objective?
 
Written By: John Harrold
URL: http://

 
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