Once the US squandered its post-Sept. 11 leverage with Pakistan it was left with only bad options for coping with the nuclear-armed jihadist incubating country. And these too, it has ignored in favor of the chimera of democracy and elections.
After Sept. 11, President George W. Bush declared war on the forces of global terror and their state sponsors. But as the years have passed since then, he has done more to lose the war than he has to win it simply by ignoring it.
Bhutto’s murder is not a sign that elections and democracy frighten al-Qaida and therefore must be pursued. It is a sign that the Taliban and al-Qaida – together with their supporters in the Pakistani military and intelligence services and Pakistani society as a whole – don’t like people who are supported by the US. Her assassination was yet another act of war by the enemies of the West against the West.
If democracy and freedom are the US’s ultimate aims in this war, the only way to achieve them is to first fight and win the war. Bhutto – like her Palestinian, Egyptian and Lebanese counterparts – was a sideshow.
18 thoughts on “Quote of the Day”
“If democracy and freedom are the US’s ultimate aims in this war … .”
Yeah, for us.
Everybody else is on their own.
I think that you misunderstand her point. Democracy and freedom in places such as Pakistan, Gaza, Iraq and Saudi Arabia are important because dictatorship in those places has encouraged aggressive Islamic fundamentalism.
It’s not as though things work out well when we follow a policy of “everybody else is on their own.” We want the people who live in these places to be on our side. A principled policy by us of supporting both military action against our enemies and development of civil society and democratic political institutions in the affected countries makes it more likely that their populations will support us.
The long-term goal is democracy. I agree with what Jonathan about Democracy’s effect towards peace.
However, the forces of Islam have their way of infecting the democratic process by at first giving it lip service while they increase their power. Their ultimate goal is the destruction of democracy and the imposition of Islamic law.
As long as these flavors of Islam exist there has to be something to keep these people out of the process.
I have no clue how that is to be done.
“Democracy and freedom in places such as Pakistan, Gaza, Iraq and Saudi Arabia … .”
Are mirages because there is no cultural foundation for them.
Keep them at arms length, get energy independence from them, let them wither away as a civilization. Forget about trying to do armed social work in the Arab world. It is a waste of American lives.
I think we’re going to have to settle on armed social work for as long as we pour billions of dollars into their coffers… as long as we use oil we’ll continue to enrich them.. so like you said.. we need energy freedom… but until then armed social work is for our security.
Arms’ length may not be enough with WMD.
Cultures can change if the incentive is there. We are now reaping the fruits of three decades of malign cultural changes wrought with Saudi and Iranian money. The culture followed the incentives. We may be able to help nudge the culture back toward a more civilized course. It will take years and a great deal more money. The alternatives are worse: either defeat them utterly, which we have not yet been willing to do (doing so would, for one thing, get a lot more Americans killed); or leave them to stew in their juice, funded by $billions more in oil revenue and seeking continually to expand the jihad.
I don’t see an end to this situation that does not involve both war and political reform in the dictatorships of the Muslim Middle East — the more reform there is, the less war will be necessary.
Demographics…Europe will become governed by Sharia law.
I didn’t understand the attitude of some during the cold war that the west was weak and tottering, and the marxist world was strong and unstoppable. The current pessimism regarding islam is a weird replay of that mindset.
In truth, it is islam that is in mortal danger, facing the most ferocious, dangerous, innovative, adaptive, economically and militarily advanced, and socially/culturally powerful force the world has ever seen.
All around the world, militaristic cultures centuries old have been defeated and remodelled. Social and political systems millenia old find themselves undergoing fundamental transformations in order to adapt to the global economy and culture.
Do not allow a few decades of mushy headed multi-culti nonsense to obscure the facts. The engine driving the world economy, and literally hauling the rest of humanity into the 21st century, is the vibrant, innovative system of western scientific, technical society.
Is it guaranteed somehow that this will always remain the case? No, of course not. But the idea that the corrupt, backward, repressive theology of the mullahs is going to replace a culture that is even now planning expeditions to Mars and beyond is ludicrous.
If islam and its corrupt, lunatic leaders around the world are not careful, the same ferocity that destroyed fascism and oriental militarism, and then outlasted the murderous insanity of marxism, might just respond to some new atrocity with a thorough-going program of elimination for the followers of the koran.
Of course, the damage that that course of action would do to the moral and political principles of the west would be almost as catastrophic as the damage to islam, but by then, it would be too late for either to return to the status quo ante.
I do not fear islam, but the damage we might do to ourselves by destroying it as a threat.
We are not weak nor are our enemies unstoppable. However, our enemies are determined, and they can do a lot of damage to us if we lack the resolve to stop them decisively. There’s a lot of room between the soft and hard extremes in the West’s range of possible responses to the jihad. My fear is that we are drifting toward the soft end of the range, losing sight of our aims, and thereby encouraging our enemies to hit us again — perhaps ultimately hard enough to elicit a Jacksonian response that would kill millions. I think we would be wise to do everything that we can to defeat our enemies, which means encouraging development of representative govt in the ME at the same time as we stay on the offensive militarily.
>In truth, it is islam that is in mortal danger, facing the most ferocious, dangerous, innovative, adaptive, economically and militarily advanced, and socially/culturally powerful force the world has ever seen.
Really? Can you tell us anywhere in the world where the West and the West alone has beat back not only the militants of Islam but the affinity for sharia law by Muslims?
I distilled the threat of Islam down to this: The will to impose sharia law. The trend in Europe is unmistakable. Same thing about Russia.
>But the idea that the corrupt, backward, repressive theology of the mullahs is going to replace a culture that is even now planning expeditions to Mars and beyond is ludicrous.
It’s ludicrious to dismiss them on account of their technological backwardness. They have something the West doesn’t.. supreme confidence that it will prevail plus that Allah Himself has predestined it. And hey, if they die trying, they’ll be rewarded even more than if they didn’t fight.
The only guarenteed way for a Mulsim to get into Paradise is to die in Jihad. That is the only 100% sure way. That’s a very powerful incentive for people who are not allowed to have a normal sex life.
We in the US and Europe are too humane to do what is neccesary to protect our nations, thus we will continue to be flooded by more and more muslims who will work more and more to erode the foundations of our societies… guided there and protected all the way by our own Leftists.
“As long as these flavors of Islam exist there has to be something to keep these people out of the process.”
I think Ms. Glick, commentors here, and elsewhere don’t know it and more often, perhaps, won’t say it because it’s not an comfortable thing to admit but the it is the Islamic religion itself – it’s tenets in the Koran are the foundation that make Muslims undesirable as fellow citizens. The religion is basically not good and tolerant. Indeed, it is devious and vengeful at heart so it can not be surprising that Jihad happens reapeatedly and periodically.
For a quick study of the lowlights see Hot Air’s series of a study of the Koran: http://hotair.com/archives/2007/05/26/hot-air-introduces-blogging-the-quran/
“Are mirages because there is no cultural foundation for them.”
The Japanese had no tradition either. The early attempt in the western form of government was undermined by the patterns and underlying culture of pre-Meiji society. It took the devastation of the state and the society through WWII to implement a new foundation for the obviously successful democracy they enjoy today. The same experience seems to have had similar effect of exorcising hundreds of years of German militarism. The Iraqis are going through that same process today. The price is heavy because apparently it has to cruelly impact every aspect of the society and culture. No one must be left immune to the pain of rebirth. The price of that makes being the hand maiden to the process totally unappealing, until circumstances forces others to act for their own safety and security.
We tend to see modernism as inevitable. (I do.) This may not be true. Still, surely it is harder to turn back history than go with its flow. Islam may be the future – but it is hard to see it triumphing in such a way that the loss of the productive value of over half the citizens of a country can dominate other nations in any world economy. We can gripe about the excesses of identity politics and multi-culturalism – and we should. But in the end a society that accepts rather than smothers various talents is surely more successful than one that doesn’t. I tend to see democracy in emotional and moral terms, but it is also a pragmatic way to deal with complexity, to listen to more than one solution, and to help a mixed group of people reach resolutions that they may not love but can live with.
Ralph Peters has a more upbeat assessment. On this one, I’m with Peters instead of Glick.
Peters and Glick are talking about different things. Peters criticizes media and political people who have been consistently wrong in their predictions, and he points out the success of our military policy in Iraq in 2007. Glick criticizes the Bush administration for reverting back to failed policies of the pre-9/11 past in many of its ME dealings, other than in Iraq.
I don’t know enough to predict what will happen next. However, it seems to me that we have learned more from our military mistakes in Iraq than we have from our mistakes in international politics. Or perhaps we have simply avoided implementing the clear (or so they seem to me) lessons of our political mistakes.
What have we won in Iraq? there is no win unless there is a political arrangment…keeping 235 thousand troops in Iraq and having dozens of people killed each month is not a win. And I do not even mention the costs.
I agree with Jonathon’s asseessment. Glick speaks of our Dept of State and Peters speaks of our Dept of Defense.
So I would say they’re both right in their views.
The Dept of State is undermining all the work DoD is doing. They don’t understand the Arab mind, they don’t understand that Israel is just the first meal for the Jihadists..and each of these stupid conferences are just emboldening Israel and America’s common enemies.
And in regard to J. Hill.. well, nothing will satisfy him.
“…let them wither away as a civilization.”, lex said.
That would be nice since Don’s allusion to the militant and totalitarian cultures of WWII and what it took to get them straight gives me a chill.
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