Monday, November 27, 2006

The Counter Revolution begins.

The New York Times calls for anti-democratic counter-revolution in the Middle East in a current editorial .

The editorial begins strong:
It is too early to know who ordered this week’s assassination of the Lebanese cabinet minister Pierre Gemayel, but there are many reasons to suspect Syria. Mr. Gemayel opposed Syria’s unrelenting campaign to dominate Lebanon’s fragile democracy. If the cabinet now loses even one more minister, through intimidation or worse, Lebanon’s pro-Western government will collapse — a collapse that Hezbollah, Syria’s ally and henchman, has been publicly seeking.

But it then, sadly veers toward the Baker ‘Realist’ view of the Middle East:
This page believes that the United States needs to begin a dialogue with Syria, about Iraq and regional peace. But President Bashar al-Assad needs to understand that neither the tribunal nor Lebanon’s independence will ever be on the bargaining table. Europe, Russia and all of Syria’s neighbors need to join Washington in delivering that message.

What is the ‘Realist’ view? Stability. Stability at any cost. Unfortunately this is what got us in this mess in the first place. What started the brouhaha in Iraq 15 years ago? A fear of carrying the ‘Kuwait Liberation’ top its logical conclusion: the removal of Saddam Hussein from power. Why? Because it was cause ‘instability’ in the Middle East, just like we are seeing now.

How will Iraq turn out? I have no idea. It may go the route of Yugoslavia and break up into its component tribal / ethnic boundaries. And while the process is horrific for the population (and still ongoing in the area, look at Kosovo and Macedonia), at least the issue can be RESOLVED (see Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia, etc). So while the Realist, counter-revolutionary policy can bring ‘peace’ and stability in the short term, it inevitably leads to something worse down the road. Every time. Just like it did in 1848 when Metternich tried to suppress nationalistic movements in Europe. Just like in 1914 when the Gerrymandered Empires collapsed. Just like the current Kurdish insurrection in Turkey. Just like the secretarian conflicts in Lebanon and Iraq.

Dictatorial Oppression to achieve ‘Peace’ may work in the short run. And in fact, this is what Syria requires from its dialogue, and Baker proposes in his ‘realistic’ plan. But the end state will be worse. It will give more power to the Muslim Brotherhood (again). It will reduce our influence in the region as we sell out the Liberal Muslims in the Middle East (again). And It will prove us the ‘paper tiger’ everyone has been talking about (again).

The brilliance of the Democracy First policy in the Middle East is that it had the chance of maybe solving the problems of the region in the long term. It NEVER implied things would be ‘easy’, or ‘stable’. To have held such an expectation was foolish, and to give up on it now would be even worse in the long run.

At the end, labels don’t matter. What people want to do does. As we see the ‘Left’ embrace ‘Realism we realize that they are not Liberal in any meaningful sense of the word. Modern Progressive Socialists are Reactionary, Opressive and aliberal. Case in point: Jonathan Chase from the LA Times thinks we should bring back Saddam in order to restore stability. Why not simply suggest we perform a Roman Decimation in Iraq (kill every one person in ten). It’s what Saddam would do.

‘Peace in our time’ for all.

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Sunday, November 05, 2006

Orson Scott Card on the Middle East

You know, I’ve been trying to explain my feelings on our current relations with the middle east for some time now. Leave it to a professional author to present the eloquence for me.