P-Mac quotes a Hanson column in the course of dissing Kissinger (an eminently diss-able guy, but not entirely bereft of reason and instinct.)
"So we are at a crossroads of all places in Iraq. The war there has metamorphosized from a successful effort to remove a mass-murdering dictator into the frontlines of the entire struggle between Islamic radicalism and Western liberality. If we withdraw before the elected government stabilizes, the consequences won't just be the loss of the perceptions of power, but perhaps the loss of real power. What follows won't be the impression that we are weak, but the fact that we are--as we convince ourselves we cannot win against such horrific enemies, and so should never again try."
Well, yah, sorta.
Hanson's wording deserves some examination.
First off, he uses sleight-of-hand text to give us the impression that "Islamic radicalism" is a force akin to "a unified Muslim world." Not true, unless Our President's repeated averrals that the majority of Muslims are not "radicals" are a lie. Of course, if the majority of Muslims are radicals, we do have a problem. But that contention has not been proven. Not even close. Egypt, anyone? Saudi Arabia? Kuwait?
Hanson's point of reference is the period between (say) 1000 AD and 1600 AD--during which a unified Muslim caliphate attempted to invade and conquer Europe. They didn't get too far. Although there is a significant Muslim presence in the Balkans, that's about it--except for the growing "guest worker" population in France and Germany.
But the "guest workers," by and large, are not "radicals," are they? If so, where's the bloodbath in Germany? France has problems, but France's Government is pusillanimous in the extreme; it is not resolved to apply remedy.
Secondly, the battle is not between "Western Liberalism" and "Muslim radicals." It is between two worldviews: one informed by Christianity, the other by a major heresy, Mohammedanism. The most significant battle on that front is being waged by Benedict XVI, whose Regensburg speech drew a rational response and will likely result in productive discussions--albeit the timeline will be excruciatingly slow.
Finally, Hanson tells us that 'we cannot withdraw until there is a "stabilized" Iraqi Government.'
We can agree on that, but first Hanson should tell us what "stabilized" actually means, in his view.
It would be helpful if Our President would also define the term "stabilized." Otherwise, we could well be seeking (at some cost) a goal which is a chimera.
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