One of the dangers of A Certain Past Republican Contender for the Nomination of Presidential Candidate, which to me was the worst of his offenses, was isolationism.
“Isolationism” means that a state refrains from involving itself in the affairs of other states. The opposite is called “interventionism”, which means that a state gets involved in the affairs of other states. Often, isolationism involves a foreign policy which distances the state from other states, while an interventionist foreign policy means coming close to other states (which means interacting with them, not necessarily making them do our will or controlling them or invading them). Read the rest of this entry »
I may have said this before, but we need to establish what really is going on in the world rather than being distracted by certain elements of what may be a broader, wider, larger movement.
Consider, for example, our obsession with terrorism (specifically, militant Islamist terrorism). The problem is that terrorism is part of a larger conflict: a war between The West and Islamism. (Not all Muslims are Islamists, although “true Muslims” inevitably are.) Along with terrorism, Islamism uses other techniques, some of which are even non-violent. Efforts by Islamist activists to have a special status given to Islam, Muslims, and Islam’s dictates by the governments of The West are one such strategy to bring to pass the triumph of Islam over The West. It is quite interesting (and perhaps one may say, even ironic) that the very states that stripped The Church (whether The Lutheran Church or The Church of England or The Catholic Church) of practically all of its authority and influence and clout in society, have accorded to Islam and its authorities and buildings virtual autonomy and independence. Although church tribunals would have no authority, Islamist courts have been empowered. Whereas asserting one’s Christianity has become something frowned upon, something untoward, something in bad taste, someone asserting one’s Muslim-hood has become something novel, unique, lauded, and applauded. Simply put: rather than making all inhabitants equal, many Western states have made some more equal than others. This granting of autonomy to and even special status to Muslims (meaning, Muslims following the dictates and laws of Islam as interpreted by traditionalists) is all part of Islamism’s goals to triumph over The West. And, indeed, look how they have succeeded! The very people who are ashamed of their Christian past (or even current identity) applaud those who embrace their Muslim-hood to the exclusion of everything else.
Fortunately, confidence in American culture and civilization has been resistant to this pernicious wave of anti-Westernism. But the Islamists keep trying: they keep trying to delegitimize The West, trying to prove that Islam is superior to The West and to its religions (Christianity and Judaism), trying to assert its mission as the “savior” of The West, and of course trying to make the case that The West is utterly lost and needs Islam to be saved. We Americans tend to scoff as such nonsense, for nonsense it is. It doesn’t take someone who is extraordinarily intelligent to see which of The West or the Muslim world has been successful, more true to its values, and a boon to humanity. (For those who may be blinded by some irrational propaganda, the better one is The West.) Indeed, unlike in other Western states, America has proved to be a formidable adversary to Islamism. Rather than infecting The West, The West has been slowly innoculating various segments of the Muslim world in The West against Islamism.
This all means that Islamists, whether militants or not, whether terrorists or not, will try ever the more harder to bring us down. In their world, there can only be one triumphant victor, and they are trying to ensure it is not us.
Orianna Fallaci has been warning us of this state of affairs. It is about time that we listened to her and act accordingly.
I’m going to go on a limb here and express confusion on something. (Usually I like to point out stuff I know, but this issue merits being discussed.)
It is quite easy to understand the modi operandi of states like China, Russia, The United States, and The United Kingdom. It is also easy–for those who are familiar with them–to understand the geopolitical strategies and policies (insofar as one can call them “political”) of militant and non-militant Islamists, terrorists and otherwise.
But one entity that seems to confuse many people is Iran. Now, it is important to understand the motivation, reasons, and ultimate goals of a state in order to determine why the state has such-and-such policy, how the state will implement it, and what other aspects can be expected, predicted, or considered most likely to occur.
The problem with Iran lies in our lack of reliable information close to the decision-makers. Whereas a similar lack of information exists regarding North Korea, we know what to expect from North Korea. North Korea will do what North Korea is wont to do, because that is what it has done for a long time now. The same cannot really be said about Iran. Read the rest of this entry »
A proposal of dividing the world based on the reality of Cold War II
The First World:
The United States, The West, countries allied with them, and proxies thereof
The Second World:
Russia, China, countries allied with them, and proxies thereof
(Explicitly: Russia, China; Iran, Syria, Lebanon, North Korea, Uzbekistan, Pakistan)
The Third World:
Countries not actively aligned with or proxies of either the First World or the Second World
I started the Russia/China/Iran series because I was trying to figure out how to apply economic sanctions to Iran. I did some reading about Russia and China because I wanted to determine how difficult it would be to get them to abandon Iran’s cause in the UN. That’s when I first fathomed how much the geopolitical landscape had shifted since the early 90’s, and how far along the anti-US alliances had come.
That epiphany made me very concerned about our strategy in Iraq, which seems doomed to failure unless the global power struggle is addressed. It also made me moderately concerned about the long-term fate of the US.
Your posts are elevating my concern in both areas. I take some comfort from your hints that people are working the problem, but as far as I can tell we haven’t even slowed the progress of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, let alone reversed it.
One question: If Musharraf ’s government falls, would that give the UN enough justification to invade Pakistan as a continuation of the pursuit of the Taliban and Al Qaeda? Right now he’s ostensibly cooperating, so we can’t touch Pakistan. Would we be better off if the government of Pakistan wasn’t cooperating?
Not that the American people have the stomach for that fight, of course.
(geoff‘s question and some of his statements were addressed in the previos post.)