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Reader comment on item: A Neo-Conservative's Caution

Submitted by Peter J. Herz (Taiwan), Mar 8, 2005 at 20:22

I smell deja vu. Back at the end of World War II, the good war against fascism, the chief alternatives in many countries were fascistoid nationalism, bankrupt colonialism, outworn monarchialism, or Communism. Guess which one rode high, wide, and handsome on the heels of the Soviet Union's victory in a war it helped start (Poland and Baltic area, 1939)? In most of the Muslim world, the chief alternatives, sad to say, are authoritarian nationalists (most of whom hate the USA) and Salafists (all of whom hate the USA).

This is one reason the USA might be better off adopting a more isolationist stance while keeping the proverbial gunpowder dry (especially the nuclear option).

It probably was better for much of the world that we stepped up to the plate and stopped Stalin from gobbling up all of Europe and Asia (with the enthusiastic aid of the Old World's intellectual classes). However, the result was that an embittered intellectual class that sorely yearned for the supervision of Stalinist commissars supervising it taught two generations of European, Asian, African, and Latin American youth that the USA was behind all of the world's problems; and the USA found itself all but bankrupted politically and otherwise at the end of the Viet Nam war. Now, the USA itself is laboring under the burden of an extensive, Marx-ridden intellectual class that hates the hand that feeds it as well--largely as a result of our trying to save the world from its great follies. Today's Khomeini-ites in Iraq and Salafists elsewhere are already bitter at us for keeping them from having a go at each other.

Even if the Salafists triumph everywhere from the upper Niger to the bend of the Yellow River, from the Kama to the Comorros, from Mauretania to Mindanao, where is the Islamic state that could provide the core of a new Ottoman Empire? Would there not be a number of sectarian and national rivalries that would pit radical Muslim against radical Muslim? How does Malaysia's banning Shi'ism read in Iran and Iraq? Given Islamic history, they'll start sending assassins against each other's presidents before they detonate a dirty bomb in an American city.

So, let's stash Osama Bin Laden's six-foot skeleton in some American medical museum and call it a day.

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