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New Approach Requires Big Thinking

Reader comment on item: The Way to Peace

Submitted by Dave, Dec 18, 2016 at 18:29

Imagine that the U.S. was composed of 50 fractious countries instead of states, many of which were beset by civil wars, and faced a looming internal nuclear arms race. That's the Mideast today. That whole region has fourth stage cancer, but everyone is trying to treat a minor symptom involving Israel.
Instead, we need to tackle the underlying disease, which is the basic lack of tolerance in today's Islamic culture. The result is a dangerously weak and balkanized region.

Ultimately, the cure will have to involve a massive change of attitude by those directly involved, but we in the West can help the process along by drawing up a detailed template for the sort of changes that we want to see, based on our manifestly more successful Western values. We can then hold the template up and sell change by appealing to self-interest: Our values will lead to more prosperity, prestige and power than any Islamist blueprint.

Tolerance and mutual respect should be practiced, not because those one respects are nice, but because the social contract benefits everyone.
Of course, the regional culture is a million miles away from those values, but at least we will than have an approach that will allow constructive criticism and prevent us from wasting time and air miles on fruitless diplomacy. And yes, Israel should be encouraged to make her existence incontrovertible - that should be one Western value we uphold.


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