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Let's consider deterrent.

Reader comment on item: Defending and Advancing Freedom

Submitted by Jason Pappas (United States), Nov 2, 2005 at 15:55

You are right to distinguish between pre-emption and nations-building, two very distinct policies. Pre-emption is vital against an enemy that resorts to covert attacks aimed to achieve mass-slaughter. And, it does contribute to establishing a deterrent. The effect was immediate: Libya scuttled their nuclear program. However, at the same time continuing decade's long policy of appeasement undermined the projection of resolve, forcefulness, and clarity of purpose.

As soon as the Bush Policy was announced, the President exempted Arafat from condemnation and rewarded terrorism with a commitment to create, in actuality, a terror state in the West Bank. Bush continued business as usual with "Hatred's Kingdom" as Dr. Gold so aptly describes Saudi Arabia. And we continue to give Egypt $2 billion a year as their state controlled media spews anti-American hate—an atmosphere that makes attacks like 9/11 acceptable in the Islamic world.

Deterrent? Sir, it's a policy that has not been tried. A regime change (as Codevilla defines it) was warranted in Iraq—and was the Clinton policy. It cost less that 200 fatalities to remove Saddam (10% of the current total.) Nations-building—cultural engineering—is an ambitious endeavor on the time scale of generations—as you point out. This is not within the American character.

Sincerely,
Jason Pappas
http://libertyandculture.blogspot.com/
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