Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Thirty (or more) years’ war in the Middle East

Tom Cerber calls our attention to this analysis of the broader Sunni/Shia conflict in the Middle East. Do those who know more than I do about Iran agree with Spengler’s account of its predicament?

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If you’re putting together a list of manliness books,
one of Peter Capstick’s hunting memoirs, like Death in the Long Grass, would be in order.

I agree with Spengler’s point to this extent: weak states (like Iran, Syria and North Korea) are often the most dangerous. And his other basic point that Iran is encircled. I do think, however, the Sunni-Shia rifts are over-emphasized in his piece, as they are a great many places. After all, the Syrian regime is not Shi’ite, yet it has thrown in its lot with Shi’a Hezbollah and Iran.

As usual, the Saudis are more than willing to let us do the heavy stuff, while pretending to hold our coats for us. The Saudis and Gulf Arabs have reason to fear their natural rivals, the Persians across the Gulf. They are more than happy to let us sit in Iraq, getting bloodied, and keeping the Iranians off-balance and busy. Oh, I forgot, they’re all supposed to be part of the "Iraq Support Group" fantasy of Baker-Hamilton that’s going to allow us a graceful exit from Iraq, while guaranteeing "stability." Uh, right....

These states are only a menace to us because we’ve refused to do the tried and tested thing, polish them off at our leisure. Had we moved our armoured columns in strength upon the various enemy capitols in question, {by that I mean Tehran, Damascus, Baghdad} not concerning ourselves with who assumed power afterwards, our reputation as a people not to be messed with would be sky-high. But because we’ve embarked upon this neo-cold-war with brittle powers not worth our time or effort, we’ve landed our self in a predicament.

President Bush didn’t have to choose to worry himself about what came afterwards. It’s a particularly American caprice to think that if we invade a country, "we own it," as Colin Powell said. The "Pier One rule:" "You break it, you own it," has no historical validity, other than our action following World War II. But there are other ways to deal with threats, than seeking to establish consensual societies in the aftermath. We simply could have pounded them, and taken our time doing so, and told them, "Don’t make us EVER take notice of you again, for if you do, it’s not going to be tanks moving on you, it will be our missiles, get the picture!"

We are not loved.

We are not feared.

We’re in some dread no-man’s land, where we refuse to make ourselves feared, and we lack the means to make people love us, for they will never love a people more powerful, more successful, more competent, and more sane than they are apt to ever become.

It’s time to end the post-modern delusion, the world is not on the verge of entering a time and a place like that on STAR TREK, NEXT GENERATION. If anything, we’re closer to those religious wars that racked Europe. But whereas those wars were at least between Christians, this war is against a resurgent islam, confident, swaggering, procreating and slaughtering.

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