I have come across a rather refreshing take on the U.S. and Britain foreign policy. Th author points out that countries like Pakistan and others in the middle east like to do a lot of blaming and not enough taking responsibility for their own ills.

Honestly I think he nails it on the head here. When are we going to stop letting them lay it all on the west?


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Honestly, you let them kill each other for a while.  Don't forget that Qutb's first goal was a successful theocracy in the middle east.  The problem is that the extremists who want to set up the elite vanguard to lead such a theocracy also have a habit of declaring each other 'false Muslims', and killing each other.  They also feel it is their duty to kill 'regular' Muslims for being infected with Jahilil (sp?) - a form of 'individualism'.  Perhaps after 2 or 3 generations of that sort of violence the general populace and mainstream Islam would start to police themselves, maybe even ask for some help.  As long as we are their babysitters, however, we only serve to unite them against an external enemy.  Oh - and we should stop selling them weapons.
You might be right, this discussion has prompted me to do a bit of reading, always a good thing. The X-factor I suppose is the nuclear angle, were this 200 years ago it would be quite simple to ignore such regimes but the nuclear threat is not something anyone should ignore.

That is true - but even then the threat needs to be assessed realistically.  For decades the Soviet threat was blown way out of proportion and generations of children got to practice 'duck and cover' as part of their school drills - like hiding under a desk was going to save them from a nuke.  It was never anything more than fear mongering so the military & intelligence community could expand their capacities and arms companies could get huge contracts.  For fuck sakes, they got a senile old president to sign legislation for an outer space defense program named after a sci fi movie.


If we go in and try to police radical Islam it will just go underground and gain in appeal to a young generation feeling their sovereignty has been compromised.  There is no way that sort of policing can be maintained for a century and no reason to think such radical elements would fade away in only a century.  At some point we would have to leave and those elements would rise back up and we'ld be right back here.


Let them build their nukes and focus on the eastern European missile defense system.  If they test their nuke, cut off every damn penny of international trade, cut off every route of goods being shipped.  If they arm a warhead, arm ten.  If they fire a warhead, fire ten back.  MAD - Mutually assured destruction.  They can't blow up the entire world, but as soon as they start trying their own people - the vast majority who have doubts about all the afterlife bullshit - will rise up.  If they won't, then we are fucked no matter what we do.

You are insane. Let them build their nuke and allow a nuclear arms race? Let them build their nukes and allow end-of-the-world regimes who believe in the return of the "hidden imam" and the end of the world to have an opportunity to test their prophecies? With the Soviets we had the concept of mutual destruction. In contrast, some of these Islamic radicals such as those in Iran only wish and dream of a nuclear Apocalypse. There truly is something wrong with you. You demonstrate human life means nothing to you; so don't cry "this many people died in this war etc" when at the end of the day, only anti-west brainwashed brainless thought encompasses your life and morals.
Pakistan was nuclear armed under the dictator Musharraf.  N. Korea is nuclear armed under the dictator and cult leader Kim Jong Il.  China is nuclear armed and awaiting payment on trillions in U.S. debt.  Nuclear armed regimes is the way of the world - stop living in the past and join the 21st century.  In under 10 years the 'war on terror' has killed more people than terrorism has killed worldwide in the last 40 years.  Fatalities are obviously acceptable  - especially when the goal is a stable global political system.
Those regimes aren't religious and make their decisions in this world rather than on some other supposed world. We have liberated two nations and I am proud of our troops for their sacrifices. The demands for democracy and freedom worldwide is a direct result of the liberations of Afghanistan and Iraq. People throughout the world are demanding freedom and it is our duty and obligation as a leader of the free world to assist people for real freedom when freedom calls. Remember, democracies don't go to war with other democracies. It's never happened. Democracies don't support terrorist organizations as well. In your sick world, you would prefer the Afghani people still to suffer under the brutal Taliban and for the Iraqi people to still be under the tyrannical rule of Saddam Hussein. Have some shame.
Saddam wasn't nuclear armed, more civilians have been killed there in the past 8 years than in the last 40 years of terrorism world wide, the financial cost has compromised the resources available for dealing with iran, terrorism has increased and the U.S. lost the biggest oil contracts over there to China - wow, great strategy, Sassan.
@Heather, I'll never say it in Sassan's dissing/hatefilled tone, but I agree that nukes in the hands of fundamentalists means that sanity gets trumped by end-of-the-world scenarios. Russia isn't bent on world domination in the name of their divine leader or deity, nor China (at this stage). But you're still right that the war on terror has started out causing more damage than solutions.

Remember, democracies don't go to war with other democracies. It's never happened.


There's an incomplete list of past wars between democracies here. I could add some more, like the South Ossetian War (Russia/Georgia, 2008) - but you'd probably counter with a 'true scotsman' fallacy (i.e., "none of them are or were real democracies".)

 Democracies don't support terrorist organizations as well.


For the record, the last terrorist organization in history who unambiguously identified itself as such (i.e., 'terrorist') was Lehi. (aka the Stern group.) They even defined what they meant by 'terror' in a famous document (aptly titled 'Terror'.) Not only did Lehi get support from the democratic state of Israel, one of its leaders eventually became Prime Minister here.

Jaume: Simply tell me when was the last time two democracies went to war with each other? Please name me the specific countries and yes, they must fit the true definition of a democracy. Your case was in no way "two democracies";

and I did visit your site, please something recent?? None of those countries provided fit the model of true secular representative democracies.

and I did visit your site, please something recent??


Aha. I note that you claimed that "it's never happened", and now you want "something recent"?


None of those countries provided fit the model of true secular representative democracies.


Aha, at last: something that looks like a definition. Great, that's a welcome and refreshing improvement.


Well, if 2008 is recent enough for you, the CIA World Factbook (maybe you can point us to a more reliable source) presents both Georgia and Russia as republics (or a federation of republics) with representative assemblies and heads of state that are both elected by popular suffrage. 'Representative', 'democracy', check.

Unfortunately the CIA Factbook remains silent on secularism in these countries, but according to Wikipedia, both Georgia and Russia are considered to be secular states. 'Secular', check.

So what remains is the 'true' bit, but that's where the 'true Scotsman' fallacy I alluded to earlier kicks in. I'm afraid noone could check this one without looking biased.


Now, it's true that the Federation of Russia doen't really fit my view of a functional liberal democracy. The point you're trying to defend is known as democratic peace theory in academic circles, but if you look at the article, you'll notice it has critics as well as proponents. Specifically, the criticism I made above holds here:

Research on the democratic peace theory has to define "democracy" and "peace" (or, more often, "war"). Similarly, the main criticism contends that the theory is an example of equivocation, particularly, No true Scotsman fallacy.

Had you said that liberal democracies are far less prone to go to war with each other than any other combination of forms of government, I'd have agreed with you. But making claims like "it's never happened" as if it were undisputable fact, when the claim relies on assumptions that are wide open to interpretation, is well over the top.

I simply can't agree on the nukes angle Heather. I'm not opposed to pulling out militarily from these regions but the more nations with this capacity does not bode well for the earth let alone one single nation. There was a frightening situation, possibly you remember, (I'll look it up if you like) during the cold war, The U.S. launched a satellite probe I believe for meteorological study, Russia was informed about it but apparently there was some confusion and the message was never received also the probe was launched via the same rocket type used by U.S. ICBM's and the trajectory would take the probe over Russian territory during ascent. A last minute phone call difussed the possible devastation. Things like this should be cause for alarm regardless of which country you live in.


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