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?
I don't expect anyone to be comfortable with it, but I view it as inevitable. As long as we are a foreign occupier/babysitter, there is no incentive for local cultures to take responsibility - nukes seem like a great option for them. In Ahmadinajad's case, I'm pretty damn sure he wants nuclear capability so he can get as much 'aid' for his country as Pakistan.
I don't believe that most believers 'truly' believe - crying so profoundly at funerals being strong evidence. If a country develops nuclear capacity, the population has got to know, instantly, that they have become a target for nuclear annihilation. At that point a leader has to tread very lightly to keep the populace from panicking. The cold war set people over here on edge, imagine what it would do in an Islamic country.
In the end they will have nukes anyway - they are just getting easier to build every year. If Ahmadinijad just wanted to blow something up he could have just bought a nuke from Kim Jong Il - or maybe even Kim Jong Il knows that would be too fucking crazy. We used to be terrified of India & Pakistan getting nukes, with the rampant phrase being "Don't let anyone who believes in reincarnation near the button!" Don't forget that Pakistan fell into the hands of a dictator.
Personally, I think the best defense is identifying who has the nukes and using a seriously overwhelming missile defense shield to make sure they can't actually fire them at anybody. We can't occupy the entire middle east for the next century.
The sanctions frankly don't go far enough and the regime tries to curtail sanctions with offshore fronts but the U.S. and international community is catching up with those quickly. Frankly, we need to block the strait of Hormuz and support the Iranian people the next time during the next massive protests which will happen in the next fake elections there in less than 2-years.
The regime simply right now doesn't have as much money to pay their own thugs therefore there has been some interesting infighting lately. They took away the subsidies from their own people and now it is affecting the workers. The regime can kill the youth who protest but once the workers from the factories start protesting in mass numbers; that will be truly the end for the regime. They can't kill all age-groups in mass.
No, this commentator has noticed something quite insidious creeping into our Western way of reasoning and penetrates most detrimentally into our schools and news media, its all pervasive, a kind of uncritical political correctness mixed with cultural relativism with clear slants toward West-bashing.
I'd argue that being capable of self-criticism at the highest (political) level is actually a good thing. And, assuming that cultures can be rated, what would make Western culture superior to others in my view would have to be precisely this, before anything else. But then it should be no surprise that people disagree on what constitutes reasonable self-criticism, and when it becomes 'uncritical political correctness'. Diversity in opinions is what makes a good debate, and that too is a good thing.
The article referred to is far from an objective assessment of solutions. Even the very first sentence belies the fact that it's more of a finger-pointing blame game than a consideration of tried and true solutions. It encourages emotionalist us vs them, simplistic "people like them" (or was it "people like you"?) pronouncements, intentionally ignorant of the evolution of institutions, governments, economy, and other social processes.
We Americans have been so lucky to have occupied/inherited a resource rich country where we could start with a fresh, liberal democracy, with a constant stream of immigrants with hunger and passion for freedom and success. Then in only the most recent decades, theocracy-oilocracies entrenched themselves as suppliers of our growing energy needs, using their new wealth to enslave their own populations' labor resources and control their population's hearts and minds with religious fundamentalism. You can't just blame the people there for having no hope of freedom under those circumstances, but you also can't just magically dismantle or bomb to hell their governments and institutions (and terrorists) and expect them to reassemble a liberal democracy in only a few years.
There's plenty of blame to go around, but it's absurd to claim there are simple, infallible solutions and all we have to do is stop blaming ourselves. It's also very ego-centric/selfish (and dangerous) to ignore our own mistakes or claim that we've been perfect masters, when most people spend hours a day on pure leisure and entertainment and don't have the slightest clue about world culture other than what we can export.
I should add, Iraq is the prime example of what we do when we think we're perfect and infallible.