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Go Read This Now - Berman in the NYT

| 80 Comments | 2 TrackBacks

Paul Berman has an oped up in the New York Times that summarizes my position on the election and the current situation in Iraq brilliantly. His concluding sentence:

This is not a project for after the election ... this is a project for right now. America needs allies. Today, and not just tomorrow. And America needs leaders. If the Bush administration cannot rally support around the world, let other people give it a try.

Meet my blogging theme for the next month.

2 TrackBacks

Tracked: April 20, 2004 12:16 PM
Excerpt: We just got around to checking out Paul Berman's much-recommended op ed in last Thursday's New York Times, "Will the Opposition Lead?" Andrew Sullivan called it a "must read," saying "Now is the Democrats' opportunity to re-establish their foreign policy
Tracked: April 20, 2004 12:17 PM
Excerpt: We just got around to checking out Paul Berman's much-recommended op ed in last Thursday's New York Times, "Will the Opposition Lead?" Andrew Sullivan called it a "must read," saying "Now is the Democrats' opportunity to re-establish their foreign policy

80 Comments

A fine pro-Dem theme, but prolly worse than futile. Because virtually any "allies" from the EU, will be aware of the Power & Weakness (? Kagan) issues of rivalry. Bush IS failing, in PR education about the threat of the spread of nukes.
N. Korea has them -- but hasn't used them, yet.
Pakistan has them -- but hasn't used them, yet.

So what if Iran gets them? and then terrorists? Most putative US allies don't care that much about Tel Aviv, anyway -- and it's easier to be a free rider on Israeli defensive pre-emption.

Yes, Bush and the Reps need real competition, but the Angry Left, in the US and the world, ain't gonna be it.

You know, I wonder if the Gorbachev model of democratization could work in Iraq.

- Josh

Bush is hated around the world precisely because he talks of the things Berman accuses him of silence on (fascism, death cults). No Democrat will take Berman up on his challenge, and if they do, they will be rebuked as forcefully as Zapatero rebuked Kerry.

Using the bully pulpit to decry conspiracy theory does little good when conventional wisdom and "mainstream" dialog around the world more closely resembles Indymedia, Ad Busters and Counterpunch than it does DailyKos or Calpundit, let alone WoC.

The [Berlin] Wall may have come down, but the Chomsky crowd has had the last laugh - the cold war is over but the word on the street is the good guys lost.

Berman is a good guy, both a liberal democrat and a Liberal Democrat, proving to my more cynical colleagues on the right that this can be done. But we're more than twelve months behind the PR curve here - more like 12 years.

This is the right stuff. I just wish as a conservative that there was a wing of Republicans within the party ready to step up to the plate to take on this task. Where is the "conservative wing of the conservative party"? Because it sure as heck ain't Bush and co. representing the interests of the average Republican while they're up on Capitol Hill.

It is difficult to follow the logic that the U.S. needs allies, when over 30 countries are already assisting in Iraq. I don't accept the premise that without France, Germany, or Russia, the U.S. doesn't have assistance. For one thing, that unfairly denigrates the efforts being made by allied troops already on the ground in Iraq. And secondly, some allies are not worth having, especially if they come with too many strings attached to be very effective.

I have to agree with OldBull above. Even above and beyond the issue of whether the allies in Iraq are good enough to be considered "real" allies, most people (and I don't know if this is true for Berman) use the phrase America needs allies to mean that the US needs the UN stamp of approval to act. Supposing that the UN was as the idealized view of it holds - an impartial body where nations vote on the merits - there might be a case that this would be a positive. Supposing, even, that the UN was a body that wasn't corrupt - the Oil for Palaces program had a nice kickback scheme, including, apparently, an Iraqi businessman who funded a film by Scott RItter - and dominated by the Arab oil vote - that hadn't coddled dictators around the world while passing fully one-third of its resolutions against Israel (and more in committee) - one could make a case that the Secretary-General's position was meaningful. But given the facts - it's a hard case to make that the UN should be paid attention to.

In the particular case of Iraq (and Syria or Iran), the odds of getting French or German allies is nearly nil, given that the French and Germans have been supplying weapons to Iraq for over two decades - and even contravening UN sanctions to do so. Could it be that those who push for the US to involve the UN more in what it does are holding the US to a standard that they do not hold the French or Germans to? And why would the French agree to attack Iraq, when billions of dollars were kept in French banks because of the Oil for Palaces program?

Kerry brings a large block of strong anti-war voters and Bush haters along as his base. If he's a pro-war president he won't be for long.

Interesting article.

It's worth noting that Pakistan's nukes are most likely dialed into New Delhi, not Washington.

This is crap; and Berman is stupid for suggesting it.

"Now we need allies people who will actually do things, and not just offer benedictions from afar."

And who pray tell, is that? France? Germany? Russia?

C'mon.

Having now read the article, I have to say that I agree with the author:

They [The Democrats] should speak about something more than the United Nations and stability in Iraq. They should talk about fascism. About death cults. About the experiences of the 20th century. About the need for democratic solidarity.

Unfortunately, the odds of the Democrats doing this, and foregoing the "peace" vote, are approximately nil. Where they to do so, myself, and probably many other moderates, would consider voting Democrat.

May I gently suggest that the commenters on Berman's article click through and read the whole thing, rathger than just commenting on the quote that I pulled??

A.L.

For instance, there's this quote:

"I wish the Democrats would follow Mr. Kerry's example and take it a step further by putting together a small contingent of Democrats with international reputations, a kind of shadow government not to undermine American policy but to achieve what Mr. Bush seems unable to do. The Democrats ought to explain the dangers of modern totalitarianism and the goals of the war. They ought to make the call for patience and sacrifice that Mr. Bush has steadfastly avoided. And the Democratic contingent ought to go around the world making that case.

The Democrats ought to thank and congratulate the countries that have sent troops, and ought to remind the economically powerful Switzerlands of this world that they, too, have responsibilities. The Democrats ought to assure everyone that support for a successful outcome in Iraq does not have to mean support for George W. Bush. And how should the Democrats make these several arguments? They should speak about something more than the United Nations and stability in Iraq. They should talk about fascism. About death cults. About the experiences of the 20th century. About the need for democratic solidarity."

A recommendation that seems eminently reasonable, especially in light of successes like Bill Clinton's Doha speech. The problem is, Mr. Berman, that first they'd have to believe it themselves... and a large segment of the party simply does not.

Will America's opposition lead? Don't hold your breath.

Well, I didn't see any substantive proposal in that Berman piece except that the US ought to get more allies in the WOT.

A lot a good that will do!

The problem is there are no potential allies able to help us in a substantive way other than saying, "We really support you guys, too bad we can't help you."

Now why would many do that when its a lot easier and safer to either say nothing or harp and criticize from afar? The US IS the world's policeman and the rest of the free world has allowed that to happen and is content to have the US carry their water.

Not to mention this very excellent quote:

...Terror grows out of something larger an enormous wave of political extremism. The wave began to swell some 25 years ago and by now has swept across a big swath of the Muslim world. The wave is not a single thing. It consists of several movements or currents, which are entirely recognizable. These movements draw on four tenets: a belief in a paranoid conspiracy theory, according to which cosmically evil Jews, Masons, Crusaders and Westerners are plotting to annihilate Islam or subjugate the Arab people; a belief in the need to wage apocalyptic war against the cosmic conspiracy; an expectation that, post-apocalypse, the Islamic caliphate of ancient times will re-emerge as a utopian new society; and a belief that, meanwhile, death is good, and should be loved and revered.

A quarter century ago, some of the extremist movements pictured the coming utopia in a somewhat secular light, and others in a theocratic light. These differences, plus a few other quarrels, led to hatred and even war, like the one between Iran and Iraq. The visible rivalries left an impression in some people's minds that nothing tied together these sundry movements.

We need more clarity like this from America's Democratic Party. Heck, we could even use more of this from the Republicans...

OK then. A.L., I read the article and I have to say I found Berman naive to a fault. Liberal multilateralism is a failed policy. It failed in Rwanda, Zimbabwe, North Korea, and Iraq. The only place where it seemed effective is Bosnia-- and why? Because the conflict was at our "allies" doorstep. How will replacing Bush with an entity deemed more palatable to Europeans help our cause? Unless Europe can be brought to believe that the WoT is also their war, it won't make a damn bit of difference who is in the White House. I think Europe suffers from the same disease as the Democrats-- they hate George Bush more than they love their children.

Twisterella, maybe I'm projecting, but I didn't read a damn thing about 'liberal multilateralism' in the article. In fact, he specifically says:

"And how should the Democrats make these several arguments? They should speak about something more than the United Nations and stability in Iraq."

I'll also suggest that Bush's failure in this war has been in selling it. We will win, when we win, because we are stronger and as determined as we need to be. His job - in fact, right now the only job that matters - is to make sure that we have that determination.

He's doing a crappy job of it.

A.L.

Pardon A.L., but I believe "needing allies" = "liberal multilateralsim". John Kerry and Bill Clinton are exemplars for this policy. My point is, there is no incentive for honest alliance, as long as Europe believes the WoT is America's fight, and not theirs.

A.L. - you are right GWB is doing a very bad job of selling the war. HOWEVER, as a long time Texan resident, I have one idea why which may not have occurred to you: Berman correctly points to the heavy eschatological tone of large segments of modern Islam. Anyone who has spent much time in the Bible Belt knows that there is a LARGE eschatological ferment there as well. Further, the largest growing Christian sects worldwide are at the End Times ™ side of the house. GWB has got to know this. And he may be trying to tread a line between fighting a WoT and starting the 4 Horsemen riding - do we really want millenialists of the three religions of the book fighting the Final War on the Temple of the Mount?

This may seem an unlikely possibility, but I can at least see the reason to let sleeping dogs lie.

As to Berman's other suggestions, I think that many of the commenters overlook the fact that the Axis of Weasels ™ can help us without changing their complete policies. In fact all three have been cracking down harder on islamofascisti, and that is what we really need from them.

A.L., sorry, I should have said I agree with you about the communication problems, and, like I've said before, I don't understand it. Also, I personally believe the Bioethics Council is the most loathesome entity ever created, AND I detest Tony Blair because he is ruining my foxhunting fun. But that doesn't mean I disagree with the Bush/Blair policy in Iraq.

Frankly, I would love for someone to convince me that diplomacy can work in a Hobbesian universe.

Another point.

One of the consequences of the Iraq invasion has been deeper cooperation between the United States and autocratic regimes in Muslim countries. To the extent that we have been "working with allies," we have been working quite closely with intelligence services in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, China, Uzbekistan, etc. But the price of cooperation is a further entrenchment of these regimes, and an excusal of a broader crackdown on liberal elements within these societies.

It seems that this is a Catch-22 situation for us. Break out ties, eliminate our military aid, and the regimes may fall only to be replaced by non-cooperative Islamists. Moreover, we would cut ourselves off from a critical supply of intelligence on terrorist organizations. So what do we do? We can't invade and occupy everyone at once; Iraq alone is costing us dearly.

So how to we solve this conundrum?

Perhaps, in the long term view an opportunity was lost when, in extending NATO to Turkey, we could have sought an independent treaty organization for the region. The allies we need are Egypt, Jordan, Turkey, and the UAE. By giving them a greater role in determining outcomes within the region, we could insist that they provide more troops.

Regardless of all the histrionic baying the President has done about the grave, worldwide threats prevalent in the heart of the Mideast, the threat has always been regional. Without a state sponsor to enable ICBM capability, no power within the region can verifiably threaten the West. For nations such as Saudi Arabia, who clearly foment terrorism and then wring their hands about it afterwards, terrorism simply hasn't been proven reliable as an offensive weapon. Not because of the West's particular stance against it necessarily, but because it has never in its gruesome history amounted to squat in estabilishing objectives.

The Mideast desperately needs modernity and the states that can influence that movement need a prominent seat at the table. A new treaty organization that sublimates our use of superpower would ultimately be less provactive then a series of occupations and an endless show of force.

But the rub may be that any attempt to allow other voices to be heard and represented strikes in the dark heart of those who wish to impose our will on the Mideast.

From the State of The Union: "From the beginning, America has sought international support for our operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, and we have gained much support. There is a difference, however, between leading a coalition of many nations, and submitting to the objections of a few. America will never seek a permission slip to defend the security of our country. (Applause.)"

We need to ask permission to use massive military power in dense urban environments; in destabilizing, even for the short term, far flung regions; in enacting criminal laws and imposing tribunal penalties; in extending democratic institutions. Our legitimacy is at stake and other modernized Islamic states can choose to lend legitimacy if we choose to listen and not dictate terms.

As usual, Wretchard has some good points along these lines. RTWT

Armed Liberal,

May I gently suggest that the commenters on Berman's article click through and read the whole thing, rathger than just commenting on the quote that I pulled??

Touche'. Criticism noted and appreciated; that was my early morning reaction before I got a chance to read it. Nevertheless, my first post addressed an issue that cannot be confronted by modern day Democrats - they have convinced themselves (or at least the public) that believing in the UN and our European "allies" is the course that we should take. Until modern day Democrats decide to face up to these issues, Berman's suggestion would prove impossible for them to implement.

Supposing that Berman is correct and that the Europeans really do believe that the US actions could be appropriately justified but their take on Bush prevents them from doing so. Does it not suggest that Berman's view of the Europeans lacks a degree of nuance? Europeans, apparently, are unable to cooperate with the US if led by a Republican (or perhaps a Bush), though they would otherwise do so. Doesn't that make Europeans a bit of a cardboard cutout for Berman's views rather than independent actors who might have diverging interests (as exemplified by their sales to Saddam up through 2003)?

obelus,

For nations such as Saudi Arabia, who clearly foment terrorism and then wring their hands about it afterwards, terrorism simply hasn't been proven reliable as an offensive weapon.

Read Why Terrorism Works by Alan Dershowitz. Or consider the case of Yasser Arafat, who has a fourty year history of heading a terrorist organization. For thirty of those years, he was openly leading a terrorist organization and was constantly rewarded for doing so. Consider, for example, that only the PLO, of all supposed "self-determination" movements, has an observer seat at the UN.

Terrorism is a surprisingly effective (and cost-effective) measure for achieving political goals, however immoral it is. It is, of course, only effective because it has been allowed to be. This is why, in previous generations, Americans refused to negotiate with the Barbary Pirates and why it is official American and Israeli policy not to negotiate with terrorists. (While this policy is often violated, it demonstrably encourages more terrorism when violated and reduces it when not violated.)

Praktike: Well, this is a conundrum. Based on my previous work experience I can give you some insight into the process. Right now, think tanks are running sims, designing threat matrices and math models looking for "tipping points". We didn't need to tip Libya. We may need to tip Iran, if the theocracy continues to meddle in Iraqi affairs.

Obelus: OK then. You say: "..the threat has always been regional." Wrong, wrong, wrong. Consider Islam from a population genetics point of view. Muslims are the fastest growing religious sub-genome in the world today. Consider replacement in aging European populations-- native populations are not making their replacement rate. Younger and more fertile immigrant muslim populations are changing the demograhics at a ferocious rate. Conversion is also a factor, especially in Africa. In my world view, Islam is both brutally efficent and terrifyingly seductive in the manner that it generates 'reps'.

And I would also say that your argument is destroyed by 911 itself, where the threat was brought to our shores.

Muslims are the fastest growing religious sub-genome in the world today. [...] Younger and more fertile immigrant muslim populations are changing the demograhics at a ferocious rate.

A Muslim religous sub-genome? Wow, that's creepy.

Pardon me, but I disagree with your suggestion that North Africans, Arabs, and South Asians should not have some "changing" effect on Europe. It's a reciprical relationship and they could easily make the same arguement about your, uh.. "sub-genomes" incursions into their "homelands." And Africa is an entirely different situation.

Pushing a paranoid agenda gets us nowhere towards empowering the Islamic left or maintaining a realistic (or even idealistic) coalition, which is kind of the point of this post.

Twisterella -
"Muslims are the fastest growing religious sub-genome in the world today"
I would be interested to see your figures on this, as I have seen good evidence that Christianity is: specifically in the southern hemisphere where S. America, Africa, and Asia are seeing a big upsurge.

SAO: How delightful to see you again! But you continue to misunderstand me. Have you learned nothing since our last conversation?
I should apologize in adavnce for raising these issues, but I do not intend to denigrate any sub-genome. I just want to explain the mechanism.

You say: "Pardon me, but I disagree with your suggestion that North Africans, Arabs, and South Asians should not have some "changing" effect on Europe. It's a reciprical relationship and they could easily make the same arguement about your, uh.. "sub-genomes" incursions into their "homelands." I did not say that-- I implied they WILL have an effect. The only "judgement" I am making is that reps will be generated.

Please explain how Africa is different.

You say: "Pushing a paranoid agenda gets us nowhere towards empowering the Islamic left or maintaining a realistic (or even idealistic) coalition, which is kind of the point of this post." Au contraire, I am the ultimate realist. I can accept empirical data. The data is, Islam is the fastest growing sub-genome, and individual reps are created in three ways: immigration, reproduction, and conversion. I do not say if this is bad or good, I am only saying that it is happening, and therefore Islam cannot be only a "regional threat".

Oscar: You show me yours and I'll show you mine! :-)
Can I email you something?

A.L. - how would you feel about THIS approach from Jim Henley?

A.L.,

Which despots are not supporting America's long term plan to remove them? Tha cads.

Which countries with sweetheart deals with despots are not supporting America. The cads.

I suppose it is all Bush's fault. Just like the lack of support for the British position in 1941 was due to Churchill.

OTOH maybe you have something there.

FYI, all... when twisterella refers to a "sub-genome", she's referring to something that is more of a meme, an identifiable "ideavirus" (as all ideas are).

In this case, the meme is somewhat related to (but not at all restricted to) a genetic/demographic population phenomenon.

This is obviously not a useful concept for a mainstream audience, though it may help analyze the messages one is sending by providing a framework for looking at the problem.

As for "fastest-growing," I have seen material that lists Christianity in that position worldwide - but I can't say for sure if this is true in Africa specifically, given the distorting effects of Christianity's rapid growth in China. I do know, however, that African Christianity is both growing and much more traditional than Amero-European churches. An "Islam vs. the Church Militant" clash of religions is more than slightly possible as a future trend there.

A.L.,

I agree with you that Bush is not doing a very good job of communicating. Why you can see it in the war polling numbers. The war is only favored 2 to 1. Why can't he get numbers like Saddam? Thousands to one.

Currently Americans favor another year or two of occupation.

Evidently Bush has communicated well enough that for a significant number of Americans the war is not an issue up for grabs. It has been decided.

Europe will soon be speaking arabic, just as over a billion in the Islamic crescent now do. Resistance is futile. Kerry knows that, why not Bush?

Oops, Joe, you are right-- I was not including the sleeping dragon in my statistics-- apologies.

Twist- Pardon me for interpreting the words "brutally efficient" and "terrifyingly seductive" as being judgemental.

This is obviously not a useful concept for a mainstream audience, though it may help analyze the messages one is sending by providing a framework for looking at the problem.

Joe, I'm familiar with the general term but "religious sub-genome" doesn't really seem to be in use for any audience, at the moment. Wonder why?

Unfortunately, the "Loyal Opposition" is hardly loyal anymore. While the Democratic Party looks at every issue through the lens of trying to defeat Bush, we have a war on now that must be fought. Having a group of Democrats in a sort of "shadow government" who would try to reach out to our currently estranged allies would be seen by the American people in a very negative light similar to Kerry's foreign endorsements. Could you really see a group of Democratic legislators kissing the asses of our former allies helping out in the war on terror? Unfortunately, France is now more an enemy than an ally. Too bad the Democratic party elites feel such an affinity for european socialists and their failed ideals. As we further our goal and things look up, our earstwhile allies will suddenly grow some cojones and decide that they supported us from the very start. What was that about a strong horse?

That Democrat "Shadow Government" is a good idea. They should start one in their OWN PARTY and fix it before taking on the world's problems though. A whole month of this ? You need a whole month just to explain to how Democrats are really pro-WOT. John Kerry vs Joe Lieberman ? I wish Joe had gotten the nomination, then we'd get to see European leaders dance around as to whether they want to next US President to be a pro-Israel Jew or a Republican.

Vote for Kerry because leaders from countries and organizations that got billions from UNSCAM programs are mad at Bush?

That sure is classic spin from Berman regarding Kerry and his "public appeal to Mr. Zapatero to keep troops in Iraq." Zapatero had just endorsed Kerry and announced his was withdrawing troops. Kerry had to say that to distance himself from Zapatero. Besides I don't think Zapatero has changed his mind, if nothing else he might be pulling Spanish troops out SOONER. So is that an example of Kerry's influence?

I'm tired of hearing about Bush "bungling" the invasion and occupation. Mistakes are and will be made during war. Did Lincoln "bungle" the Civil War? FDR "bungle" WW2? Johnson and Vietnam, Republic of ? Ok, I give you that one. And we all know how well Kerry's ideas for Vietnam were. Nixon's Vietnamization plan delayed Kerry's Vietnam plan for about 2 years.

I hope A.L., you stick to John Kerry and his specific ideas and not the what-if game that Berman is playing. Kerry said on Meet Tim Russert he would do such things as getting troops from Arab and/or Muslim countries as peacekeepers in Iraq. Don't you think that is abit of an empty promise? Read the Iraqi blogs about what they think of that idea and also Kerry should tell which countries he has lined up already (none?) Promising to get troops from those countries such not be tossed around lightly. Bush could promise troops from Mars but somehow I doubt Tim Russert would nod his head and move to the next question.

If the whole reason for voting for Kerry is he will make up with Europe/UN then let's hear some specifics about what we get for voting for Kerry. What troops? From what countries? But I doubt there will be. Leadership on the WOT cannot be decided on vague promises. Kerry needs a Terrorism Misery Index......

SAO: My comments "brutally efficient" and "terrifyingly seductive" are modifiers for the meme enforcement mechanism of Islam, and have nothing to do with the practice or practioners of Islam. As for a religious sub-genome, read Pascal Boyer. I am beginning to think that you have a reading comprehension problem as well as your inability to accept empirical data.

I think it is rude to hijack A.L.'s thread into a discussion of theoretical population genetics. If Joe would like a discussion on this topic, he can make another thread for it.

I still would really, really like for someone to explain to me how diplomacy can function in a Hobbesian universe. Joe, you can call it Twisterella's Answer. :-)

The Democrats ought to assure everyone that support for a successful outcome in Iraq does not have to mean support for George W. Bush. And how should the Democrats make these several arguments? They should speak about something more than the United Nations and stability in Iraq. They should talk about fascism. About death cults. About the experiences of the 20th century. About the need for democratic solidarity.

This is not a project for after the election this is a project for right now. America needs allies. Today, and not just tomorrow. And America needs leaders. If the Bush administration cannot rally support around the world, let other people give it a try.

Actually not a bad strategy; hell, it's just a variant on the classic good cop / bad cop routine. But this strategy presupposes that the good cop and the bad cop have similar strategic objectives. Out here in the real world, Bush's strategic objective is to take the fight to the enemy before the battle spills back once again onto U.S. soil. Despite a few lonely, dissenting voices in their midst, the Democrats strategic objective appears to be all about beating Bush at whatever cost to the WoT and overall national security and then worrying about the consequences after the last vote is counted. While the Democrats should not be accused of succumbing to Stockholm Syndrome, their actions thus far in the election cycle bear a remarkable resemblence to that malady.

Never mind the mind-numbingly obvious fact that most of the potential partners who could possibly bring more than a token amount of resources to bear on the Iraqi conflict have various and sundry incentives for both the conflict and the reconstruction to fail. No amount of diplomatic willy-sucking by Democrats will change this.

Joe K has hit the nail on the head: The problem is, Mr. Berman, that first they'd have to believe it themselves... and a large segment of the party simply does not.

Anybody have any idea how Berman's ideas are being received over at MoveOn or DU or Kos?

I'd make a challenge to my freinds on the left - read Berman's piece as a challenge to the Democrats, not as another club to bash Bush with. How will the Democrats respond?

Berman says: "They should speak about something more than the United Nations and stability in Iraq. They should talk about fascism. About death cults. About the experiences of the 20th century. About the need for democratic solidarity."

The problem is that too many of the Democrat "grassroots activists" hear all such talk as hypocritical misdirection used to justify making war on the brown, non-Christian "Other" and stealing their stuff. In their view, the war on terror is just bogus fearmongering to crush dissent and consolidate the thieving repugnic oligarchy. And I don't believe the "leadership" of the Democratic party can stand up to these views.

The day that Kerry has the guts to bring Leiberman and Gephardt and Biden et al to a MoveOn event, speak the truth about Islamo-fascism to them and risk getting boo'd off the stage, I'll change my mind.

Twisterella- Unless everything you mention is somehow "empirical data" ipso-facto, I'd hesitate to throw around that term so much, as we were dicussing demographic terminology. I believe Oscar was the one who questioned your "empirical data," (none provided yet, actually) I was questioning where exactly, you were going with it.

Speaking as a liberal- I'm sure more of "us" would be willing to back the war effort more fully if there were some sort of evidence that, barring catastrophy, further unilateral action would not be taken until Iraq was stabalized. The project whose goal is a free and stable Iraq is a good one- one I am happy to support. Unfortunately it is one that is difficult to detach from Bush/Cheney 2004 and a very political domestic presidency. If there was some sort of way to put all the domestic issues aside and put a few more level heads into the administration, I think we would see the beginnings of a "loyal opposition" forming soon enough.

Until then I think what we have politically, is rather broken, almost in the same sense (but not degree) that the Iraqi polis is broken. The fact that I, and many other Democrats are unwilling to put down our partisanship, even though it is in our interests to do so, shows this.

SAO: Unfortunately it is one that is difficult to detach from Bush/Cheney 2004 and a very political domestic presidency. Whose fault is that? Is it the Republican's fault that the Democrats as a party have demonstrated very little support for a free and stable Iraq?

The fact that I, and many other Democrats are unwilling to put down our partisanship, even though it is in our interests to do so, shows this. OK, so how should those of us on the right help convince you to stop cutting your nose of to spite your face? Seriously!

Perhaps I misunderstand but I think SAO is proving my point rather nicely. Berman's piece falls on deaf ears.

I agree with you Lewy, but I don't think it helps one bit to blame the problem on the leftists, or on George Bush for that matter. We've got "infotainment" networks and "Crossfire/Hannity & Colmes" shows that turn politics into a fiasco worse than the WWF. People are being partisan for the sake of being partisan on the left and the right, leading to a rise in dogmatism in general.

If you're going to convince more people like me that it's time to back the war effort than there needs to be some fundamental, tectonic shifts happening on BOTH sides of the aisle. Whether that means creating some sort of consociational agreement at the top or simply detaching the war agenda from the domestic agenda as much as possible so that people can unite, I don't know (granted, I don't know if that IS possible).

Unfortunately, I see the blogosphere in general as moving in the opposite direction of any sort of agreement or entente necessary for this.

SAO: I agree with you Lewy, but I don't think it helps one bit to blame the problem on the leftists, or on George Bush for that matter.

There's plenty of blame to go around. I'm quite willing to refrain from pointing fingers.

If you're going to convince more people like me that it's time to back the war effort than there needs to be some fundamental, tectonic shifts happening on BOTH sides of the aisle.

I think this is happening. It needs to happen. If we don't "detatch the war agenda from the domestic agenda" we're going to lose. I vote Republican because I believe in less government, less taxes, more freedom. I distrust government initiatives and programs. If I vote for Bush it will not be because of his domestic program but largely in spite of it. Hannity et al are prima facie asshats.

The wingnuts on both sides of the aisle however are not going to move. The leadership of both parties plays too much to the wings and not enought to the middle.

Regarding partisanship, I think that the 2002 election resulted in basically the end of all cooperation for cooperation's sake.

And I would say that governing domestically with a 50+1 legislative strategy is not exactly a recipe for bipartisanship.

Bush really could reach out rather than use the war as a political club.

Twisterella's Answer: "Diplomacy is the art of saying 'nice doggie' until you can find a rock."

"I still would really, really like for someone to explain to me how diplomacy can function in a Hobbesian universe. Joe, you can call it Twisterella's Answer. :-)

SAO: OK then. The empirical data you rejected was my post on Al-Sadr at LGF, that we recently discussed. First, you tried to say it was a comment, not a post, and then you tried to discredit my sources, rather than accept that it disproved your theses.

Empirical data is what you can observe.

I am sending Oscar some statistics. How would I provide empirical data?

O Joe, that was lovely! May I admire you?
But now, can someone please tell me how we transform our current Hobbesian universe into a Lockeian one?

Oscar - I think Jim Henley's approach is truly stupid, and you can quote me on that. I will blog about it if I get some time today or tomorrow.

This isn't the 19th Century.

Kevin Drum has actually made a damn interesting post on this divisiveness (yeah, he's more partisan than I am, but the root of his comment is, I think, right on).

A.L.

Berman says "Entire populations around the world feel a personal dislike for America's president, which makes it difficult for even the friendliest of political leaders in some countries to take pro-American positions."

True, in part. But I suspect a honeymoon with Kerry would be brief.
Part of the antipathy to Bush is based on perception of him as right-wing ideologue.
But also Bush is blamed for a variety of policies which Kerry would be unlikely to be able to reverse e.g. on International Criminal Court, Kyoto, land mines, chemical weapons, ABM Treaty abrogation.
For instance, it is an almost universal perception in the UK that Bush personally vetoed Kyoto; tell someone that the Senate under Clinton had already rejected it and the reaction is a almost disbelief.
(Hardly anyone appreciates that Senate votes are needed to ratify treaties, or the problems of constitutional obstacles to ICC etc.)

It is also interesting to contrast 'liberal' attitudes to Iraq with the Kosovo crisis and attacks on Serbia:
partly due to perceptions of Bush and Clinton.

But also because Serbia was European; Middle East is 'Third World Other'; hence the problems MUST be rooted in poverty, oppression by Western supported autocracy, exploitation and so forth.

Additionally it is very difficult to persuade anyone to see the Middle East except through a distorting prism of perceptions of Arab/Israeli conflict.
Particularly on the Left: Palestine has become the last of the 'Great Causes' of the Left (following South Africa, Central America, Chile, Vietnam).

Despite this, I believe certain Americans might be able to do a good deal in educating European public opinion. Bill Clinton in particular. And Colin Powell could probably do rather more in this line than he has, I think

Oscar: "GWB is doing a very bad job of selling the war."

M Simon: "I agree with you that Bush is not doing a very good job of communicating..."

There seems to be an implicit assumption here: that Bush thinks about the war in ways similar to the ways you guys think about the war, but he's simply not expressing it on camera. I think that's an irrational assumption.

I think most of you agree that Bush handled the war differently than you would handle it, and that he spoke about it differently than you would speak about it. But if somebody behaves different from you, and says things that you wouldn't say, why would you assume that he thinks like you? I believe that what he says and what he does reflect what he thinks. In other words, I think that what you perceive as a "failure of communication" is based in the fact that Bush simply doesn't think about this war the same way you do.

Which raises the question: how does he perceive the war? Why did he do it? What are his goals, an more importantly, are they compatible with yours?

I know a lot of you perceive Kerry's strategy as imperfect. I understand Kerry's rhetoric correctly, he plans to install a dictator similar to Karzai. He will choose somebody respected by the Iraqi people and who cares deeply about them. He will do this as quickly as possible and then pull out. Then, Kerry will help this dictator gradually liberalize the country until it's ready for elections (what I called the "Gorbachev model" of democratization above). I know it's not as appealing as immediate Democracy. But it may be substantially more realistic, given the circumstances. I think, in the long run, it may be compatible with your goals.

- Josh

Correction to my post: perhaps "dictator similar to Karzai" was a confusing comment. Karzai isn't really a dictator. What I meant by the comparison is that Karzai is a man who's obviously committed to the liberalization and democratization of Afghanistan. He's somebody who clearly cares.

Oh, you were referring to the other thread! Ok, Twisterella, in that case you are correct, I was obsfucating in the face of your empirical assesertion- you proved me wrong about LGF commenters and I should have admitted as much then. I stand corrected.

Must admit I'm a bit biased against folks who advertise themselves as empiricists or positivists. Locke is very important here in the U.S., but he leaves us woefully unarmed against fascism or Islamicism, "No man's knowledge here can go beyond his experience." While ostensibly an arguement for empiricism, his pigeon-holing of reason really feeds into the hands of the relativists, as it is difficult or almost impossible to make value judgements when one is confined to "sense-data."

Ariel:
"the odds of getting French or German allies is nearly nil."
But if (BIG if) Germany could be won over, France would be a lot easier to deal with.
I disagree that Germany is motivated primarily by commercial gain; it is a problem of popular politics. The inclination toward pacifism is extremely strong in Germany (for which I am duly grateful) and so, since reunification, is a vague desire for a more assertive policy.
Assertive for 'peace'; bingo!
German blogger Hans ze Beeman has some interesting thoughts on German opinion. http://cumgranosalis.blogspot.com/2003_10_19_cumgranosalis_archive.html#106670571807369491

Schroder's political problems have meant a need to generate appeal especially on the left, but it might just be possible to have an effect on German opinion.
France is different: far less motivated by domestic politics, more by combination of grand strategy, permanent urge to be awkward and poke America, elite commercial considerations.
But as it's grand strategy is based on wooing Germany, for adherence to a Paris-led foreign/security policy, and for intra-EU matters, anything that can persuade Berlin to be more cooperative will drastically reduce France's motivation to antagonise the US.

Twistarella:
"as long as Europe believes the WoT is America's fight, and not theirs"
Partly, and why persuasion is needed. European states will cooperate on the intelligence/policing side; but civilisational modification? Almost certainly not, and that's critical. Here Germany has no real ideas of its own. Unless it can be persuaded otherwise, Germany will trail along behind France saying "me too"!

obelus:
"Opportunity was lost when, in extending NATO to Turkey, we could have sought an independent treaty organization for the region"
Not exactly. Around the time Turkey was included in NATO in 1952 IIRC
Baghdad Pact/CENTO of Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, UK, USA.
That didn't work out very well.

In general a treaty organization including 'moderate' Arab/Muslim states looks like more of a problem than a solution; international structures are not going to be a substitute for internal reform.
If we could get both, that would be wonderful, but for instance, Egypt as an ally? I fear the 'benevolent autocracy' may not be so interested in fundamental change, at least as things stand.

This article is of interest along these lines. I agree with this rather chilling thought:
"But there have been many instances in Western history where patience has been exhausted suddenly and merciless, ruthless responses undertaken. The Arab way of war could yet reap this whirlwind for the Middle East if attacks by assassins go too far. History suggests this line will not be known, or even articulated, until after it is crossed. This is one of the difficulties with dealing with democracies that opposing political systems have problems comprehending."

Josh - I mean GWB has not sold the war, because he has not made it clear to me what he wants, and how he means to get it. Also, I do think he needs to rally the country more than he has, and if he is not a good speaker, what are speech writers for?

On the other hand, I can see where he might want to play some things close to the vest for reasons of strategy, and I can accept a certain amount of fog in the mix.

On the gripping hand, I think a little clarity about consequences might help some in the Middle East to get a clue.

The reluctance to resist temptations to exploit the present situation for political advantage is, unfortunately a fairly well spread tendency; in Germany, in the US, in the UK.

For example -
It's probably not very well known in the US that in addition to the Left (and LibDems, however they get categorised these days), Tony Blair's position on Iraq has also been criticised (if less stridently) by some influential elements in the Conservative Party.

Some on principle, most on the basis of "anything to bash Blair".
Conservative leader Michael Howard has usually been sensible, but the man just can't resist having a swipe at T.B. sometimes; he does have tendency for opportunism at times.

There's a good article on this tendency, in particular in the influential pro-Tory newspaper the Daily Mail, by a perceptive conservative commentator Michael Gove in this weeks Spectator. (www.spectator.co.uk - needs registration, and direct links are screwy)

Also, there is a strong 'pro-despot realist' tradition in the Foreign Office re. the Middle East. Also among sections of the Conservative Party.
It looks likely that the top Brit in Iraq, Greenstock, may have inclined a bit this way, and in any case fell out with Bremer.
So he's gone.

But the Conservatives have attacked Blair for ditching him. It plays up tensions between Blair and the media left, and Labour antis.

It would be a good idea if the Administration and/or senior Republicans could talk privately with senior Conservatives they have good connections with about this.
Likewise, Blair could do worse than try to find some trustworthy New Labour insiders to talk very disreetly with senior Democrats they have contacts with.

There are an awful lot of people who really don't regard the entire matter as seriously as they should. It appears to me that even some who say things about a 'war' don't seem to fully grasp the implications, or don't regard it as 'really' a war.

SAO: Bravo! There may be redemption in you yet. That was very gracious.

But the Lockean universe I'm postulating is a place where diplomacy would work, and work well. I just don't know how we get there from here.

Now, I need to go get Oscar's data, if you will excuse me, a toute a l'heure.

Re: Armed Liberal's post - can we please not re-elect a Texan for quite a while? Or any Southerners for that matter? As far as the rest of the world is concerned, they live on another planet.

"twisterella" -- I cannot understand your denigration of "liberal multilateralism" -- since when was needing or having allies a shame? America has always had allies and always will and that's a good thing. If you use liberal to refer to Democrats, then how do you explain the allies Republicans (Bush and Reagan) had and sought before them? As Blair made clear yesterday, allies ally with America, regardless of party. "Giving up and going alone" is the dumbest thing we could try to do especially as globalization is in our best economic interest. Besides, our good business sense would never allow it -- try to have that good business sense seep in to your foreign policy brain too. Too much flaky concepts and not enough reality can make for a hard fall.

I've heard a lot about Bush's "failure" in selling his agenda world-wide, but I'm still unimpressed. I just do not believe the implicit assumption that for every product/target audience combination there exists a successful marketing strategy.

The criticism here is ostensibly that a better marketing strategy exists than the one Bush is using right now. I'm agnostic on that point--while I admire Bush, he and his advisers are mere mortals, and as prone to mistakes as any others. What I expect of them is to not make the same mistake twice, be open to alternatives, and make tomorrow's approach better than today's, if only marginally.

I think that Berman, among others, is being too clever by half. The reason diplomacy did not bring the French onto our side before the liberation of Iraq was because the French had been bought by Saddam, and the French government's fundamental political goals are antithetical to ours. When I have Goal A, you have Goal B, and A and B are mutually exclusive, diplomacy between us will fail unless either you or I abandon our goal. In this situation, getting the French to abandon their goals may have taken the credible threat of military regime change in Paris. Since making that threat would have been problematic, for obvious reasons, we were left in a position without sufficient leverage to alter this dynamic. This had nothing to do with Bush--assuming Gore, Kerry, or any credible alternate President had had the same political objectives as Bush, they would all have been forced to liberate Iraq without French support.

Berman may simply be naive, but what this looks like is an attempt by the opposition to set a bar of achievement that CANNOT be met. Back in the real world, I'm more confident that the doable is being done, and pipe dreams are being ignored.

"May I gently suggest that the commenters on Berman's article click through and read the whole thing, rathger than just commenting on the quote that I pulled??"

I made an early comment that I found the article "interesting." That suggests I read it.

Its best parts came early. It ended with the author in Disney Land.

First, I disagree that the Democratic party has yet to express itself clearly on the subject of the WoT. The primaries made it absolutely clear. Berman just doesn't like what he's hearing and is looking for a different answer.

Kerry is shrewdly treading an extremely narrow line. If he doesn't adhere to the party orthodoxy, his base will bail on him. If he states the party orthodoxy too clearly, he'll lose any support from the center that he's got. He can't win without some support from moderates.

Second, any discussions of further internationalization of the war in Iraq founder on a single issue: force readiness. It's my understanding that Germany, in particular, has no significant ability to field more troops. And there's no domestic willingness to increase military spending.

The Russian army doesn't even have enough to eat for goodness sake. Does anyone have any knowledge of French readiness particularly in the area of special ops?

I read Jim Henley's position linked above. Bottom line: it's isolationism and wishful thinking. Both of those are fine old American traditions, but not, I think, a winning formula. GWB is not immune to wishful thinking FWIW.

Folks, if I had any confidence that a Kerry administration would take a firm hand on the WoT, I'd vote Democrat--I'm a registered Democrat. But it's not just Kerry--it's the folks he'll bring with him. It's bound to be a Massachusetts mafia.

Sam Barnes:

The reason diplomacy did not bring the French onto our side before the liberation of Iraq was because the French had been bought by Saddam, and the French government's fundamental political goals are antithetical to ours

Actually, the evidence seems to suggest that the French were willing to give tacit approval for the war in Iraq so long as the U. S. did not seek a second resolution. Tony Blair's insistence, probably for domestic political considerations, seems to have gotten us where we are today WRT the U. N.

John Farren:

In general a treaty organization including 'moderate' Arab/Muslim states looks like more of a problem than a solution

And let's not forget that Pan-Arabism is alive and well in the region. It's written into the constitution of nearly every state that's even a large fraction Arab.

Okay, this one's got me baffled.

Agreement in Fallujah
Dan Senor announced that an agreement had been reached between the Coalition and leaders in Fallujah. The cease fire will continue, under the following terms:

Coalition:

Will allow unfettered access to the general hospital in Fallujah;

*Will allow removal of the dead;

*Will extend the curfew to 9 pm (it is now set at 7 pm) to permit religious exercises; and

*Will allow 50 families per day to gain access to the city.

The leaders of Fallujah agree:

*To turn over illegal arms (for which they will not be prosecuted, if they turn them over voluntarily); and

*Permit regular patrols by joint Coalition and Iraqi security forces patrols.

from No Left Turns

"And let's not forget that Pan-Arabism is alive and well in the region. It's written into the constitution of nearly every state that's even a large fraction Arab."

And who wrote those constitutions? And are they being followed? Have they not been eroded and amended by whatever dictator controls a particular country.

This is not 1945-1957. That's ancient history. The concerns faced in Afghanistan and Iraq had nothing to do with Pan-Arabism. Ancient history. See the widely quoted Sunday article in the San Francisco, the interview of King Abdullah.

More important, for example: there's a whole generation of children, beginning in the early 1980's, living in Lebanon and Palestine, whose only teachers have been members of Hamas, the primary source of free education (don't know if they still also provide free lunch).

That group of impoverished students in all those schools in Pakistan from which the Taliban recruited members are still there, still teaching the same things.

Appears to me the Liberals in the Democrat party are going to shoot it in the foot again. BTW, Berman's book is also "interesting" but he seems to be in a time warp as regards the future. Possibly he didn't realize how strongly his Liberals would oppose the war. I doubt it. Am about ready to write him off as a sophist.

This article presupposes that the "rest of the world" is just waiting for a rational argument from the U.S. to follow us in the war on terror in Iraq. But the "rest of the world", which in this case really means France, Germany, and Russia, don't want to follow us for their own political reasons. Frankly, I don't give a flying f*** what France, Germany, or Russia thinks. They sure as hell don't care what I think.

I'm in the middle of reading "An Army at Dawn," which is about the beginning of America's effort in WWII in Europe. And wouldn't you know it, we had to fight the goddamn Frogs in North Africa before we could fight the goddamn Krauts. Some things just never change. Screw 'em.

ABC AKA the liberal multilateralist:

Exactly what allies do you think we're missing? We're all aware Senator Kerry speaks French, but do we really have any use for one of the more mediocre armies in Europe, not to mention the quality of that country's government?

The Russians? Who's going to pay their troops' salaries? That seems to be a problem at present (and skipping uniforms, ammo etc. let's move on...)

The Germans? I quite agree. They have a good army that we paid for and are still supporting with our prescence in their country, troops we could probably use to help with the rotation of our own.

Do you really think all we need is a nice bunch of UN peacekeepers? Right now we're still trying to get the UN to set up an office again in Iraq. Perhaps they might bring their own troops with them this time? Perhaps they might provide some cover for the Canadians and Germans who had better send their best combat units because Iraq shows no signs of needing "peace keepers" any time in the immediate future. We have 30 other countries presently involved.

Why do we never get a list of these countries we "need" to help us out in Iraq? It strikes me that Yanks, Brits, Aussies, and others are presently doing an excellent job. World opinion or E.U. opinion? Wouldn't they get a bit excited if we pulled present U.S. and other troops out of Bosnia, Kosovo, and, among other places, Germany as mentioned earlier?

Or perhaps we need to wait a few years for all this nasty business of bribes and kickbacks to E.U. members from the U.N. supervised Oil for Food program? I vaguely recall that Freance and Russia are presently somewhere near the top of the list of those who received "benefits" while Iraqis starved and the US and UK were blamed.

Berman's op-ed is indeed a creative polemic attempting to rationalize support for a Democrat (any Democrat) ... but totally divorced from reality.

The notion that a Democrat President (particularly one named Kerry) could implement the policy outlined there ignores the fact that the Party has become the home of appeasement and compromise. In a recent poll 44% of Democrats agreed that the U.S. should simply withdraw from Iraq and let the U.N. "handle things". That is not a Party that has any chance at all of leading a successful war on global terrorism.

And, incidently, the assumption that the world "hates" President Bush is silly... nothing more than a projection of the hatred of partisan Democrats who cannot believe that this "rube" beat them .. and has shown national leadership not seen since the days of FDR and Reagan.

When Clinton was President, I grant that he too tried to get a harder line on Iraq through the UN. The foreign leaders liked him a lot better-- but Russia and France (among others) still wouldn't change their policy on Saddam and Iraq. They still continually voted to lift the sanctions, frustrated the inspections, developed business relationships under Oil-For-Food and signed contracts for oil rights after the sanctions were lifted and so on.

Of course, one reason that they liked Clinton a lot better was that he wouldn't invade Iraq without UN (and hence their) permission.

You're not going to get countries like France and Russia to radically change their foreign policy for trivial reasons. They're a lot more rational and cold-blooded about it. Let's get it straight-- France and Russia were going to oppose precisely the type of plans that you favor with Iraq, A.L. With Clinton, they did it more quietly-- but only because he refused to press the issue when they opposed him.

There was and is NO possible choice of a president who can get France and Russia to magically go along with him on Iraq (and many other countries). Ditto with the descendents of the same European left who were involved in CND, voted for Communist parties throughout the Cold War (and still do-- Zapatero's coalition in Spain depends on Communisty votes for its majority), etc.

The choice is how far the president is willing to go to upset countries like France, Russia, and others in order to pursue a foreign policy that you appear to approve of. Yes, sometimes antagonizing other countries less is useful-- but you do have to give up strategic goals to get there.

Clinton wanted to do more on Iraq, give him credit, but he stopped because of French and Russian opposition. A policy designed on pleasing all our allies as much as possible is a policy that will treasure "stability" above all things-- which is exactly what Kerry said recently, that he would settle for a "stable Iraq ... whether or not that's a full democracy."

Unfortunately, most countries in this world, including most allies, treasure stability over democracy or freedom. You can't have simultaneously a foreign policy that avoids antagonizing allies and promotes democracy.

I think that there's room to call for revaluating the Saudi relationship and disengaging (I'm very glad that we've pulled our troops out of that country), but I don't trust anyone whose prime concern is stability and not upsetting our allies to actually considering changing that relationship. (I am amenable to a policy that decides to take on declared enemies first while slowly changing the situation to render the Saudis less indispensible. But that requires the kind of radical changes that Bush is doing now.)

Josh,

My point about Bush being a poor communicator was sarcasm. With his support increasing politically, what ever he has said has supported what he has done. And vice versa.

The essence of good communications is not the quality of the oratory. It is: do the actions match the words.

Bush is doing quite well in that respect.

AL:

Why are you paying so much attention to what some American liberal writes in a newspaper? It's not important what he wants. It's important what the Iraqis want, or rather, a majority of them.

How would you feel about the war if Iraq becomes a theocracy along the lines of Iran? John Burns reported on Charlie Rose yesterday night and said that he has no doubt this is what Sistani wants.

JS

ABC: I was referring to liberal multilateralism as defined by Dr. Charles Krauthammer. We talked about this at length in the Amy's Answer thread. Krauthammer defines the four great schools of American foreign policy.

Dave Schuler,

"...the evidence seems to suggest that the French were willing to give tacit approval for the war in Iraq so long as the U. S. did not seek a second resolution."

I had not heard this before. Could you explain why the "second" resolution was a make-or-break issue from the French strategic perspective? I'm drawing a blank as to why it would be.

Oh, I agree with your analysis regarding Blair, by the way.

America needs leaders who will concern themselves with the needs of Americans and no other country, and who will avoid grand delusional
schemes to remake the failed and ignorant of
the world.

Hey, wantthe$87billionback -

Personally, I want the $100B back that 9/11 caused us, along with the 3,000 people we lost...

A.L.

twisterella:
Diplomacy 'worked' in the more-or-less Hobbesian environment of c.1648-1939; and for that matter during the Cold War in a somewhat modified fashion.
But only insofar as everyone knew that behind it was always the option of recourse to force. And there was by the end of the period much greater potential damage if major war broke out.

Diplomacy that reliably prevents this is another matter, and one that became increasingly imperative with the sucessive steps up the ladder of total warfare i.e. Revolutionary/Napoleonic, WW1, WW2, potential nuclear war. And now, the still wider proliferation of WMD potential.

To reduce this risk requires, as you put it, a transition from 'Hobbesian' to 'Lockeian' conditions. This has happened in Europe; with possibly unfortunate side-effects on some Europeans perceptions of the rest of the world (the Kagan thesis, of course).

I would say that it requires:
1) a more or less 'Lockeian' internal polity
2) a perception that relations with a particular set of other states is 'non-zero sum' and/or
3) an sense that conflict is too risky (Utilitarian? hey, hello Bentham! Please shut the door before Hegel squeezes in!)

The first two may not necessarily be inseperable, but I suspect the second is more likely if the first is the case. The third of course can work as deterrence in any context where participants are resonably rational, and the power balance is operative.

The problem is if people or states attempt to extend policies suitable for a 'Lockeian' situation to one where it does not apply, by contending that 'dialogue' or 'international institutions' can magically transplant the required attitudes. See the UN, etc. etc.

I think the course we are currently following in the Islamic world is an attempt to foster, if possible, Lockeian style internal systems, and failing that to at least instill a healthy perception of the benefits of rationality in international policy.
The question is, of course, can either be made to stick in societies whose cultural basis include a large inclination towards Hobbesian internal politics, and non-rational world-views?

Trying to acheive a Lockeian end by Hobbesian means? (With Macchiavelli as a consultant?)

"Definitions confine thoughts, they are a myth,
Words are clumsy, language doesn't fit"

Second thoughts won't bring the dead back. You are complicit.

John Farren: O, too perfect! Thank you for my answer-- Macchaiavelli as the consultant! It could work!

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