Friday, October 22, 2004

the long and the short

for those of us in the 'reality-based world,' american foreign policy can't be a combination of 'fortress america' plus an expeditionary ass-kicking force we send out to take down neighborhood thugs. it's got to involve some long-term adjustments in the way we relate to the world.

obsidian wings discusses a WaPost piece on the current administration's viewpoint vis a vis opinions of america in the muslim world:

"Bush and his aides most often deflect questions about recent global polls that have found sharply rising anti-U.S. sentiment in Arab and Muslim countries and in Europe, but one of them addressed it in a recent interview. Speaking for the president by White House arrangement, but declining to be identified, a high-ranking national security official said of the hostility detected in surveys: "I don't think it matters. It's about keeping the country safe, and I don't think that matters."

In what possible world can the fact that large and growing numbers of people in the Middle East hate us not matter? Those people provide terrorists with their recruits. They harbor terrorists, where a population more sympathetic to our aims might turn them in. I would have thought it obvious that in a world in which it is becoming easier and easier to acquire the knowledge necessary to create weapons, and in which it takes only a small number of determined people to cause us serious damage, the ability of terrorists to find disaffected people who hate us, and to work within a more or less sympathetic population, matters enormously. This is, of course, not to say that it's the only thing that matters, or that if we're just nice to all those disaffected people they will leave us alone, or anything. But minimizing both the pool of potential terrorist recruits and the pool of people sympathetic enough to give them cover is clearly one of the things that matters, and I don't think it's at the bottom of the list.

- LH

1 Comments:

At October 25, 2004 at 1:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

MAKE A DIFFERENCE!!

From electoral-vote.com:

From The Los Angeles Times: “Nationwide, at least two polls in the last week showed that newly registered voters favored Democratic presidential candidate John F. Kerry by double-digit margins. The Massachusetts senator holds an even greater lead, the polls found, among voters 29 and younger… The conclusion is that the new voters and younger voters favor Kerry by a large margin, but historically they don’t actually bother to vote. If they do this time, it could make a big difference.

Come on people––your vote is essential!

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