Monday, October 25, 2004

Brzezinski: How to Make New Enemies

A good piece that accurately descibes the problem:
Both candidates have become prisoners of a worldview that fundamentally misdiagnoses the central challenge of our time. President Bush's 'global war on terror' is a politically expedient slogan without real substance, serving to distort rather than define. It obscures the central fact that a civil war within Islam is pitting zealous fanatics against increasingly intimidated moderates. The undiscriminating American rhetoric and actions increase the likelihood that the moderates will eventually unite with the jihadists in outraged anger and unite the world of Islam in a head-on collision with America.
Brzezinski then proposes a comprehensive plan for turning the Middle East around:
... the best way to influence the eventual outcome of the civil war within Islam is to shape an expanding Grand Alliance (as opposed to a polarizing Holy Alliance) that embraces the Middle East by taking on the region's three most inflammatory and explosive issues: the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the mess in Iraq, and the challenge of a restless and potentially dangerous Iran.
Unfortunately, the combined right-wing and pro-Israel bias in U.S. politics will make this plan politically impossible for years to come, even if Kerry wins. Unless he proves to be as good of a political manipulator of public opinion as Bush is. That's not likely though. Persuading a nation requires a leader who subscribes to a simple vision with a deep and honest conviction. For all his good instincts and bravery (yes, I think the anti-war protests were actually brave) Kerry does not seem to be a man with a clear vision for the future. Certainly not a simple vision.

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