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Western Civilisation

Until the advent of materialism and 19th c. dogma, Western Civilisation was  superior to anything Islam had developed.  Islam has not aided in the development of the modern world; in fact civilisation has only been created in spite of Islam.  Proof of this resides in the 'modern' world and the unending political-economic and spiritual poverty of Muslim states and regions.  Squatting on richer civilisations is not 'progress'.  Islam is pagan, totalitarian, and irrational.   

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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

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The Bush Doctrine and Walid Phares

Phares' interesting book which predicted the current uprisings in the Middle Muddled East.

by Ferdinand III

 Phares is a well-known Middle East analysis and political-economy pundit. His website and biography are here. Born, educated, raised and involved in various aspects of political and ideological theologies, Phares brings a unique perspective for Westerners on the events which are now at a boil throughout both the Arab and Persian world views and systems. His book 'The Coming Revolution' foretells the current strife and conflict which is now engulfing the hapless, immoderate, dictatorial regimes which disfigure the states of the Arab-Muslim world, and which in essence enslave 400 million people.

Phares writes from the perspective of the Bush Doctrine. This is why I would encourage people to read this book. It not only lays out the issues which riven, ravage and deform the Arab-Muslim world; but it also gives sound advice based on a mix of realist political theology, aspirational hopes for modernity and representative governance [the word democracy does not apply to modern political structures]; and the liberal use of moral suasion, money and military power as needed.

Four years ago I wrote about the Bush Doctrine and its validity:

The doctrine itself rejects all previously inept and failed attempts to address, appease, rationalise or reason with Islam. For over 50 years, various US policies have tried and failed, to either modernise Islam, contain it, or seek an accommodation with it.

Various 'isms' – realism, liberalism, and internationalism primary among them – were tried and they failed. The Bush Doctrine broke with all past frameworks and adopted a new, and singularly logical plan to deal with Islam – use exogenous force to change radical, terror sponsoring Muslim regimes, their society, and ultimately their culture.

By definition the Bush Doctrine is ineluctably a military-based option. Military power, combined with economics, new pluralist democratic structures, and at some level, a new culture, must or at least has the potential to, refashion the states of the Middle East. It does not require a military occupation of every state, but only the key states which will form the basis for regional-wide change.

The Bush Doctrine is bold and risky – but ultimately right. As Bush said numerous times between 2001 and 2004 – usually on deaf media ears – you cannot wait until threats are imminent. By this he meant that terrorists and fascists usually don't write love letters to their victims identifying the time and place of the next tragic, murderous rampage. They usually just kill and talk later. In a compressed world of lethal weapons of all sizes and shapes, and with inter-continental logistics capability available to even the poorest of states, waiting around until murder strikes is simply an abdication of responsibility and ensures carnage.

The essence of Phares' book is an extension of the Bush Doctrine as stated above. Phares argues quite rightly that we are in a conflict for control of the Middle East and many important Muslim states including Iran. On the one side is  a vision offered by 'radical' Islamists and theocratic Muslim fascists who want a society ruled by Sharia Law, totalitarian despotism and impervious to Western influences. For these fanatics, Iran, Hamas, Hizbollah, Northern Sudan, Southern Nigeria, Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia are models which could be followed. Across the divide stands the 'West' with their natural allies in the Arab-Muslim world which include those parties that advocate plurality, a division of political power, cultural and economic openness, and natural law rights. Phares is adamant that we can win this conflict, much as we liberated Eastern Europe from another Oriental Fascism named Communism.

According to Phares our Western lens is poorly focused on both sides. On the one hand we are lacking a true appreciation and education about what Islam means and represents, and perforce the insidious and terrifying nature of the Jihadi threat. On the other we are dangerously underestimating the determination and devotion of educated people and a large segment of Arab and Muslim youth, who do want modernity, change and openness in the social-political-economy. This is clear from the simple fact that no Western government was prepared for the current region-wide irruption of hostility against entrenched autocracies which has shaken the Arab world to its core and now threatens to topple the Mullahcracy in fundamentalist Iran.

Phares claims that our media, elites and our Western democracies in toto, display an alarming and craven misunderstanding of precisely who opposes a pluralist modern society in the Arab-Islamic world and why. But as events in Egypt have clarified we are also unprepared or unwilling to fund, tutor, aid and support those groups and organizations who reject Islamic theocratic fascism and who do not want Arab National Socialism, or Islamic Statism. As Phares asks do we know where are the anti-Jihadists and the democrats in the Muslim world? Are we really so sure that the Middle East innately rejects democracy, plurality and forms of secularity? Why are we so certain that the peoples of the region prefer the Taliban, the Muslim Brotherhood, or Hezbollah over liberals and seculars?

Good questions. I would answer that we need to fund and educate as we did in the 1970s and 80s in Eastern Europe, all groups who want some form of Westernization. Secondly, there is no doubt that people want better lives in the Middle East and that will only come from Westernizing their societies. Third, as post-wars Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, and now Iraq have proved or are proving, people will adapt to Western mores, institutions and forms of political economy as their specific cultures allow, which will provide them with the tools and the capabilities to improve their collective lives and quite importantly, marginalize fanatics and fundamentalists. This is the great opportunity we now have in Egypt and most likely Iran.

We can say this about Phares' important work. His book, which predicted these uprisings in North Africa and now Iran, and the progress however stultified and slow that Iraq is making towards normalcy and away from 'radicalization' and the support of terror and intra-regional war, also proves that the Bush Doctrine works. This should be accepted as a fact. What is the Bush Doctrine?

In 2005 G. W. Bush, denounced by sophisticates and xBC news pundits and viewers as a hopeless idiot, traveled to Egypt and demanded social, political and economic reforms. This visit was preceded by a number of speeches in 2004 and 2005 in which the doctrine of freedom was clearly laid out, in spite of State Department protests it should be added. Bush demanded that the Western institutions of constitutional division of powers, freedom of speech, a free press, a pluralist political system, and the opening up of the economy to outside trade and investments, be undertaken in Egypt and beyond. It should be emphasized that such lofty ideals, which might be abstract and unedifying at some level, would never find their resonance in any speech of that supposed nuanced, complicated genius the Obamed. For the past 2 years the US administration distanced itself from anything 'Bush', including his freedom agenda. How galling to know that without the US in Iraq, and without a robust set of expectations around social, political, economic freedom, and the rule of law, Egypt and the Arab world would never have risen up to cast off their collective chains. In 2005 Bush stated this:

And when the Middle East grows in democracy and prosperity and hope, the terrorists will lose their sponsors, lose their recruits and lose their hopes for turning that region into a base for attacks on America and our allies around the world.

Simple and correct. The Bush Doctrine works. Change in the decrepit, immoral, poverty stricken and sick Islamic-Arab world will not come solely from internal pressures. Exogenous change including money, support, moral clarity, political power and war is necessary. Iraq in 50 years will resemble South Korea not Saudi Arabia and that is entirely due to the effort and subsidization of the country's recreation by the US military. Egypt if given time, and if money is deployed to democratic agencies, parties, leaders and organizations, will one day come to resemble the mixed Constitution of a more progressive Eastern European state, than the failures one finds throughout the Muslim and Arab world [but of course Arab culture and Islam are the progenitors of the modern world.....]. Phares book, which predicted the important revolutions of 2011 tells the reader why the uprisings are occurring and what we can do to win the conflict with our theological and ideological Islamic enemies, and control the Middle East and the Muslim world. The shortest answer; The Bush Doctrine.


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