Monday, June 18, 2007

Bacevich, Bush, Islam

Gentle Reader, hie thee to this Los Angeles Times link for Andrew J. Bacevich's op-ed piece, "More troops, more troubles," subtitled, "Candidates who call for beefing up our armed forces to deter terrorism show a profound misunderstanding of the Mideast."

Bacevich dismisses calls for a larger U.S. armed force which are being made by many--and, for the purposes of this essay, especially presidential nominee contenders. He calls, instead, for an "alternative" plan to Bush's failed strategy.

Money quote: "To pass muster, any such strategy will have to recognize the limits of American power, military and otherwise. It must acknowledge that because the United States cannot change Islam, we have no alternative but to coexist with it.

Yet coexistence should not imply appeasement or passivity. Any plausible strategy will prescribe concrete and sustainable policies designed to contain the virulent strain of radicalism currently flourishing in parts of the Islamic world. The alternative to transformation is not surrender but quarantine.

Over time, of course, Islam will become something other than what it is today. But as with our own post-Christian West, that evolution will be determined primarily by forces within. Our interest lies in nudging that evolution along a path that alleviates rather than perpetuates conflict between Islam and the West. In that regard, the requirement is not for a bigger Army but for fresh ideas, informed by modesty and a sense of realism."

We cannot delay. We must assist those 21st century Muslims who see the wisdom in modernizing their religion.

We must take to heart the too obvious fact that reform cannot be changed by military threat.

Sphere: Related Content

No comments:

Post a Comment

The courage of your conviction virtually demands your name, if we don't know you.