Philosophical Conversations Public Opinion Junk for code
parliament house.gif
Think Tanks
Oz Blogs
Economic Blogs
Foreign Policy Blogs
International Blogs
Media Blogs
South Australian Weblogs
Economic Resources
Environment Links
Political Resources
South Australian Links
"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

And so the war continues « Previous | |Next »
April 14, 2003

I have been struggling with Michael A. Ledeen's The War against the Terror Masters as a relief from renovations to the electronic cottage and making the shift to a new city pad. Ledeen is a freedom scholar at the American Enterprise Institute think tank. I'm finding the book boring, tedious and deeply disturbing.

What is disturbing is Ledeen's philosophy. It presupposes that human beings are evil and so virtue must be imposed; that winning is everything (might is right), that decisive military action is what is required not diplomacy; that it is best to order the world through the US being feared; and though luck plays havoc with plans, the strength of the US wil overpower the terror masters.

This gives a particular perspective on the Middle East. Ledeen says:

"We should not have left the Middle East battlefield without bringing down the regime of Sadam Hussein. Had we seen the war through to its proper and logical conclusions, and installed a representative government in Baghdad, we would probably not be facing the challenge of the terror masters. We certainly would not have to worry about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction being unleashed on us or other Western countries. "

Well, that was the reason for the war even though little public evidence was ever presented that the terrorists masters ruling Iraq were responsible for 9/11 or stood behind and supported Al Qaedi and Islamic Jehad. The reason doesn't really matter for the neo-cons. It is enough that the regimes in the Middle East are hostile to the US and threaten its strategic interests in the Middle East.

Ledeen then says:

"We must hope that our leaders will not repeat these mistake, and that, once the tyrants in Iran, Iraq , Syria and Saudi Arabia have been bought down, we will remain engaged, just as we must remain active in Afganistan."

The policy is to establish a new regional order in the Middle East through redefining the regional nexus of power. As Ledeen says:

"...the ultimate targets are tyrannical regimes. We will require different strategies in each case. We will need one method and one set of tools to bring down Saddam Hussein, another strategy to break the Assad family dictatorship in Syria, a very different approach to end the religious tyranny in Iran, and yet another to deal with Saudi-Arabia's active support for fundamentalist terrorism and the terror network."

This is what sits behind the Australian neo-cons, such as Christopher Pearson and Miranda Devine, when they advocate the doctrine of pre-emption in opposition to a conservative internationalism. In an article called Syria and Iran Must Get Their Turn, was was written after the book was published in 2002, Ledeen ups the anti in the war talk. His reading of recent events is that Syria and Iran:

'...are coming to kill coalition forces, which means that there is no more time for diplomatic "solutions." The United States will have to deal with the terror masters, here and now....This is the path--the correct path--that President George W. Bush has charted, despite the opposition of so many of his diplomats, and despite the near-total indifference of the Western press to the plight of the Iranian, Iraqi and Syrian people."

So the diplomats need to be shoved aside because "It's time to bring down the other terror masters" as fast as possible.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 10:03 AM | | Comments (0)