Wednesday, March 02, 2005


A Glorious Catastrophe?

David Ignatius, writing in the Washington Post, says its hard "not to feel giddy, watching the dominoes fall."

It is one of the crowning ironies of this purple-fingered revolution, that we finally have a situation in our foreign policy where a calculated move against one threat creates a "domino effect" that disrupts and eventually destroys a larger dysfunctional system.

The "dominoes" that dominated attention throughout the Cold War proved stubborn. The Soviet Union, China, and the lesser dominoes found ways to maintain control over sometimes indifferent populations. "domino theory" became a term of disparagement, bespoke a naivete or crudeness of perception. Like trying to apply the lessons of some children's game to the intractable challenges or realpolitik.

Well, now. We read startling commentary that suggests American Idealism is Pragmatic. Practical. Does the job it needs to do to make the world better, safer.

Consider this. True democracies are inherently better (more peaceful and cooperative) neighbors, this is being demonstrated in the social sciences. Now imagine, if we treat others as we wish ourselves to be treated, would that make the world safer? Lastly consider, isn't this the way America has (for the most part) treated the rest of the world?

For those that doubt this proposition, pick 95% of the countries on earth. Would the level of violence and chaos be less or more if all those countries resembled the United States of America?

Ignatius concludes:
There's no stopping the Middle East's glorious catastrophe now that it has begun. We are careening around the curve of history, and it's useful to remember a basic rule for navigating slippery roads: Once you're in the curve, you can't hit the brakes. The only way for America to keep this car on the road is to keep its foot on the accelerator.

(David didn't say it, but Michael Ledeen would: "Faster, Please!")

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