Indiana in peril!
By STEPHEN J. SNIEGOSKI
The neoconservatism espoused by Richard Perle is the hard-core, XXX-rated, 200-proof variety. It's too extreme for the U.S. government to adopt in all its details, but it can serve as a guide for policy. It is an archetype an ideal form. Actual policy, which must deal with political realities, can only approximate it.
Perle and his co-author David Frum lay out this archetypal neoconservatism in their new book An End to Evil: How to Win the War on Terror (New York: Random House, 2003).
"Ending evil," of course, is a very large undertaking, not yet performed by God. Worse yet, the evil Perle and Frum describe is one that could not be openly acknowledged by an American politician.
Jim Lobe, writing in the Asia Times, reports:
In what they call a "manual for victory," the two authors, both resident fellows at the American Enterprise Institute, describe an extremely dangerous world in which the greatest current evil, "militant Islam," can be found everywhere from "Indonesia to Indiana" (not to mention "in some remoter areas of Venezuela," Paraguay, Brazil and northern Nigeria) ... The stakes could not be higher.
Militant Islam "seeks to overthrow our civilization and remake the nations of the West into Islamic societies imposing on the whole world its religion and law," write the authors. ("Neo-conservatism, hardcore," January 13, 2004)
With this dangerous all-pervasive Islamic threat, "There is no middle way for Americans," Perle and Frum warn. "It is victory or holocaust."
With their emphasis on fighting militant Islam, Perle and Frum reveal that the oft-alleged goal of establishing democracy in the Muslim world is, at best, a secondary neocon policy, which must take a back seat when it conflicts with fighting Islamic radicals. Democracy cannot be allowed if to cite Lobe again that means "empowering Islamic radicals, as [Perle and Frum] make clear in yet another directive: 'In the Middle East, democratization does not mean calling immediate elections and then living with whatever happens next.'"
Since elections in any Islamic country would always risk the empowerment of Islamic radicals, it seems that Perle and Frum basically would prohibit democracy in the Middle East.
If radical Islam were the major foe, why would the United States have overturned Saddam? The Perle/Frum idea of radical Islam is so broad as to include Saddam who was radical Islam's major enemy! It is apparent that to Perle and Frum the real enemy is not radical Islam but Muslims and Arabs who are hostile to Israel.
Of course Perle and Frum portray Israel's war on the Palestinians as part of the "war on terrorism." They recommend that the United States "cease criticizing Israel for taking actions against Hamas and Hezbollah (or similar groups) analogous to those the United States is taking against al-Qaeda. The distinction between Islamic terrorism against Israel, on the one hand, and Islamic terrorism against the United States and Europe, on the other, cannot be sustained." (Direct quote by Lobe from the book.)
It is inconceivable how militant Islam could possibly conquer the world, including even Indiana, as Perle and Frum imply. Islam is so divided, as illustrated by the fighting among different factions in Iraq, that Muslim states have not come close to defeating Israel during the past 50 years. Now, some envision a demographic danger inherent in high Muslim birth rates and declining white Western birth rates. However, Perle and Frum's recommendations for war and more war don't address that demographic issue, unless their aim is to totally exterminate Muslims in an Islamic holocaust.
It might well be asked why hard-liners would focus on the alleged Islamic threat and claim that if radical Islam is not eliminated, Americans face a holocaust from that quarter at the same time that Russia, despite her decline, and China, in her ascent, both remain nuclear-armed. Perle and Frum portray China as a villain but not the fundamental danger; and at the time the book was written Putin apparently had not threatened enough oligarchs to warrant evil status for Russia. But why emphasize the danger posed by a fifth-rate enemy? Again, the best explanation for that choice of enemies is the defense of Israel. Certainly, Israel's greatest enemy is Islam. If one were primarily concerned about protecting Israel, it wouldn't be surprising if he concluded that attacking Islam was the best way to do it.
From the Perle/Frum perspective the "war on terrorism" is not being pushed hard enough. They write: "We can feel the will to win ebbing in Washington; we sense the reversion to the bad old habits of complacency and denial."
That Richard Perle was involved in this book means that the ideas in it are significant in neocon circles and beyond. Lobe writes: "A longtime ally of both Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Vice President Dick Cheney, Perle was described by the Washington Post last year as the 'intellectual guru of the hard-line neoconservative movement in foreign policy,' who enjoys 'profound influence over Bush policies.' It is thus safe to say that Perle's views count."
January 16, 2004
© 2004 WTM Enterprises. All rights reserved.
If you found this article to be interesting, please donate to our cause. You should make your check or m.o. payable in U.S. dollars to WTM Enterprises and send it to:
P.O. Box 224
Roanoke, IN 46783
Thanks for helping to assure a future for TLD!
Notice to visitors who came straight to this document from off site: You are deep in The Last Ditch. You should check out our home page and table of contents.