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Thread: What's the right World Islam policy/strategy?

  1. #1
    Hall of Famer B-Fly's Avatar
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    What's the right World Islam policy/strategy?

    Forget the election politics for a second, since that's more a fight about what words we use than what strategy we actually pursue. What should America's strategy be with respect to the Muslim world? The options would appear to be:

    (1) Isolationism: Basically, no military interventions, no economic or political aid, little or no diplomatic overtures, no bone in the Arab-Israeli conflict.
    (2) American Security Interests: Intervene only where it is viewed as necessary to protect the security of America or Americans.
    (3) Global Security Interests: Intervene only where it is viewed as necessary to check expansionism or combat terror, whether aimed at Americans, Israel, Europe, economic allies like Saudi Arabia or Kuwait, etc.
    (4) Economic Interests: In combination with either (2) or (3) above, intervene where viewed as necessary to ensure our continued access to Middle Eastern oil or other potential economic/resource interests
    (5) Support Any "Pro-American" Leader: In combination with any or all of the above, there's the tried and true strategy of supporting and sustaining despots, regardless of what they do internally, so long as they ultimately advance American RealPolitik interests.
    (6) Promote Self-Determination/Democracy
    (7) Promote Human Rights
    (8) Promote Religious Moderation/Modernization and/or Secularization (with or without "culture bombing")
    (10) Global Faith War/Crusade: bomb them all and let G-d sort it out

  2. #2
    All Star DMT's Avatar
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    The problem with the way you've laid out the options is how easily they can be manipulated by the powers that be. I am generally anti-intervention but I understand that there are American and Global Security Interests that have to be protected. But the proponents of the Iraq War would undoubtedly state that they were merely protecting our's and our Middle East allies' interests by removing Saddam Hussein.

  3. #3
    Roto Rooter
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    How do you reason with people who KILL because of a youtube video.

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    Hall of Famer B-Fly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roto Rooter View Post
    How do you reason with people who KILL because of a youtube video.
    Obviously you don't. But do we know what percentage of the "Muslim street" in any given country would kill because of a YouTube video, what percentage wouldn't themselves kill but are more sympathetic to the killers than the victims, and what percentage would condemn the violence if they weren't afraid that doing so would cause the violent bastards to turn on them? And then what, if anything, can or should the US do to either turn the public tide in Muslim countries against such extremism and violence, or to at least best ensure that our people aren't victimized by it?

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    Hall of Famer B-Fly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eldiablo505 View Post
    Um, the "Muslim world" encompasses many, many different countries over multiple continents with an extraordinary variance between how extremely the religion is practiced. There are 1.6 BILLION Muslims in the world --- 23% of the entire world's inhabitants are Muslim. Nearly 2/3 of these live in the Asia Pacific region. Nearly as many live in Africa as in the Middle East. Are you asking what the United States' policy should be toward a religion, regardless of the nation?
    I guess I should clarify that I absolutely believe we need a differentiated and nuanced approach. But I'm asking what the basic tenets should be - what types of goals, risks or interests should drive our foreign policy? And even assuming we can agree on the broader goals/strategies, we still would need to wrestle with tactics. I'm not looking for easy answers or universal solutions, which is why I didn't launch this thread as a poll. I agree that this is far too complex for that. But if folks want to bite off a piece of the issue and say, here's what I think our strategies should be in the Sunni Arab world or here's what I think our goals should be in Egypt, whatever, go for it. I'm just hoping to get a thoughtful conversation going.

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    Hall of Famer B-Fly's Avatar
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    Now our embassy in under attack in Yemen, too.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/0...n_1879837.html

    Since we obviously can't stop private citizens from making videos that offend Islam and spark angry riots, we have to figure out what the other options are. Should we be pulling our diplomats across the Middle East and North Africa?

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    All Star DMT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B-Fly View Post
    Now our embassy in under attack in Yemen, too.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/0...n_1879837.html

    Since we obviously can't stop private citizens from making videos that offend Islam and spark angry riots, we have to figure out what the other options are. Should we be pulling our diplomats across the Middle East and North Africa?
    At this point, yes.

  8. #8
    Roto Rooter
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    Obama's appeasement isn't the answer obviously. Money is the answer. If $345 million was set to go to Libya this year, or Yemen, or Egypt in the form of security and humanitarian aid, it should be revoked immediately. We should remove our entire presence from the country and let it fend for itself. We are often encouraged by the left of this country to remember that not all Muslims are terrorists. It’s a simple logic problem, A does not always equal B. I buy that, I truly do. However, the time has come to make them prove it. If Radical Islam is really the minority class we are told it is, let the till now Silent Majority rise up and quash it. And if they refuse to do so, then they will be left to live with the spoils of these stone age ideas and murderers.

  9. #9
    Islam is going to be an uncomfortable waiting game for the next fifty years. Just as the Internet changed China and the want of a Western lifestyle killed the Soviet Union, so to will cultural inroads be cut that will undermine the current radicalization of Islam, imo... but it's going to take time. The best thing we can probably do (and watch our conservative and liberal friends go mad now ) is to provide economic support to slowly reduce the gigantic pool of unemployed young men with no hope of a better future who are so easily radicalized, dispose of the last vestiges of any "special relationship" with the strategic liability that is Israel and treat them as we would any other nation, and continue to stay the course of cultural outreach even when there is little seeming interest from the governments of these nations. We must also continue to show no fear in dealing with those of the Islamists who threaten or damage us-- Islam has always respected strength throughout its history.

    The Arab Spring is and was an ill conceived fraud, centrally controlled in Egypt after the organic affair in Tunisia. We can and should not place any hope there. What we need to do is foster a real "Arab Spring" in the time range of 2030-2050 when it has some hope of causing real damage to the religion and its governmental control of the people.
    Last edited by Bob Kohm; 09-13-2012 at 02:16 PM.

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    Big Leaguer Kevin Seitzer's Avatar
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    Our ability to protect our diplomats seems to be much greater in Egypt and Yemen in the actual embassy compounds as opposed to the consulate building in Benghazi. It's also not clear to me whether the incident in Benghazi was spontaneous and related to the anti-Islam video or whether it was a pre-planned terrorist attack. Based on the information available at this point, I'm inclined to believe the latter.
    "There was nothing for him to do under the truck, but it's tough to blame him now that he is dead." -V.Erps 3/26/2005

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