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    Greg and Beth

    the political and personal musings of two
    mountaineers living in west-central Florida
     
    Greg on Politics(4): Islamist Expansion Comment
    Gregory Morris, 5/18/07 12:21:24 pm
    It is important to have a strong military, and even more important to have no fear of using it. But we didn't win the cold war by using our military. The pressure, military and diplomatic, that Reagan and his predecessors put on the soviets held communist expansionism at bay, and in the end, the USSR crumbled, leaving China as the last fading remnant of a Marxist empire.

    I think we can and should handle Islamist fascism in the same way. In fact, I believe we are trying to do the same thing with Iran. Perhaps we attacked Iraq, instead of Iran, because they were weaker. Iran is a bigger threat to the world. Perhaps we are simply using Iraq as a "message" to the rest of the extremists that we aren't afraid to use force. I'm not sure this message is being heard clearly throughout the Muslim world.

    In invading Iraq, we've put ourselves in a position where we need to win in order to manage the threat posed by Iran, yet there are no clear ways to mark our victory. In retreating, we only embolden our enemies (not just Iran!) Yet by staying, we inevitably stir up just as many problems.

    Our primary focus should be making allies among the moderate, secular Muslim countries, and helping them to prosper on the world stage. We don't have to agree with their culture, religion or even their system of government. Trade and diplomacy are universally understood, and other differences will be resolved with time. I've always said if you put a Walmart, a McDonalds and a Starbucks on every corner of Baghdad, they'll quickly eschew the dark-ages mentality, and embrace what the modern world has to offer.

    Turkey, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE, Egypt, etc. are all countries that we tolerate, but never get close to. These countries are ripe for the economic picking, so to speak.

    The African and Asian Muslim countries should be our next focus. These countries, by and large, are in the third world. I think there is still time to save these countries from becoming places of utter intolerance, but we need to act! Without forcing our religion on them, we can still lend them our parts of our culture to integrate.

    What a lot of people fail to see, while we focus on the war in Iraq, is that Islamist Theocracies are expanding and becoming more influential. We face the same danger from these as we did from the soviets.


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