Alternative To Democratization?
Democratization is showing its potential, but let's face it, the enthusiasm many of us felt during the demonstrations in Beirut and Baku were a high point that has come and gone. In the Middle East, it is a long and risky process for Democracy to gain even a tenuous toehold.
The Bush strategy of democratization as an anti-terror strategy may still succeed. I earnestly pray that it does. But what if it doesn't? What if our hopes for a clean, liberating solution are dashed on a harsh reality of despots too strong and an Arab Street too set in its ways?
Well, then, what about trying something a little different in order to protect ourselves from the blood-soaked boys of Islam?
Like the Iran/Iraq war. Not really; that was too bruttal and killed too many innocents, as indicated by the accompanying photo, of the war-wrought ruin of downtown Khorramshahr, an Iranian city.
But tying up the terrorists with fighting each other is a logical alternative to having them fight us. Should democratization fail and the Iraq war drag on too long, why not keep them busy spilling each other's blood?
What our military has seen on the streets of Iraq -- Baathists fighting foreign al Qaeda forces -- is the perfect model. Neither group deserves to continue, wiping out both would help protect our interests, and when they're fighting each other, the innocents are protected.
Can we do the same thing with Egypt's radicals? Palestine's? Yemen's? A coordinated campaign to foment division between Sunni terrorists and Shi'ite terrorists, and within the ranks of each, is probably too much to ask for, given our current pathetic lack of sufficient operatives within the terrorist infrastructure.
But a little mischief here, a little there ... it's certainly a goal worth working towards.