Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Voice to Our Concern

While not completely understanding the label or if it should apply to him, Daniel Pipes's latest article, A Neo-Conservative's Caution, manages to make many of the points I've either written about or silently feared. What are they, you ask?

While we've seen a lot of progress in the Middle East, here are a few ways that progress can be thwarted:

• Yes, Mahmoud Abbas wishes to end the armed struggle against Israel but his call for a greater jihad against the "Zionist enemy" points to his intending another form of war to destroy Israel.
• The Iraqi elections are bringing Ibrahim al-Jaafari, a pro-Iranian Islamist, to power.
• Likewise, the Saudi elections proved a boon for the Islamist candidates.
• Mubarak's promise is purely cosmetic; but should real presidential elections one day come to Egypt, Islamists will probably prevail there too.
• Removing Syrian control in Lebanon could well lead to Hezbollah, a terrorist group, becoming the dominant power there.
• Eliminating the hideous Assad dynasty could well bring in its wake an Islamist government in Damascus.

None of these possibilities will be good for this country. Is anyone in the administration, his supposed fellow neo-cons, giving them consideration? Pipes fears if they are, they're not giving it enough. He also acknowledges a pattern: a too-quick removal of tyranny unleashes Islamist ideologues and opens their way to power. These are things we've seen happen before. Will we see it happen again?


At 5:17 PM, Blogger MissingLink said...

Everybody avoids the issue of Islam itself and this is the real problem.

Islam is not just a religion but basically a total political system, justice system, the entire system of ethics and even esthetics.
Above all it cannot be replaced if you are a religious Muslim because it comes directly from the almighty.
Now, let us imagine that we wish to introduce a democracy where the only allowed political doctrine is communism.

Turkey is the only country where the division between Islam and state was introduced to a certain degree but it was achieved by force, from above not by a democratic process.

For me personally, the fact that the Bush administration cracked and tried to be too democratic in introducing democracy was the biggest disappointment of the Iraqi affair.

The normal way all totalitarian systems get established (excluding revolutions) is to use the LEGAL system to get into power and then legally abolish the legal system and introduce a new one.
Let's hope I am not right in being a bit pesimistic.

At 9:10 PM, Blogger Gindy said...

Thank G-d for people like Danial Pipes.

At 9:40 PM, Blogger Esther said...

Felis, I share your concern.

Gindy, I'm sure he'd love to hear that. You should email him. :)

At 2:06 AM, Blogger Sergeant America said...

Interesting observations ...When dealing with cultures, "we" seem to fail more than "we" succeed ... ::shrug::

Perhaps the establishment of automobile manufacturing facilities within a Pan-Arab State will allow "them" to break from supply with another Kamakaize Kulture ... Japan! A car bomb is a car bomb ... :(

At 9:18 AM, Blogger Gindy said...

"You should email him"

Have you ever done that? Did he respond? I have written other people like the economist Steve Moore and suprisingly got a personal response back with encouragment to ask more questions.

I might write Pipes just to see what happens.

At 9:44 AM, Blogger Esther said...

Interesting points, SA....thanks!

Gindy, I am on his mailing list. Most of the time it's about the Middle East. This one time to make a point, he said something about the pro-abortion people. Well, you can guess I didn't take that phrasing well. So I hit reply, figuring it'd go to whomever he had doing this for him, saying that he might not know but the terminology should be pro-choice. Well, oops on my part. I had no idea he was such a conservative at the time. So I get this note back saying something like he used the right word, he's not into euphamisms and he signed it DP. Needless to say, that took me by surprise. We emailed back and forth about it a few times. He's pretty cool.

As someone who used to have a mailing list of writings, I know it meant the world to me when someone took the time to write me to say good job. Maybe it happens more for him, though. I had very lazy readers, lol. I never heard from them until I stopped doing it.

At 2:10 PM, Blogger Gindy said...

"he said something about the pro-abortion people. Well, you can guess I didn't take that phrasing well"

Yeah, I think we traded comments on the issue before.

"he signed it DP. Needless to say, that took me by surprise. We emailed back and forth about it a few times."

That is great. I might have to drop him an e-mail some time. I am always surprised when someone like him will take the time to write back.

At 2:17 PM, Blogger Esther said...

We've actually exchanged emails a couple of times since (I've sent kudos after certain pieces).

At 4:44 PM, Blogger patrickafir said...

Yup, a great thing about living in a free society is that there are balances on either side of any issue that can help to maintain some equanimity when the discourse appears to be veering off to one side.

As usual, I'm in the middle about events in the ME. I'm both extremely hopeful and skeptical. It sure is grand to see things happening there that many of us never thought we would, though.

Also, that's pretty cool that you've corresponded with Daniel Pipes, Esther. I've gotten responses from James Randi and John McCain, and both times I thought it was really cool.

At 5:24 PM, Blogger Esther said...

That is really cool, patrick!!


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