Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Believers of Mohammed Credulous to Conspiracy Cranks and Dangerous to Western Civilization

By Con George-Kotzabasis

The power of religion in indigent societies is more potent and influential upon its believers than political power or military power, especially in Muslim societies where religious and political power are inseparable and is exercised by theocracies. And as the author correctly states the believers of Mohammed are credulous and vulnerable to the most fictional conspiracies and tend to scapegoat others for their own ills and those of their countries. It’s this unshakable belief in the evil of others, in this case of the West in general and of the American Satan in particular, that makes Muslims extremely dangerous to Western civilization.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Hail Diplomatic Consensus and Fall into Terrorist Hell

The following is an extract from my book Unveiling The War Against Terror written on August 2003.  I'm republishing it in this new blog for its readers.

By Con George-Kotzabasis

 Madeleine Albright, in her article " Bridges, Bombs, or Bluster," published in Foreign Affairs, criticizes the Bush administration in its war against Iraq, for using the "shock of force" to trump "the hard work of diplomacy". Both, the substance and the tenor of her argument reveal her irrepressible desire and concern to defend her m√©tier, as the former primary diplomat in the Clinton administration, as well as justify the latter's timorous and inutile stand against terror. Precisely, to quote her,  “Clinton saw terror as a team enterprise, not a solo act”, because of this misperception, Clinton's administration failed to do anything effective against terror during his two terms in office. Moreover, by refusing to take a strong stand against terrorism, a stand that would necessarily shed American blood, in the likes of a top Madison Avenue advertiser, he advertised, with incomparable historical foolishness, the Mogadishu complex to the world at large and to the Muslim fundamentalists and their death squads, with devastating consequences, that America was too scared to spill its blood in defending itself, even against the most ominous and heinous acts of terror.                                                                                                                                  

The former Secretary, with one word of hers, nolens volens, exposes this diplomatic failure of Clinton and her own during their term in office, and with the same "stabbing" word, she stabs her argument for diplomacy to death. She states, that Clinton “tried” to halt WMD proliferation and the need of nations to unite to eliminate terrorist sanctuaries and their funding. The complete failure of the former President to achieve these objectives however, precisely was, a result of his dependence solely on the overtures of diplomacy. And instead of addressing and redressing this floundering of diplomacy, the former President chose to "runaway" from the "draft" of leadership. President Bush, in contrast, persuaded by his Secretary of State, went to the UN and made intense efforts to convince his allies of the strategic necessity to invade Iraq as a quintessential part of the war against terror. And only when these efforts failed to become fecund, indeed, only when the even "amorous passes" of Colin Powell failed to break the pretentious "chastity belt" of France, Germany, and Russia, President Bush, with the characteristic strength of his Administration, decided to go to war "solo", with the Coalition of the willing, and refused to runaway from the draft of leadership.

Diplomacy is a voracious   consumer of time, and the latter is a key element to its success. In war however, timing is the sine qua non for its success. A nation, as the US does, that faces a great apocalyptic imminent threat and waits for diplomatic consensus, before it takes forceful and preemptive action against such a threat, chooses to fall, in this case, into the terrorist's hell. Secretary Albright, seeks “redemption” not through contrition, for the "abortions" of diplomacy, under her term in office, but through diplomatic alienation. For to persist obstinately, especially in critical circumstances, in the wiles of diplomacy, when it's obvious that all its efforts are failing, is to alienate the art of diplomacy.

Historians, when they will make their comparisons, will aver that Madeleine Albright's "orbiting" around the State Department, was far off the planetary force of a Dean Acheson or of a Henry Kissinger. Secretary Albright's censure of the Bush administration is Nonebright.


               AUGUST  30,  2003

Friday, July 1, 2011

Turning Points Will not Come Unless Staying on the Point

I'm republishing the following piece for the browsers of this new Website. 

The jury is still out on Iraqi democracy
                                                     By Steven Clemons  -The Australian December 20, 2005
A reply: Con George-Kotzabasis 

Steven Clemons argues by implication that the Iraqi election was neither a milestone nor a turning point, as “there is still a lot of treacherous ground to cover”. He mocks Kristol and Kagan for writing in the Weekly Standard that the Iraqi election was “an eruption of democracy in the heart of the Arab world”, and Kaplan for stating in the New Republic, that the election “really was a milestone”. And he strikes with the last arrow of his mockery President Bush for declaring that the election “was a landmark in the history of liberty”. But being a professional he does not burn all his boats just in case the history making of the “neo-conservatives” and its Executive in the Oval Office turns out to be right and the arrows of his mockery change into boomerangs. He states, that “Kristol, Kagan, and Kaplan-as well as Bush-may still prove to be correct”, albeit he still holds their position to be “more sentimental than logical-not to mention self-serving”.

But let us respond to the crux of his argument that “beneath this big number [of voters] are some unpleasant realities”. The religious leaders of the country issued a fatwa instructing their followers that it was their “religious duty to vote”. This was to him “soft coercion rather than a strong buy-in to democratic process”. The importance lies however, that “this big number” of voters followed the directions of their leaders who were themselves convinced of the value of the democratic process and who had embraced it so ardently. In a country such as Iraq, whose people had lived for so long under authoritarian and dictatorial regimes and who had never experienced the benefits of democratic freedom, only their leaders could usher them into a democratic system of government. Kemal Ataturk is the ne plus ultra example of leading his people to embrace modernity after four centuries of Sultanate despotism. Clemons completely disregards, indeed, misses, this historic fact, in his endeavor, so heedlessly and so hastily, to understate the advent of democracy in Iraq. As the most important feature is not in the “buy-in” of democracy by the people, but the successful “sell-in” of democracy to all the religious and secular factions of Iraq by their respective leaders. It is in this “U turn” of the leaders of Iraq toward democracy in their bid to secure power and in their rejection of violence and the barrel of the gun as a means of achieving power, that augurs well for a democratic future in Iraq.          

Clemons also argues, that the high turn out of Sunnis at the elections was prompted as a result that many of them were tortured and murdered by the present Shi’ite dominated government, hence the continuation of the latter would further endanger the Sunnis. He concludes, therefore, that it was fear that caused the Sunnis to participate in such great numbers in the elections, and not only “hope and belief in democracy”. But the Shi’ite dominance was installed with the first Interim Government that was elected last January. Why then the Sunnis who were tortured and murdered surely before last October did not participate in the constitutional elections held on this month?  

He furthermore states, "that most Iraqis…don’t believe that politics is the best…’solution’ to their problems. They feel that violence remains the more pragmatic way to achieve justice and to protect one’s interests”. To say this in the face of all polls that show that security is the greatest concern of most Iraqis and which can only be achieved by the elimination of violence exposes Clemons as being unhinged from reality. Unless of course he believes the proclivity of the majority of Iraqis for violence has the latent aim of the restoration of a new Saddam who would provide this security. Such a hidden desire by Iraqis for a new despot however is counter factual and goes against the grain of all the probable scenarios that could unfold in Iraq. The rise of a strongman in Iraq could only happen if the Americans withdrew from the country prematurely with the likelihood that their early departure before Iraq was stabilized could spark a civil war.

Finally, in a burst of risible absurdity, he downgrades the “mountain” of neo-conservative strategy, i.e., the spread of democracy, into a “mouse” of political score pointing, by saying with a serious mien, that “framing an election as a success to score political points will only blur the US ability to see what is really unfolding in Iraq”. But if it was not a success could he say that it was a failure? Or would he choose some sort of a hybrid between success and failure, such as Richard Haass’ “ballotocracy”?

Turning points in history are not instant made nor are they made by a spectacular event. They are made in a long hard building process. The turning point in Iraq will come as the policymakers of the Bush administration stay unflappably and with tenacity on their original strategic point of spawning democracy in the Middle East. Iraq is the pivotal point of this strategy that will turn the world of the terrorists and their state sponsors on their own heads. By defeating the insurgency in Iraq it will defeat also by proxy all other rogue states, as Libya has shown, as well as expedite the defeat of global terror. All the indications are that the Americans are going to stay on the point of their victory.