Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Elegant Preemption

It seems quite likely that in the near future, a terrorist group or jihadist state like Iran may just be suicidal enough to attack America or our allies with a weapon of mass destruction. In that event, the response will be a massive, time-, money-, and life-consuming war effort to combat and destroy the attacker. Why not preempt that awful circumstance now and use the forthcoming stimulus package to develop the cutting-edge weapons and other military technologies necessary to prevent such an attack? This approach would produce solid, long-term jobs and see taxpayers’ money spent in a pragmatic way, exactly when we have great need for these jobs and enough time to re-vamp our military, saving us invaluable blood and valuable treasure down the line.

Contact your Congressperson and Senator!

Monday, February 9, 2009

You Cannot Kill an Ideology

Deepak Chopra—the most prolific of New Age self-help spiritual gurus—appears to have expanded his mandate to offer guidance in the angst-ridden realm of international affairs.

His résumé speaks for itself—no political, economic, or military training, experience or prior erudition. He has, however, written a series of guaranteed self-help solutions for all our modern-day spiritual needs that compete with American tax laws in awards for repetition and transparent agendas.

Nonetheless, Chopra recently stated on CNN, with accustomed certainty, that ‘you can kill a terrorist but cannot kill an ideology.’ Never mind the past 60 years of American foreign policy—Chopra was born in Delhi, so he understands the Third World. Along with all things at all times.

Of course, history is replete with examples of conclusive wars defeating blatant evil, of ideologies waning and disappearing when the price of fanaticism becomes too high.

Most recently, the fundamentalist ideology of Al Qaeda has been resoundingly defeated in Iraq by the principles of self-government, freedom and secularism. Certainly Hitler’s Nazism and Mussolini’s Fascism got wacked during the Second World War. And what of Pol Pot’s fanatical collectivism in Cambodia, or the terror-communism of the Baader Meinhof Gang in Germany and the Red Brigades in Italy? None of these once-powerful ideologies are around today in any sort of viable form. And now the Arab world is giving short-thrift to bin-Ladenism, condemned as it is to ignonimity in Waziristan’s endless caves.

Deepak Chopra’s pronouncements ring further hollow given that his “peace at all costs” mantra is most widely consumed in the United States, where freedom has been wrought at enormous cost (military, human and financial). His ideas would not be so welcome (or profitable) in Syria, Saudi Arabia, Iran or Pakistan, countries and societies that he professes to know so well, ideologies he professes such tolerance towards.

Thus, Chopra joins the ranks of American successes who show boundless deference towards societies that reject them, yet castigate their own country and protector that provides unrivaled freedom of expression.

Indeed, Chopra is a committed member of the “war is never a solution” gang, who see America’s heavy military fist behind every confrontation, at the seat of every radical cause, the wellspring of every extremist’s grievance. To him, there are no irredeemable terrorists, no non-negotiable evils—only freedom fighters and disrespected refugees. Fighting these forces just makes things worse. After all, you cannot kill an ideology.

Deepak’s philosophy has its appeal: decide that war is bad and ideology (or anything, for that matter) is never evil, and adapt easily to what everyone wants to hear. Especially, make us all feel good. He’s like the legal Marijuana Man, wafting mellifluously in on CNN’s transmissions and dismissing history’s harsh lessons with his modern-day opiates.

Hollywood – here we come.

San Francisco Chronicle: A military solution to a war on terrorism is doomed (Deepak Chopra and Ken Robinson, Feb. 3, 2009)

Deepak Chopra, foreign policy expert? CNN seems to think so

Deepak Chopra on Hannity and Colmes Dec. 1, 2008

Deepak Chopra on CNN Nov. 30, 2008

Deepak Chopra Too Controversial for CNN? (Michelle Haimoff, Huntington Post Nov. 27, 2008)
Deepak Chopra speaks on CNN (Nov 26, 2008)

Published on NewsBlaze

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Monday, February 2, 2009

There Have Been Many Tests

Thomas L. Friedman’s warning This is Not a Test about the urgency of a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian dispute echoes the growing (and understandable) concern of advocates of a two-state solution following the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza. Yet Mr. Friedman misstates the case: the Israelis have already formed ‘centrist, national unity’ governments (as well as leftist and rightist ones) committed to implementing a two-state solution. While Israel’s ‘fanatical’ Jewish settlers and their enablers in Jerusalem have made that implementation more difficult, the bulk of the Israeli public has repeatedly endorsed politicians who support the removal of the most problematic settlements.

A much larger obstacle is the persistent lack of a credible Palestinian partner, an obstacle which has only grown since Yasser Arafat walked out of Camp David in 2002. With Hamas firing rockets into Israel from the ruins of (forcibly) evacuated settlements in the Gaza Strip, the true ‘window-closers’ on the two-state solution seems tragically clear.

Published on SlantRight