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Iraq Study Group unwittingly exposes larger truth by casting the debate over Iraq as one between "Moderates" versus "Hundred-Percenters."·
In the December 6, 2006 press conference by the Iraq Study Group (ISG) unveiling the ISG recommendations for U.S. policy in Iraq, the ISG's emphasis on its non-partisan/bi-partisan approach unwittingly exposed a larger truth about competing/opposing strategies in the international arena. Former Senator Alan Simpson, well known for his down-to-earth common sense, best encapsulated the ISG approach as a triumph of "moderates" over the "hundred-percenters" -- i.e., the triumph of non-partisanship/bi-partisanship over the "extreme left" and the "extreme right." In so doing, he (and the ISG) unwittingly exposed a larger truth that in turn exposes a fundamental flaw in the ISG's "moderate" (i.e., non-partisan/bi-partisan) approach to the challenge: In the international arena, the force of "moderation" is Western Civilization and the "hundred-percenters" are the Jihadists and their totalitarian allies of convenience. Unlike the ISG, both George W. Bush and Tony Blair speaking in their joint press conference on December 7, 2006 correctly characterized the struggle in Iraq as an integral part of the larger struggle between the forces of "moderation" (i.e., "Western Civilization") and the forces of religious fanaticism and totalitarian ideologies.
This alliance of convenience has arisen between mutually opposing ideologies in the forms of 21st Century incarnations of medieval religious totalitarianism and 20th Century secular totalitarianism. It's the Islamo-Fascist And Paleo-Stalinist Alliance (IFAPSA*). Such alliance of otherwise mutually incompatible ideologies springs from their mutual embrace of the tactical doctrine that "the enemy of my enemy is my friend." Even though the ISG correctly recognizes that the Islamo-Fascists and Iraqi Baathists perceive Iraq as a battleground in a struggle against Western Civilization, the ISG's "real politic" perception mistakenly clings to the 20th Century balance-of-power view that the self-interests of states force natural enemies into acceptance of "peaceful coexistence." Just as generals are too often prepared to fight "the last war," proponents of international strategies are too often prepared to follow "the last [state-craft paradigm]."
Peaceful coexistence -- i.e., "the last [state-craft paradigm]" -- ultimately worked in the bi-polar world of the second half of the 20th Century in which the limited spread of nuclear technology enabled the "Mutual Assured Destruction" (MAD) theory to prevent defeat of Western Civilization by 20th Century Stalinism until Ronald Reagan's reality-based insights into the latter's weaknesses and his stubborn insistence on abandoning the MAD paradigm (over the vitriolic opposition of its adherents) enabled Western Civilization to hasten the collapse of the Soviet Union. The peaceful-coexistence/real-politic paradigm that saved Western Civilization in the 20th Century is "the last [state-craft paradigm]" upon which the ISG seeks to "wage [state-craft]" against the 21st Century reincarnations of medieval religious fanaticism and 20th Century Stalinism in the multi-polar world of the 21st Century.
What the ISG unwittingly exposed but nevertheless fails to recognize is that "the last [state-craft paradigm]" -- i.e., the "moderation" of "peaceful coexistence" founded upon the "real politic," self-survival interests of states locked in a bi-polar ideological struggle-- that saved "moderation" (i.e., Western Civilization) from 20th Century Stalinist totalitarianism is likely to guarantee the defeat of "moderation" by the collaborative, alliance-of-convenience strategies of otherwise mutually incompatible totalitarian forces in the multi-polar world of the 21st Century. Just as "the last [state-craft] paradigm" of "real-politic/peaceful-coexistence" worked in the now-gone bi-polar world of the second half of the 20th Century but cannot work in the multi-polar struggle of the 21st Centry, the "moderation" (i.e., non-partisan/bi-partisan) paradigm upon which the ISG predicates its prescriptions for the Iraq may work within the bi-polar political struggle inside the United States but cannot work outside the U.S. in a worldwide struggle against such form of "moderation" (i.e., Western Civilization) by the "hundred-percenters" in the world arena (i.e., the IFAPSA).
Thus, the ISG's flawed conclusion is swallowed by its flawed premise that equates "moderation" as the foundation for success in a bi-polar, domestic-politics world with real-politic/peaceful-coexistence "moderation" as a foundation for success in the worldwide struggle between Western Civilization (i.e., "moderation") and totalitarian ideologies (i.e, the "hundred percenters") in the multi-polar world of the 21st Century because the disappearance of the bi-polar world of the second half of the 20th Century destroyed the means for "real-politic" interests to coerce totalitarian states (and non-state totalitarian forces) into the "moderation" of "peaceful coexistence." As virtually every football expert knows, implementation of a "prevent defense" by a team that's ahead too often leads to its losing but such implementation by a team that's behind (or in a tie) almost guarantees its loss.
*Footnote: See http://wrenncom.com/CommentaryArchives/2006/20y06m05d03-01.asp; see also http://PoliSat.Com/IFAPSA.htm, http://PoliSat.Com/UNIFAPSA.htm, http://PoliSat.Com/CITGO.htm and http://PoliSat.Com/ThreeAmigos.htm.
Jim Wrenn is Editor at WrennCom.Com. He's also Editor at PoliSat.Com and the forthcoming sites "NewsXRay.Com" and "PoliticalXRay.Com." In his lighter moments, he's Librarian at the Clinton Liebrary and author of the Clinton Liebrary Book, which is available at http://ClintonLiebraryBook.Com or at http://www.shopatpsi.com/detail.asp?Product_ID=0001.
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