15 thoughts on “The Next War

  1. MfK

    I don’t get the destruction of Muslim historical artifacts because they’re “idolatrous.” Given how they treat the Koran, aren’t they committing idolatry as a matter of course?

    1. Rick C

      Hard to tell without more information than has been reported so far. My guess is that it boils down to a schismatic difference–there’s something that AQ doesn’t like about them, like maybe they have pictures of people and the proscription against same hadn’t come into effect in that part of Africa when the artifacts were made.

  2. Daver

    Edgar Rice Burroughs, in The Moon Men (I think–it’s been quite a while), had the final war of extermination between the white race and the brown and black races before the earth settled down to a long period of peace. Unfortunately, this left them ill-prepared for the invasion of the Kalkars from the moon.

    It’d be kind of nice if this wasn’t the only solution (well, the only solution that allowed for the survival of Western Civ and enlightenment values); sometimes I have my doubts.

  3. Robin Goodfellow

    We are already engaged in war in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, and the Horn of Africa. There is an expanding regional war developing in Syria which is likely to engulf Turkey, Lebanon, and Israel. The seeds of conflict in the form of violent islamic extremists consolidating their power continue to be sown in Egypt, Sudan, Libya, and Mali. And Iran continues to be on the knife-edge of conflict, either through internal revolution, or a preemptive attack on nuclear weapons facilities by Israel or the US or both.

    It seems increasingly likely that the US will soon be faced with an entire region in chaos, conflict, and war stretching from the boundary with India to the West all the way to the boundary with Morocco to the East.

    This could easily be the defining conflict of the 21st century. Note that this region is also a big part of the handful of countries expected to become developed economies and make up a huge part of the global economy (independent of oil production) in the next several decades (Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, Egypt, and Nigeria being members of the so-called “Next 11″ major economies).

    Add to that the ongoing civil war in Mexico and you’ve got quite the handful for any administration.

    1. McGehee

      After it’s all over, Obama will be remembered the way James Buchanan is about the U.S. Civil War.

      Assuming any memory of U.S. presidents is permitted by then.

    2. Robin Goodfellow

      And, of course, I mixed up East/West. :P (I started with “the Western border of India” and so forth and didn’t change it when I reworded it)

    3. Godzilla

      There were a lot of regional wars in the XXth century post WWII as well. The difference is the policy of the main powers back then was usually just to arm and fund one of the sides in the conflict. Today the option is often to actually send troops, drones, or whatever. I don’t think things are necessarily worse worldwide now. The main difference is there is more of a power vacuum with the fall of the Soviet Union for those who want to have policies contrary to the US for whatever reason but the Chinese seem to filling up the spot somewhat.

      1. wodun

        Another problem is that there are no groups that have the same ideology as Americans for us to support. Get rid of Mubarak and we get the MB. Get rid of Assad and we get the FSA. A freedom loving, democratic, humanitarian, capitalist society will not be sprouting up anytime soon in any of the Arab Spring countries.

        Libya may be tilting away from the Islamists but it is hard to know because there is no reliable information coming out of that country.

        Syria is a great current example where the two sides keep trying to one up each other in the brutality of their war crimes.

          1. Bob-1

            The Republic of Tunisia is in a race with the Kingdoms such Morrocco, Jordan and Qatar to develop into a free society.

          2. wodun

            “The moderate Islamist party Ennahda — whose name means the renaissance in Arabic — emerged as the winner in the elections, with a 41 percent plurality, ”

            Ya, I don’t trust the NYT opinion on what a moderate Islamist is.

            The only good news I have seen out of Arab Spring countries is the hope that they will change over the next hundred years. Meanwhile, we get to cope.

            It is interesting you brought up Tunisia because it has been out of the news due to Benghazi.

            “All of the embassy staff members had been safely evacuated beforehand, officials said, but part of the compound was burned and looted.”

            Why did the staff at Benghazi not receive the same consideration considering all of the warnings?

            Why isn’t the media talking about all of our other embassies that were attacked on 9/11?

            Benghazi was a horrible terrorist attack but it should be just one of many examples of Obama’s foreign policy decisions turning out disastrously.

          3. ken anthony

            There are decent people everywhere. It’s only a handful of people in any country that make it a problem.

            The fact is, we don’t care enough about decent people to do anything about their situation. It doesn’t have to be open war in most cases and shouldn’t be. Half of our military should be spies living in other countries as indigenous people. Resources and information are what decent people need to improve their lives and our safety.

            This is in fact what our enemies are doing to us.

  4. Brock

    The central problem with Afghanistan (and soon, Mali) is that we aren’t willing to rule them directly, nor are we willing to allow them to truly rule themselves. A modern-day British East India company could deal with this (by employing the General Napier Rule of National Customs), but America doesn’t like the idea of forcefully civilizing barbarous peoples.

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