A general comment I've wanted to post several places lately, especially after seeing this sort of thing:
I'm all for alternate suggestions on how to deal with the problems of the world right now. I'd be absolutely stunned if our government (including not just the Bush Administration but also Congress) was handling everything optimally, just on general principles. But I see so few suggestions that don't boil down to:
- Give all our enemies everything they want.
- Hope this is somehow interpreted as a sign of great strength rather than great weakness.
- Also, bask in the sudden loving adulation of the world.
- Retreat from any task in the world that is hard.
- Wait for our enemies to grow in strength until they can eliminate us. (In particularly advanced cases, change this to "help our enemies grow stronger until they eliminate us.")
I wish that last one was just rhetoric, I really do, but there are a lot of people who actually want to eliminate us.
I also sort of wish the first three would work, but the problem is that simply being successful is enough to earn us a lot of hatred and I'm not really willing to stop being successful, if for no other reason than that's the fastest way to harm those very same people. Psychologically, that's just not in the cards.
The number of suggestions I see that pass this test is not zero. Some are more aggressive than our current stance, some less. All I know is the policy that boils down to
- Repeat every God-damned mistake from the lead up to World War II
is not one I'm terribly interested in.