Paul Berman, one of the most provocative thinkers on the left, has a message for the antiwar movement: Stop marching and start fighting to spread liberal values in the Middle East.

"just as liberal-minded Europeans and Americans doubted the threats of Hitler and Stalin, enlightened Westerners today are in danger of missing the urgency of the violent ideologies coming out of the Muslim world. "

from salon.com

wow
glitch p-udding: wow. what a great read. i am very much interestest in reading his book. maybe i'll pick it up tomorrow, as i'm almost done with my current book and who knows when i'll finish 'fierce invalids from hot climates'.

i hope others will read this. i would really like to hear your responses.

ultrafastx: a total 10! I am DEFINATELY going out and getting this book.

Found this particularly interesting:
One of the scandals is that we've had millions of people marching through the streets calling for no war in Iraq, but we haven't had millions of people marching in the streets calling for freedom in Iraq. Nobody's marching in the streets on behalf of Kurdish liberties. The interests of the liberal dissidents of Iraq and the Kurdish democrats are in fact also our interests. The more those people prosper, the safer we are. This is a moment in which what should be our ideals -- the ideals of liberal democracy and social solidarity -- are also materially in our interest. Bush has failed to articulate this, and a large part of the left has failed to see this entirely.

Finally...
soulorcell: Someone who speaks plain english...10. He knows more about the way I feel about this whole mess than I do. And, he can even spit it out...amazing!
great
titanz: wow! what a great article. sums to a tee exactly my feelings... thanks for this one.
ultrafastx: That's funny, I didn't see the author claiming that Bush was the most evil human ever to grace the Earth. In fact, I saw a lot of comments that said liberals too readily dismiss Bush and his ideas.

In fact, I didn't see any gross generalizations and bigoted statements at all. Are you sure you really agree with this author?

FlatAustin: He's a 'BuzzFlash' knuckle-dragger.
That's all I'm asking.
FlatAustin: This guy is reading the 'tea leaves' and trying to save his party. I'm not asking for agreement on domestic issues. I don't mind the left pounding Bush on social security, tax cuts, even 'homeland security', but you lefties have cut your own throat on foriegn threats for decades (facism, communism, terrorism), where are the champion, heroic liberals like FDR and JFK? It's almost painful for those of us on the right to watch. America will not trust you with power again until you straighten this out. It's time for the leading democratic Presidential contenders to have a "Sister Soulja" moment (see Bill Clinton's 1992 campaign) with the anti-war crowd. Any liberals care to comment on what I am saying? Am I wrong?
glitch p-udding: okay...well, you guys really seemed to like this link. could i trouble you for some 10s? your comments certainly seem worthy of them.
clu: Any liberals care to comment on what I am saying? Am I wrong?

You are leaving out many of the award winning decisions the Republicans made while in power the last time. For this to be a balanced debate, the following needs to be said:

1)Saddam aquired his chemical weapons program from the Reagan Administration
2)CIA trained Osama in the Afghanistan war against the USSR
3)President George Bush is on record calling Osama and his brigade "Freedom Fighters"
4)US pulled out after the Afghanistan and Desert Storm without nation building. Causing the mess and clean up we're seeing today.
5)The white house only had one 1 person gathering information on al-Qa'ida pre 9/11. Had more than that watching brothels in New Orleans (technically a fault of the current administration.)
glitch p-udding: this is seriously not me being critical or disagreeing. but i honestly don't see how your reply has anything to do with flataustin's post.
clu: This:

flataustin: but you lefties have cut your own throat on foriegn threats for decades

Let's consider our most recent foriegn threats: Bin Laden and Hussein. These two leaders and the their level of threat to the United States are directly tied to right. To say that only the lefties have cut their throat without saying the right aren't responsible for as much is unbalanced. Is that clear?
FlatAustin: Well, I'm talking about the politics of the threat. Sure, the U.S. under Republican administrations played dirty hardball with the Soviets and did business with nefarious characters. The world did not end in nuclear holocaust, and that was the biggest threat then. It has left us a huge mess to deal with now. HAPPY?!?!?! Ok. NOW can you deal with the post I left without getting off into these little tangents?? Or do you deflect like that because you have no real answers? Or can't you be objective about your own ideology?
clu: From the Article: Yes, it's the so-called realist policies of the American conservatives that ultimately got us into this situation. We, the United States, have followed the most cynical policies in the Middle East. We've aligned with reactionary feudal monarchies of the worst sort, backing the most horrendous right-wing tyrants and dictators, thinking that liberal values ought to play no role at all in formulating American policy. All this has especially been the doctrine of American conservatism. It's what I call the Nixonian tradition. It was certainly the policy of Bush the elder and it was the original instinct of the present Bush, although now he appears to be confused.

I'm not going off on a tangent here. What I said is consistent with the information provided in the article.
FlatAustin: You STILL deflect!
clu: Not deflecting. You said this: America will not trust you with power again until you straighten this out.

And to balance your point of view, I presented 5 reasons as to why we shouldn't trust the righties. Notice that I used the word "balance". As in, this issue isnt' a one way street.

If you think I'm still deflecting, then tell me what it is I'm not saying. Or maybe, try clarifying what you said so that I can understand. Flaming accomplishes nothing.
FlatAustin: Exactly! You can't address what I wrote, you have to blast the right when I clearly want your comments about how the Democratic presidential contenders need to tell their anti-war attack dogs to cool it. I didn't ask for balance, I asked you to address the issue. Answer THAT and THEN you can move on to your balance. Otherwise you just look dumb. -- "this is seriously not me being critical or disagreeing. but i honestly don't see how your reply has anything to do with flataustin's post." - glitch >>>
clu: FlatAustin asked: Any liberals care to comment on what I am saying?

I commented. If you read what I said, I had addressed a particular idea that you presented. If you want a specific answer, I suggest you answer your own questions.

The heart of my comment involved what you were "saying" about America trusting the left. That quote again: America will not trust you with power again until you straighten this out.

"Trust" - A particular point of interest in the conversation that you, FlatAustin, introduced into the frame of this discussion. I asked myself, "Why should America trust the left?"

You mentioned facism, communism and terrorism. Though be it, vague. You should expand your reasons why the left has cut their throats.

The logical flip side to this issue of trust is the question, "Why should America trust the right?" I simply stated five political actions the right did while they were trusted with power you speak of.
soulorcell: it's a gag...every time you blow it out, it re-lights! HAH!!! ;D I love these things...
glitch p-udding: they are not directly tied to the right. this article makes a series of very valid points about how fanatical islamism is not directly tied to the right and, in fact, not even directly tied to the u.s.

we certainly have done things that put power in the hands of the bad guys. but, we didn't create this. i'm reminded of something the wonderfully modest George Harrison said about Beatlemania. He said, kids were just looking for a reason to act crazy, and the Beatles were a great excuse. The terrorists are using America as a scapegoat.

Radical Islamsm was born out of a desire to regain the arab world's power. The problem is that they want to be powerful without moving forward. And i'm not talking about technology here. I'm talking about freedom, and women's rights, and being open to new ways. The radicals want to move forward, by moving backward. And that just doesn't work.

true, the united states is guilty of not incorporating liberalism into its foreign policy, but the left is as guilty of that as the right. the answer is not to turn a cold shoulder to atrocities in iraq (which, despite the noble face of war protestors, is exactly what they're doing). the answer is to promote liberalism and democracy and help it spread.

the article said that germany and france's boycott of the war is fine, but they should have people throughout the middle east promoting liberal policy. we should be aligning ourselves with the secular liberals of the middle east. instead, we're lining up against them. liberal, young america should be using their voice to make sure bush takes the new level of nation building we did in afghanistan to an even higher level in iraq.

FlatAustin: Glitch - that is the MOST intelligent comment I've ever seen on this site. Very good!
FlatAustin: Unfortunately, radical liberals are more interested in discrediting President Bush politically than getting tp the heart of the problem.
clu: they are not directly tied to the right. this article makes a series of very valid points about how fanatical islamism is not directly tied to the right and, in fact, not even directly tied to the u.s.

I'm not saying the right is direclty tied to fanatical islamism. I'm saying the American conservatism that was prevalent during the Reagan and Bush administrations are directly related with our recent military campaigns in the Middle East. Their mishandling and ineptitude towards nation building have done nothing but fester the situation.

true, the united states is guilty of not incorporating liberalism into its foreign policy, but the left is as guilty of that as the right.

I agree.
jones: as a leftist/moderate, i'll take a whack at answering you flataustin...from your comment, i'm gathering that you think bush's foreign policy is his best trait as a president. i think many americans (both liberal and conservative) would disagree). Not to harp on it, but remember, this is a president who couldn't name the leaders of 10 major foreign sovereignties during his campaign for president. In the time that he's been in power, he's refused to sign the Kyoto global warming accord that ensure environmentally sound actions the world over (signed by every other major world power), he's refused to stand with the UN on several key issues in Russia and China (let alone the current situation), and has effectively ignored the concerns and disputes several major world powers have had with this war. not to mention the fact that he invoked the fury of north korea after 9/11 just for the hell of it...you gotta admit he's pretty shitty at diplomacy.

all that said, i support the war in Iraq. there. i've said it. as far as i'm concerned, bush is finishing a job that his father should have finished 11 years ago. i simply don't believe that bush handled this situation as well as some of his predecessors would have.

by the way glitch...great post...10

ultrafastx: Exactly, jones. He's horrible at diplomacy. He's managed to engage in a war that, as I've said in some of my comments, will probably be to the benefit of the Iraqi people and could be good for the US.

But at what cost? In his first year in office he pulled out of a half dozen international treaties. On the road to war, he's damamged or strained relationships with a number of close allies. And this is while he has an individual on this staff (Colin Powell) who has (had?) the potential to be one of the greatest diplomats in history. And Bush has repeatedly hamstrung him.

FlatAustin: Two complaints: 1) George H. W. Bush had no mandate from the U.N. to 'finish the job'. You liberals would have gone ape-shit if he did. 2) There was not even a majority of DEMOCRATS in the Senate that supported the Kyoto treaty.
ultrafastx: To be honest, I don't think the liberals would have gone 'ape shit' in '91. The main reason Bush did not push into Baghdad--at least according to interviews with generals who where commanding then--was militarily. No one had expected the war to go so quickly and easily and they had devised no plan for taking the rest of Iraq. Pushing north without having planned and trained to take the oil fields, dams, and major cities would have been disasterous.
ultrafastx: ah...and regardless of whether the Kyoto treaty had a majority, there is a big difference between wholesale pullout (what Bush did) and going back to the table to renegotiate.

Bush basically said, "Screw you all, we're doing what we want," when it came to addressing global warming. Note the emphasis.

FlatAustin: You're right he SHOULD have made the Senate vote on the treaty - up or down - and put EVERYONE on record. Then he could have renegotiated.
FlatAustin: You're right, many liberals and conservatives are pissed at his diplomacy. I for one think he wasted to much time trying to get U.N. approval. He didn't need it. "In the case of Iraq, the Security Council did act, in the early 1990s. Under Resolutions 678 and 687 -- both still in effect -- the United States and our allies are authorized to use force in ridding Iraq of weapons of mass destruction. This is not a question of authority, it is a question of will."- President Bush 3/17/03
ultrafastx: I don't think his efforts at the UN were wasted. And they were a necessity for Blair, who doesn't enjoy a majority of public support for this war.