April 08, 2004

Westphalian Ignorance Watch I

Fareed Zakaria is supposed to be a smart man. And usually he doesn't let me down but he's completely missed the significance of Tony Blair explicitly repudiating the Treaty of Westphalia and he's also convinced that George W. Bush's declaration of war on terrorism is a metaphorical, not a literal/legal war. And so he goes sailing off the cliff into flights of fancy.

After all, whom would we wage war on now? Germany for being home to some of the 9/11 plotters? Spain because the Madrid bombers lived and plotted there? Iran and Syria? Would that stop the next Madrid bombing?

Pakistan and Saudi Arabia might seem better candidates. But their connection to terror is complex. From its earliest days Al Qaeda has sought to overthrow the Saudi regime for being pro-American. And Al Qaeda's latest video is a plea—one of several—from Ayman al-Zawahiri to overthrow President Musharraf. If we attacked Saudi Arabia and Pakistan today, we would be doing Al Qaeda's work for it.

He's obviously locked into the Westphalian worldview, that you cannot fight a war except when all parties are states. What is scary is that I'm not seeing gales of laughter at this tremendous faux pas. Few others are spotting it either. So, dear readers, you find yourself tremendously ahead of the curve. I hope you use that knowledge well.

Posted by TMLutas at April 8, 2004 06:20 PM