April 26, 2004

Berger's Vision: The Fisking VII

Sandy Berger was commissioned by Foreign Affairs to produce a foreign policy essay for the next president from a Democrat perspective.

This is much too long to analyze in one shot, thus the numbered title, Part VII is below:

And now, for a more hopeful section:

Bush administration hard-liners have not been bashful about defining and defending their vision. In an election year, Democrats must also be clear about what they believe and about what they would do to advance U.S. security, prosperity, and democratic ideals, to restore our influence, standing, and ability to lead. Democrats must outline a foreign policy that not only sets the right goals, but also rebuilds America's capacity to achieve them.


Every postwar administration, Republican and Democratic, has believed that there are things in this world worth fighting: threatening regimes or individuals who deserve to be called evil and can be stopped only by force. And today, although we must try to change the political and economic conditions in which terrorist movements are spawned, we must recognize that simply addressing root causes will not stop committed terrorists from attacking the United States and our allies; such people must be apprehended or killed.

The only thing that I would add to this section besides a bravo, well done is that there is one other thing you can do with committed terrorists, you can attack their belief system. This is a crucial distinction and an important challenge for anybody seeking high political office in the US today. Getting the government to publicly challenge the Islamist's belief system is a very difficult thing to do because it runs smack into the first amendment's protection of religious expression and the religious peace treaty that marks the miracle of so many faiths sharing the same country peacefully where in other nations the same faiths fight and kill each other. It used to be that I'd idly wonder how we would handle a modern day thuggee, a religion that is a murder cult. Would we do better than the british who exterminated it or could we even do as well? We now have the chance to find out but Sandy Berger doesn't even address the issue in this otherwise admirable segment.

Posted by TMLutas at April 26, 2004 10:41 AM