Sunday, November 26, 2006

After the Next Attack

[posted by Callimachus]

Here's one set of ideas. I never would have thought like this in 2001, but times, as they say, have changed:

  • Don't invade anything. Don't fire a missile. Don't promise to rebuild anyone's infrastructure or offer anyone the gift of freedom and democracy. Don't nation-build.

  • With the reborn anger and commitment at home, bend every fiber of our national will to GETTING OFF THE OIL ADDICTION. Throw government money at any fool with a bright idea for alternative energy. Bitch-slap Detroit and Houston into thinking in terms of "transportation" not "big cars" and "energy" not "oil."

    Push the people in their homes to conserve, to ration. That alone will do nothing, but once you let people become accustomed to a thing it will become second-nature. Look at what has happened since 1970 with recycling. Besides, it never hurts to do anything that makes everyone feel involved in the cause.

  • Accept the terms of the war as declared by the jihadis. They define "their" turf. Accept that -- to a point. We in the West are one "house." They are our "house of war." The Muslim nations are de-facto in the House of War, to us.

    The president should go on TV and draw a green line around it on the map. There will be exceptions, enclaves, beachheads. Treat Israel as a beachhead. Extend our protection to a de-Hezbollized Lebanon. Declare Iraqi Kurdistan an American protectorate.

    There will be gray areas. Thailand and Philippines and India and Kenya are front-line allies. Write off Pakistan and Jordan and Egypt; you can't save them. Morocco and Indonesia? I'm not sure. Turkey? Tough call. But no more footsie. Within that green line, in fact you're either going to be with us or against us.

  • Welcome refugees. People from within the House of Islam who want to live Western lives in the West; welcome them. Secular people, tolerant people, intellectuals, students, people who have helped us there in the past. Give every single one of them a new home here. Welcome refugees -- but vet them carefully.

  • In effect, this is a return to the Cold War policy of containment. And we should treat it as exactly that: A new Cold War. We still remember how to fight a cold war. All our lessons, all our models and anti-models, still trace from that time.

    And let the House of Islam melt itself down as it inevitably will. The phony post-imperial nation-states will collapse. The worst theocrats will rise to the top. Old tribal and ethnic feuds will explode. It will be ugly, ugly, ugly. Don't pretend we can save it or stop it. Suck the oil money out of them, let them work out their anger on their own, then see where they stand.