Don’t fight ’em, join ’em!

You may be wondering, as I am, how are we to meet the challenge of expansionist radical Islam, particularly in the form of soon-to-be-nuclear Iran?

You may feel uneasy that Iran has extended its influence all the way to Lebanon and will almost certainly  absorb Iraq into its sphere of influence as we withdraw — which we are certainly going to do.

It may bother you to think that Iran, where political rallies invariably include shouts of “death to America” and “death to Israel”, will shortly control — either directly or by nuclear blackmail — approximately 56% of world oil reserves.

If you care about Israel, you are probably very worried about Ahmadinejad’s threats to ‘wipe Israel off the face of the earth’, threats that he is in the early stages of carrying out by means of his proxies Syria, Hamas and Hezbollah — even without using the nukes he is building.

Well, you can stop worrying.

34 former US officials and ‘civic leaders’ have the solution:  Don’t fight ’em, join ’em!

WASHINGTON – The next U.S. president should speak out for better relations with the Muslim world in his inaugural address and pursue an accord between Israel and the Palestinians within three months of taking office, a diverse coalition of 34 former U.S. officials and civic leaders said in a report being issued Wednesday.

Step 1 is giving the Arabs and Iranians what they want more than anything else: Israel. You can bet that the ‘accord’ that they envision includes getting the IDF out of the West Bank and turning it over to the forces of Mahmoud Abbas, who will ‘fight terrorism’ for about 10 minutes before rolling over for Hamas. Then Israel will be almost entirely surrounded by Iran’s proxy armies, with missiles falling on Tel Aviv daily. I don’t even want to think about the rest of the deal, which will involve giving up parts of Jerusalem and even the admission of some number of ‘refugees’ (read: guerrillas) into Israel.

The proposals, which include diplomatic engagement with Iran, are designed to reverse Muslim extremism and enhance U.S. international security. They are based on the conclusion that improving U.S. relations with Muslim countries and communities is critical, the report said…

Do the dignitaries and civic leaders explain precisely how giving in to the demands of Muslim extremism will tend to reverse it? I would expect just the opposite, given the results of Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza — and from simply paying attention to what the extremists say.

On promoting democracy among the Arabs, a hallmark of President George W. Bush’s foreign policy, the report envisioned a cautious role for the United States: improving governance and civic participation without imposing a particular set of institutions, parties or leaders.

Bush’s war on terror, the report said, has been inadequate and sometimes counterproductive. It recommends “partnership” with Muslims committed to nonviolent political and economic development to reverse extremism and promote reform within authoritarian governments.

The jails in Syria, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt are full of reform-minded Muslims (in the Palestinian Authority they don’t live long enough to be jailed). Bashar Assad, for example, does not want ‘economic development’ and certainly not any kind of ‘reform’. He is quite happy with funneling the fruits of the Syrian economy into the pockets of his friends and relatives, and his relationship with Iran — which provides an unlimited supply of weapons — is far more important to him than anything we can provide. With whom should we ‘partner’ in Syria?

Palestinian political culture is such that respect and support goes to the faction that has the most credibility in armed struggle with the Zionists. With whom are we to ‘partner’ among the Palestinians?

“Bush’s war on terror” as I recall, began with the overthrow of the Taliban who sheltered and supported Osama Bin Laden. Should we not have tried to impose a non-Taliban government? With whom should we have ‘partnered’ in Afghanistan?

Among the recommendations were expanding people-to-people exchanges and staging a business-government conference on economic reform, growth and job creation in the Middle East within the first six months of the new administration.

This is so wrong-headed that it’s breathtaking.

First, it ignores ideology as a motivator. Do you think that the average Hamas or Hezbollah fanatic will stop wanting to rip the throats out of Jews if he’s offered a better job? Was Osama bin Laden motivated by a desire for economic reform?

Second, it ignores that fact that the export of violent extremism is the deliberate policy of some Muslim nations (e.g., Iran and Syria). Iran’s support for Hezbollah — which has been called the “foreign legion of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard” — as well as Hamas, has institutionalized extremism and terrorism.

And third, it ignores reality. Will Ahmadinejad agree to stop building the weapons with which he plans to become a regional superpower as a result of promises to build maquiladoras in his country? Can we afford to bribe Bashar al-Assad better than Ahmadinejad can?

The full report can be found here; it is being released today before the foreign policy debate between John McCain and Barack Obama to beheld Friday and includes a “Call to Action” for the next President.

The 34 signatories include 11 Muslim-Americans including Ingrid Mattson, President of the Islamic Society of North America [ISNA], as well as former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, President/CEO of the American Petroleum Institute Red Caveney, and Stephen Heintz, President of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, one of the major funders of the project.

This document is 170 pages of nonsense masquerading as serious policy analysis, whose goal is to replace opposition to Iranian and Palestinian goals with appeasement and bribes (which will be accepted and ineffectual, as always).

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