Originally Posted by Botnst
Did you read the letter? Did you read what the members of the Council on Foreign Relations said of their interview with him and in regards to his letter?
Analysis is what intelligence services and think tanks are for. To expect that any group of people ANYWHERE is going to have sufficient breadth of knowledge of Islam to encompass all possible situations is breathtakingly naive.
No, I did not read "The Letter." Or the Council on Foriegn Relations' statements. I doubt anyone in the administration did much more than screen it before denouncing it as they publicly disregarded it within 36 hours of its existence being announced. And, you miss the point. Do you think Ahmandinejad spent the time to write it for no other reason than to be privately antagonistic to Bush? He was being much more successful doing that on the world stage. In any case, what was the advantage America gained by publicly belittling the gesture of having written the letter? Why are we so predictable? It makes us easier to manipulate.
But, Bot, if you would like to summarize the letter, presuming you have read it, and the Council on Foriegn Relations' findings, including whatever interviews they might have had, it would be welcome added data.
As for your attempt to lower expectations regarding the value of studying Islam, how about we just restrict our most strenuous efforts to those Islamic cultures in sovereign nations we are contemplating invading? I mean, what was the urgency in March of 2003? What if we took another year or ten to really understand what we were going to step into? What would have been the negative consequence? The UN inspectors, who's integrity and competence we purposely smeared, could have completed their assessments while we tried a little harder to figure out who the real enemy in Iraq was, or even if Iraq was the correct target. You may be satisfied with their performance to date, but I am not. I still don't see how any of this predictable, reactionary foriegn policy is benefiting America. And to suggest it is as good as it is going to get is not acceptable.
"It is too hard to do the job right" or "it is naive to expect a thorough job" are all Condi's Lament
chorus lines. We need to back off if we don't have the skills to do the job correctly, grow them, and then reengage and steer international opinion and actions in directions that are in America's best interests without being threatening to the other stakeholders. Jim