Summa Pro Al-Assad


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If the United States ever sought to build a pro-Western, democratic government in the Arab/Islamic matrix, Syria could have been a good place to start. The Assad governments have always been secularist. That was why Syria had no problem accepting military aid from the USSR. The Muslim Brotherhood was opposed to Hafez al-Assad, the father of the current president, Bashar al-Assad, because he liberalized trade and commerce, opening up economic opportunities. (Wikipedia here). Dr. Bashar al-Assad was practicing pediatric ophthalmology in London when his brother was killed in a car crash. (Wikipedia, here.) So, he returned home to take over the family business, running Syria. Instead of supporting his government, the United States made an enemy out of a man who had been dedicated to bringing eyesight to children by means of science.
Apparently, the “strategy” from the U.S. State Department these past ten years has been to foster uprisings of democratic elements within Arab/Islamic nations to topple dictatorships, and bring those peoples into the global community of free trade and open borders. For a while, the news media called it “Arab Spring.” The failures are evident everywhere in the Middle East and southwest Asia: Libya, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Bahrain, Yemen, Iran, Afghanistan … And no change has come to our good, close, personal, and very royal friends in Saudi Arabia where the few protests were brutally crushed (BBC here and BBC here).
Just as the failure in Viet Nam was one consequence of a wider and deeper problem, today’s news from Syria demonstrates the results of bad philosophy. Fifty years ago, the United States attempted to fight a “Cold War” without a specific ideology, and to do so against an enemy that had one. Independent of President Reagan’s rhetoric, the ultimate failure of communism was an internal problem. Soviet socialism was unworkable. So, too, today, is the United States attempting to defeat a reactionary mysticism in the Arab/Islamic complex, while not identifying explicitly our own ethical virtues – or their metaphysical foundation. That was why, in opposing communism, the Reagan Administration hosted the Taliban in the White House. In hindsight (always 20/20), it would have been better to partner with the USSR to modernize Afghanistan.
As with Viet Nam, the first level of failure was the lack of a democratic tradition within the culture. People are people; and every village and every empire has its checks and balances rooted in popular approval. That is not the same thing as cultural individualism.
Since then, the immediate “strategy” of arming so-called moderate rebels in Syria also has failed. The American-sponsored Harakat Hazm surrendered itself and its American weapons to al-Qaeda affiliate al-Nusra (TelegraphUK here and USA Today here).
Of course, no such vision existed. We cannot even say the word “capitalism” aloud, though now we can say “homosexual” in most places. We have yet to explicitly identify and endorse the cultural trajectory of the Enlightenment that gave birth to our Republic: reality, reason, self-interest, tolerance, initiative, and wealth-production. Some of those have tendrils within Islamic culture, but nourishing them would take time, perhaps five generations, even after they were identified.
(See “Finding Common Interests with Russia in Syria” by Cmdr. Daniel Dolan, USN (Retired) on the US Naval Institute site here.)
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If the United States ever sought to build a pro-Western, democratic government in the Arab/Islamic matrix, Syria could have been a good place to start. The Assad governments have always been secularist. That was why Syria had no problem accepting military aid from the USSR. The Muslim Brotherhood was opposed to Hafez al-Assad, the father of the current president, Bashar al-Assad, because he liberalized trade and commerce, opening up economic opportunities. (Wikipedia here). Dr. Bashar al-Assad was practicing pediatric ophthalmology in London when his brother was killed in a car crash. (Wikipedia, here.) So, he returned home to take over the family business, running Syria. Instead of supporting his government, the United States made an enemy out of a man who had been dedicated to bringing eyesight to children by means of science.
Apparently, the “strategy” from the U.S. State Department these past ten years has been to foster uprisings of democratic elements within Arab/Islamic nations to topple dictatorships, and bring those peoples into the global community of free trade and open borders. For a while, the news media called it “Arab Spring.” The failures are evident everywhere in the Middle East and southwest Asia: Libya, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Bahrain, Yemen, Iran, Afghanistan … And no change has come to our good, close, personal, and very royal friends in Saudi Arabia where the few protests were brutally crushed (BBC here and BBC here).
Just as the failure in Viet Nam was one consequence of a wider and deeper problem, today’s news from Syria demonstrates the results of bad philosophy. Fifty years ago, the United States attempted to fight a “Cold War” without a specific ideology, and to do so against an enemy that had one. Independent of President Reagan’s rhetoric, the ultimate failure of communism was an internal problem. Soviet socialism was unworkable. So, too, today, is the United States attempting to defeat a reactionary mysticism in the Arab/Islamic complex, while not identifying explicitly our own ethical virtues – or their metaphysical foundation. That was why, in opposing communism, the Reagan Administration hosted the Taliban in the White House. In hindsight (always 20/20), it would have been better to partner with the USSR to modernize Afghanistan.
As with Viet Nam, the first level of failure was the lack of a democratic tradition within the culture. People are people; and every village and every empire has its checks and balances rooted in popular approval. That is not the same thing as cultural individualism.
Since then, the immediate “strategy” of arming so-called moderate rebels in Syria also has failed. The American-sponsored Harakat Hazm surrendered itself and its American weapons to al-Qaeda affiliate al-Nusra (TelegraphUK here and USA Today here).
Of course, no such vision existed. We cannot even say the word “capitalism” aloud, though now we can say “homosexual” in most places. We have yet to explicitly identify and endorse the cultural trajectory of the Enlightenment that gave birth to our Republic: reality, reason, self-interest, tolerance, initiative, and wealth-production. Some of those have tendrils within Islamic culture, but nourishing them would take time, perhaps five generations, even after they were identified.
(See “Finding Common Interests with Russia in Syria” by Cmdr. Daniel Dolan, USN (Retired) on the US Naval Institute site here.)

What you think you know about the Vietnam War is bogus as stated.

--Brant

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Independent of President Reagan’s rhetoric, the ultimate failure of communism was an internal problem. Soviet socialism was unworkable.

What does this sentence mean?

A...

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