Friday, October 23, 2009

Rumsfeld's Report

Glenn Greenwald, writing in Salon, recalls:

In 2004, Donald Rumsfeld directed the Defense Science Board Task Force to review the impact which the administration's policies -- specifically the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan -- were having on Terrorism and Islamic radicalism. They issued a report in September, 2004 (.pdf) and it vigorously condemned the Bush/Cheney approach as entirely counter-productive, i.e., as worsening the Terrorist threat those policies purportedly sought to reduce.

The Report's conclusion:

"Muslims do not 'hate our freedom,' but rather, they hate our policies ... [which have] not led to democracy ... but only more chaos and suffering."

Other conclusions reported by Greenwald deserve your attention.

We have forgotten America's original foreign policy:

The great rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign nations is in extending our commercial relations to have with them as little political connection as possible."
— Washington, Farewell Address (1796) [Washington’s emphasis]

I deem [one of] the essential principles of our government, and consequently [one] which ought to shape its administration,…peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none.
— Jefferson, First Inaugural Address (1801)

Even more important than government "isolationism," is voluntarist intervention:

“If American Christians simply gave a tithe rather than the current one-quarter of a tithe, there would be enough private Christian dollars to provide basic health care and education to all the poor of the earth. And we would still have an extra $60-70 billion left over for evangelism around the world.”
Book Review: The Scandal Of The Evangelical Conscience - Acton Institute PowerBlog

A massive missionary outreach of charity and libertarian evangelism would win the hearts of the Muslim world, rather than create terrorists. But this action (required of Christians regardless of the pragmatic foreign policy benefits) would not buttress the power of neoconservatives and state-supported oil companies. So don't expect the mainstream media to promote the idea.

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