Thebastidge: Am I still evolving?
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    ********************Southwest Washington Surplus, your prepping supply store********************

    Thursday, December 21, 2006

    Am I still evolving?

    D. Harrington comments:

    " The header on your blog says "An evolving viewpoint". How has your view point evolved as a result of your experiences?"

    Specifically about Iraq? I'm more pessimistic now. About being able to reconstruct this place, about Iraq joining the community of nations as anything more than an unwanted beggar anytime soon. I'm more pessimistic about 'mainstream Islam' and believe that 'Islamism' is more representative than people would like to admit.

    Read 'The Arab Mind' by Raphael Patai (make sure you get the latest publication). I'm in the middle of reading it now. I started once before with an earlier publication, but the experience here has made Mr Patai's points more immediately and practiclly. It's spot on, from my perspective. As is:

    Why Arabs lose wars: Fighting as you train, and the impact of culture on Arab effectiveness.


    Spotting the Losers: Seven Signs of Non-Competitive States

    I had read these two articles before I came here, but the visceral impact of seeing this culture up close and personal has rammed the lessons home much more forecfully than just reading ever could have done.

    I used to be a lot more positive that American military force and economic practice could bring Iraq into the 'Core states' (ref: "The Pentagon's New Map" by Thomas Barnett) but now I am not so sure.

    I still believe that it was necessary to stop the status quo thinking that had so long dominated our Middle Eastern policy, and I thnk that military intervention here was inevitable and long overdue. But, having come and concquered, we should perhaps, have behaved more as conquerors. Current thinking here seems to lend itself to the line that Iraq almost needs a strong benevolent dictator along the lines of Pinochet or some of the military leaders of South Korea.


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