The following is an excerpt from an email I received from some guy whom I emailed after seeing his comments in another blog:
I'm going to brave a predication here. I honestly believe that radical islam is living it's last meaningful decade or two. I'm convinced Iran is going to fall to a democratic revolution before the decade ends, perhaps much sooner. This assumes, of course, that we continue to push back on radical islamists - hard if need be.Interesting stuff, eh? I'm gonna reply to see if he'd deign to join us here.
Radical islam is an extremist political force, born where all extreme politics are born, in conditions of political and social desperation. When life becomes a living hell, risking death and dishing out death becomes a plausible option.
Winning the WOT will require a multipronged approach:
1. Recognizing that the political tyrannies of the Mid-East are NOT our allies. They are cauldrons of social, economic and technological backwardness and politcal repression.
2. Making our foriegn policy reflect that reality; that is, working overtly against the political tyrannies in the Mid-East.
3. Making the political and economic committment to recently fallen tyrannies, such as Iraq and Afghanistan, to ensure their economic and political stability at a minimum, and their prosperity ideally. These post-tyrant nations will become natural allies. More importantly, they will present an alternate model to the people of other muslim nations. Nothing like an example you can see with your own eyes to make a believer out of a person.
We also need to polish up a couple of old-fashioned virtues: belief in ourselves and in freedom, individual and political courage, wisdom, patience and generosity. I agree with you that the Bush administration seems to embody those things.