Saturday, November 25, 2006

Realism or Appeasment?

Stanford professor and Telos editor Russell Berman's "The Price of Realism," is a powerful essay in which he correctly identifies the inability of Iranians and Syrians to stablize Iraq. The so called 'realists' are suffering from a delusion if they think by giving the mob (Iran and Syria) what they want, they will save Iraq for the "Great Satan":

More specifically—so the plan may go—if the US begins to "talk" with Iran and Syria, the axis-of-evil member and its mini-me might stop making trouble and become engaged in the establishment of order in Iraq. Clearly one important and dubious assumption is that the sectarian and factional war in Iraq (which for a long time has surpassed anything like an insurgency against the US) is primarily a function of Iranian and Syrian policies and not—as is much more likely—a consequence of the nature of Iraqi society itself. The regional version of realism which places the emphasis on an arrangement with neighboring states tends to minimize the significance of domestic Iraqi concerns: which is exactly why it involves dismissing "democracy." Instead of pursuing the establishment of domestic Iraqi institutions, this strategy implies ceding influence to Tehran and Damascus, in order to "solve" Baghdad. (As if the Yugoslav wars could have been solved by "talking" in Budapest and Athens.)

1 comment:

A Jacksonian said...

And that is the problem with the 'Realists' they never did solve Yugoslavia... and it was never 'rebuilt' either after either World War. And those multi-directional faultlines have a direct correlation to another set, elsewhere.

These 'Realists' are the cause of the problems we now face, in trying to apply one limited conception that only worked on one Nation to ALL Nations, they have applied a simplistic solution to a complex world. And come to no good end, as we can see. If they were all so smart, then why did they not fix these problems when it was cheaper and easier to do?

We must let go of 'Realism' and 'Pragmatic Diplomacy' and the rest of the 20th century post-WWIIisms... or they will reach out to grab our collective legs and draw us down as it sinks, thus claiming more victims for the 20th century.