Monday, June 9, 2008

Thomas Sowell should read -- Elizabeth Sullivan

World Icon Now that we have entered the general campaign season, you can be sure that editorials will come out in favor of one presidential candidate or in opposition to a presidential candidate. Thomas Sowell manages to do both. However, in the editorial to follow his own column, written by Elizabeth Sullivan of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, she actually describes the kind of legacy that the present president will actually leave his successor, no matter whom he may be. And while Sowell is undoubtedly correct to point out what sort of hostility this country is likely to face in the years ahead; he is incorrect to project the failings of the current administration onto a potential democratic successor. No matter what, the Bush administration has created the sort of Middle Eastern mess that may be difficult for his successor to sort out, if indeed he can even successfully clean up the foreign policy disasters that GW has managed to leave him.

From Elizabeth Sullivan's

Islam ineptitude at White House

It's not just CIA Director Mike Hayden who says al–Qaida is on the ropes. The Jihad's leading theorist writes from his prison cell in Egypt that Osama bin Laden betrayed Islam with his 9/11 terrorist attack. Coming from an Egyptian terrorist titan known by his nom de guerre, Dr Fadl, that frontal attack last year stirred up a hornet's nest of other al–Qaida dissent. It forced al–Qaida's No. 2, Ayman al–Zawahri, to issue an unprecedented and blatantly self–serving public manifesto defending his terror methods that kill so many Muslims.

You would think that the GW administration would take advantage of that sort of dissension that literally could unravel the whole idea of al Qaeda and even what makes it a credible terrorist organization. Not according to Elizabeth Sullivan who writes, "The White House continues to fumble important chances to transform its foreign policy to embrace such changes within Islam. Instead, U.S. officials seem to denigrate all Muslims by using such terms as 'Islamofascism' to refer to the nation's enemies." She further adds, "Al-Qaida's weaknesses would be something to celebrate if it weren't creating greater potential dangers to the U.S. homeland. The network's embarrassed leaders may be looking for that next big strike against the infidels to restore their lost standing with other Muslims." — You listening Senator McCain?

As Sullivan further notes, "Yet by not capitalizing on the rising tide of popular Islamic disgust to embrace less confrontational approaches, U.S. officials aren't just missing opportunities to make inroads with average Muslims. They're also managing to look weak and out of touch—which automatically lowers their standing with the Arab world." (Sullivan's full editorial can be found at the on-line edition of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.)

If as Sowell notes, Senator McCain is the "obvious choice." McCain is facing a challenge, that a far younger man with even less experience than McCain had himself acquired after 25 years in public service, has left him. And Sowell could have done as Sullivan had done, pointed a damning finger at the proper politicians, those presently occupying the White House. Instead, Sowell presumes that the foreign policy mess that Senator Barack Obama inherits on day one as president, can only become worse. How do we know that it wouldn't be made worse under McCain who has, on the campaign trail, embraced most of GW's ideology about "America knows best" (Sullivan) that have also come with blinders as to America's bungling when it comes to truly foreign cultures and religion. Sowell's own ideology obviously will never allow him to think outside the box. Pity.

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