The Nudnik File

Nudnik - n. U.S. colloq. Esp. in Jewish usage: a pestering, nagging, or irritating person

Thursday, January 27, 2005

              The Panic of the "Realists"
The "realist" branch of the foreign policy establishment was very unhappy about Bush's Inaugural Address, as was evidenced by Richard Haas's article in the Washington Post. Their main criticism is that Bush's vision is too far-reaching and not achievable. But as Saul Singer points out, Bush's goal is not as daunting as it seems.
What the realists don't realize is that if there is a problem with Bush's speech, it is neither utopianism nor excess ambition. If anything, Bush has made the goal of securing the world seem more daunting than it really is.

The terror the world is at war with is not quite as amorphous and global as it is made out to be. It is limited to one particularly virulent subculture within one civilization: to militant Islamism. And that subculture can only count two governments and one society as active allies: Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia. Of these, Syria is small and weak and the Saudis are also quite vulnerable and divided. This leaves Iran, the one regime in the world whose fate will determine whether the war takes a significant step forward or backward.
|| Nudnik 2:09 PM
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