William Pfaff decries American foreign policy in a way that may give readers, left and right, pause.
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In one of the more startling passages, Pfaff minimizes the dangers of Muslim fundamentalists. “I seem to be one of the very few Americans who do not believe in the enormity of the Islamic radical threat,” he writes. Islamic terrorism is nothing more than a passing phenomenon, “neither unprecedented nor specific to the present period” except in relation to oil resources and the existence of Israel.
Pfaff concludes with a catalogue of disasters that would never have happened if U.S. policy had been non-interventionist — Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Pol Pot’s genocide, Iran’s theocracy, and of course Iraq and Afghanistan.
At the end of this extended essay, Pfaff is unequivocal. “America’s colossally militarized but morally nugatory global mission… has lacked from the very beginning an attainable goal. It cannot succeed.”
An iconoclast to the end, Pfaff uses his erudition and his command of language to make his case in ringing tones. But the value of this slim volume resides more in his provocative treatment of familiar issues rather than any plan to grapple with solutions. The book reads like the testament of a distant sage who wants to leave behind his personal views on how the United States lost its way. Perhaps he is hopeful that future generations will take heed. If so, Bill Pfaff turns out to be an optimist after all.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online