January 31, 2011

Diplomacy is not the opposite of force. It is the alternative to force.

Commenter Bisaal directed my attention to this piece by David Warren, Watching Egypt, which argues that the Islamists are likely to take over in Egypt, after the small liberal bourgeois fraction of the population takes down the Maburak regime. My comment included this point, which has long bugged me.

Well, that's the bad possibility. I have no argument with Warren, it may turn out that way.

It may be inevitable.

But if it is not inevitable, if the issue now hangs in the balance, then the simple fact to consider is that we had a lot of clout in the region in 2005, and we have almost none now.

We had a lot of power and influence for exactly the reason that I blogged about over and over. Diplomacy is the alternative to force. If it doesn't look like you are willing to use force then diplomacy won't achieve much.

We had a lot of influence then because people thought Bush was a crazy cowboy who would go to war any moment. Once it became clear that he was politically too weak to fight any new wars, then his freedom agenda was dead. Diplomacy was dead.

Bush should have had the support of all the free people of the world. Warm-hearted support!

That's one of the several reasons I would argue that pacifism causes wars.

Imagine that you lead a union, and the big contract is coming up for re-negotiation. And you don't want to go on strike. That is, you don't want war. What do you do?

Do you announce that you have no stomach for a fight? Of course not! What you do is let it be known that your boys are spoiling for a fight, and might just start a war strike out sheer cussedness and orneriness.

Am I right? And it would also help if you'd fought a bloody war strike not long in the past, right?

There was a time, a small window of time, when Condi would frown and tyrants would tremble in their boots. And remember how Lybia voluntarily gave up its WMD programs! That was an exciting hopeful moment, but it was soon destroyed. Destroyed by "liberals," who hated Bush because he was a real liberal, and exposed them for the frauds they are...

Posted by John Weidner at January 31, 2011 9:46 PM
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