Michael Ledeen Wants “Us” to “Destroy Radical Islamism”

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Michael Ledeen wants a new American war on “radical Islamism”. This is the man who in his efforts to get the U.S. to attack Iraq wrote in 2002:

“He [Brent Scowcroft] fears that if we attack Iraq ‘I think we could have an explosion in the Middle East. It could turn the whole region into a cauldron and destroy the War on Terror.’

“One can only hope that we turn the region into a cauldron, and faster, please. If ever there were a region that richly deserved being cauldronized, it is the Middle East today. If we wage the war effectively, we will bring down the terror regimes in Iraq, Iran, and Syria, and either bring down the Saudi monarchy or force it to abandon its global assembly line to indoctrinate young terrorists. That’s our mission in the war against terror.”

Statements like these exemplify everything wrong about neocons: willingness to get America into wars to remake the world, cruelty and insensitivity to the people in the Middle East, blindness to any paths of improvement except war, identifying the wrong enemies, lack of knowledge of the region, failure to forecast consequences, over-confidence in military victory, under-estimating the costs to both sides of war, zealotry, establishing grandiose and unworkable missions, and vast ignorance concerning social-political dynamics in general and within Middle Eastern countries in particular.

Beyond the preceding, why did Ledeen want an American aggression in 2002 and why does he want more American intervention now? In one word: Israel. Surrounding Israel with newly-created democracies is his hoped for means of protecting Israel. Ledeen’s 2005 assessment, which could not be more wrong as shown in Iraq, Libya, and Syria, is that if the U.S. gets rid of Middle Eastern dictators, then democracies will emerge:

“The fires of freedom are burning all over Iran, Syria, and Lebanon. Don’t stand back and admire the flames. Push the dictators in, and then cheer as free societies emerge.”

We have seen what happens in Iraq, Libya, Egypt and Syria, and it is not the emergence of free societies.

The last thing Obama should do is to re-involve America with Iraq as Ledeen wants. The U.S. has no national security interest, not even oil, in Iraq or Syria. Obama has already done the wrong thing by sending in 300 military advisers. Using air power would be another and larger mistake. He and others are doing the wrong thing by involving themselves with Maliki’s position and hinting he should step down. There are plenty of people and forces within Iraq, not to mention surrounding countries, who have a direct interest and who know and understand the situation, the people involved, the force capabilities, and the moral elements. The government of the U.S. is as foreign to this region as it is to Ukraine. It’s none of its business or of most all Americans, and it’s a delusion to think otherwise.

4:49 pm on June 22, 2014