Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Time Mag Forwards Idea I Gave You Long Ago

Walter Isaacson at TIME online is talking about an idea I wrote about a long time ago. I think it's a good idea. Why wouldn't I? I came up with it a long time ago.

That's why I'm "the idea person." I'll collect my paycheck in Heaven. ;)

Walter Isaacson writes:
Now faced with a new global threat, that of terrorism from Islamist extremists, we could sure use some of that type of creative and bold thinking. What would George Marshall and Dean Acheson be doing now? At the top of their list, I suspect, would be forging a new version of NATO. They might call it MATO: the Mideast Antiterrorism Organization, a military, police, intelligence and security mutual-defense alliance between the West and our moderate allies in the Middle East.

This MATO alliance would include the countries that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, on her recent trip to the region, referred to as the "mainstream" and "moderate" Arab nations: Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the gulf states. These nations are as threatened as we are by the rise of Iran and of Islamist radicalism.

This was me all the way back in November, 2005 in a piece at Blogcritics magazine titled Change the Course in Iraq:
It begins:


President Bush Stuns the World - Announces An End to the Occupation of Iraq and a New World Organization for the Benefit of Civility in Iraq and Beyond...

An excerpt:

President Bush tells us that he realizes that the US occupation must end now, and he insists that Iraq must be policed by its own citizens here and now. But the Iraqis will not be able to do it alone - not today - not six months from now - probably not even six years from now.

Iraqis will still need help, but the US can't shoulder that burden alone - and the strategic course must change drastically without doing further harm to the security of Iraq's civilian population and infrastructure. We look back on what we've done and see the immoral ramifications. It's heartbreaking - and it's been ineffective. Too many dead civilians, too many orphans, too many towns destroyed, too many lives ruined and disrupted, no possibility (because of the lack of security) for nongovernmental organizations to do the real work of rebuilding lives or supporting the building of a new democracy.

A New World Organization and A New Global Institute For Anti-Terrorism - Police vs. Militarization

This must be an international policing effort with multilateral authorization - based on international law. Terrorist movements and finances must be monitored and their ranks must be infiltrated. These thugs must never be allowed to get their hands on nuclear weapons. The governments of Middle Eastern countries must become convinced that it is in their best interests to eliminate the threat of terror in their own countries and to join the international effort. Bush admits that the US can't police Iraq on a unilateral basis and that the military occupation is no longer effective. Rather than pulling out American troops and continuing a US-led air war with errant bombings that kill thousands more innocent Iraqi civilians, he announces a new global alliance against terrorist groups. This new organization will be led by the US and it will be called the World Anti-Terrorism Organization (WATO).

A new think-tank for the global effort to end terror will also be established, with the best diplomatic and academic minds working on real solutions, in conjunction with the United Nations, to support democracy while attacking the complicated root causes of terror - such as human rights, world hunger, the lack of education, and disease. It will be called GIFT - Global Institute for the Freedom from Terrorism.

Islamic Fundamentalists Join the Debate

The regimes of Syria and Iran, which have caused many problems for citizens within their respective nations who desire a more free and democratic society, would be far more intimidated by a Middle East that was prepared to act, with allied affirmation against those who employ the tactics of terror, in a multilateral effort to protect innocent civilians in Iraq as they work toward building a society they have not yet had a chance to experience. There are many Islamic fundamentalists who do not share the terrorists' commitment to violence. They could be the most important and instrumental group in putting down terrorism and dissuading those who would join the ranks of the terrorists. Iranian and Syrian citizens do not like the tactics of Al Qaeda anymore than any civil human being likes them. The world, acting as one, could be a light to these citizens and much more of a threat to totalitarian theocratic regimes. Bush will decide to pull back American-led forces in the areas close to the Syrian border, because it is doing nothing but fueling the insurgency in Iraq. Iraq will be unable to function normally until the insurgency is brought under control and history has shown that a conventional military power will never defeat a guerrilla force without the support of its indigenous people. That is where the international focus must be.

Having made an unfortunate mess of the training (and the speed of training) of the Iraqi security forces up to this juncture, priority could be put on training more and more Iraqi forces - and many WATO nations could host and participate in this effort, with the US in the lead. An immediate and clear plan for training Iraq's troops, along with definite timetables for certain benchmarks to be met will be required.

When President Bush contemplates the difference between what the US troops leaving "precipitously" vs. what leaving "responsibly" means, he sees that every moral person understands that you don't just pick up stakes and leave the country, but the time has come to plan a withdrawal with a responsible plan for the international police effort. If a battle was ever worth fighting, or if a a war was ever worth winning, the American people have always known what they have to do, and they've done it boldly, decisively, with courage and ferocity. We would do it in Iraq, if it was truly an American war, an American value, or an American interest. The battle is not - and has never been for America alone, and Bush finally realizes that we never should have taken it on as such - especially when bad intelligence was politically manipulated to fit the policy in order to gain the American public's trust - and fear was used to mold public opinion. Bush finally sees that it is in the world's best interest that terrorism is put down and its root causes are addressed - and most importantly, this big idea transcends all partisan politics.

- Jude Nagurney Camwell
Blogcritics Magazine
November 2005


TomCat said...

Jude, shame on you. What audacity you had to steal his idea so long before he had it. ;-)

GreenSmile said...

The progressive moves naturally well ahead of the crowd.
But just can't be heard, no matter how loud.