July 24, 2005

Conservatives With Brains

from - smijer

I'm not a conservative, and I don't much care for conservatism. But I have to respect people like Fareed Zakaria, no matter what their ideology. He has brains, and he's not afraid to use them. If conservative outlets, like National Review, had folks like him on staff instead of partisan shills like Jonah Goldberg, then I'd be reading a lot more conservative commentary.

Fareed recently appeared on the Daily Show. It's worth watching, if you have quicktime, courtesy of onegoodmove .

Also, it's worth reading his latest column at Newseek. I'd just as soon you start on page 2, but if you must, you can roll back to the first page. Just try to remember that "resiliency" isn't exactly identical with the Bush Doctrine of "keep shopping".

Fareed seems a lot closer than his conservative brethren to understanding the causes of, and understanding the role Muslims must play in defeating, Islamic terrorism. The neo-cons are falsely proclaime that "they hate us because we are free", and trying to convince us that they engage in terrorism "because they are just murderers", and that they are murderers because of their religion. The conservatives with brains, like Zakaria, recognize that the problem is much more that the worst elements have very cleverly and adeptly expanded their power and influence, by selling themselves as the solution to Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory, American or Western policy toward the mid-East and its "desecration" of Holy Lands with infidel troops. The conservatives with brains understand that changing hearts and minds means building bridges with the Islamic mainstream, and allowing the Islamic mainstream to do, of their own volition and to further their own needs, the work of marginalizing the radicals who will employ terrorist tactics.

A wonderful model can be found right here at home. Radical Christians went on a terrorist campaign against abortion clinics not so very long ago. Perhaps their timing was wrong, or perhaps, they underestimated the Christian mainstream, but the American Christians (conservative, moderate, and liberal alike - with a few exceptions) rushed to denounce their terrorism and call for their prosecution. We haven't seen the last doctor murdered, or the last clinic bombed, but so long as the Christian community willingly polices its own, the doctors, nurses, and patients will sleep much better in their beds.

All of us having so recently seen an effective solution, it's quite amazing to me that so many people are so easily persuaded that the most important course of action is to violate the sovereignty of a foreign nation, fight a bloody war, and then continue fighting a seemingly endless resistance to the occupation.

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Posted by smijer at July 24, 2005 12:11 AM
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