Skip to comments.World War IV Begins Here
Posted on 04/06/2003 9:29:25 AM PDT by SamAdams76
Now that U.S. forces have reached Baghdad, let us put today's events in historical perspective. In a sense, as John Hopkins professor Eliot Cohen has noted, we have entered World War IV.
More than a war against terrorism, this is a war to extend democracy to those parts of the Arab and Muslim world that threaten the liberal civilization we worked to build and defend throughout the 20th Century in World War I, World War II and the Cold War - World War III.
I hope it will not be as long as the 40-plus years of World War III, but it certainly will be longer than either World War I or World War II. It will probably take decades.
Eighty-six years ago, in the spring of 1917, when American entered World War I, there were about 10 democracies in the world: the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Britain, France, Switzerland and a couple of countries in Northern Europe. It was a world of empires, kingdoms, colonies and various types of authoritarian regimes.
Today, 120 of 192 countries in the world are democracies. These 120 countries all have some popularly contested elections and some beginnings, at least, of the rule of law.
That is an amazing change in the lifetime of many individuals now still living. Nothing like that has ever happened in world history. Needless to say, American had something to do with this, both in helping to win World War I, in prevailing, along with Britain, in World War II, and eventually prevailing in the Cold War.
Along the way, a lot of people said very cynically at various times that the Germans, Japanese, Russians or those with a Chinese Confucian background would never be able to run democracies. It took some help, but the Germans, Japanese and now even the Russians and Taiwanese seem to have figured it out.
In the Muslim world, outside the 22 Arab states, which have no democracies, there are some reasonably well-governed states that are moderating and changing, such as Bahrain.
Of the 24 Muslim-predominant non-Arab states, about half are democracies. They include some of the poorest countries in the world, such as Bangladesh and Mali. Nearly 200 million Muslims live in a democracy in India. Outside of one province, they are generally at peace with their Hindu neighbors.
There is a special problem in the Middle East, however. Outside of Israel and Turkey, there are essentially no democracies. Rather, there are two types of governments: pathological predators and vulnerable autocrats. This is not a good mix.
Aside from Iraq, Iran, Syria, Sudan and Libya sponsor and assist terrorism in one way or another. All five have sought weapons of mass destruction.
Clearly, the terror war is never going to go away until we change the face of the Middle East, which is what we are beginning to do in Iraq. That is a tall order. But it's not as tall an order as what we already have accomplished in the previous world wars.
Change remains to be undertaken in that one part of the world that historically has not had democracy, which has reacted angrily against intrusions from the outside - the Arab Middle East.
Saddam Hussein, autocrats from the Saudi royal family and terrorists alike must realize that now, for the fourth time in 100 years, America has been awakened. This country is on the march. We didn't choose this fight - the Baathist fascists, the Islamist Shia and the Islamist Sunni did - but we're in it. And being on the march, there's only one way we're going to be able to win it.
It's the way we won World War I, fighting for Wilson's 44 points. It is the way we won World War II, fighting for Churchill and Roosevelt's Atlantic Charter. It is the way we won World War III, fighting for the noble ideas best expressed by President Reagan, but also very importantly at the beginning by President Truman.
This war, like the world wars of the past, is not a war of us against them. It is not a war between countries. It is a war of freedom against tyranny.
America has to convince the people of the Middle East that we are on their side, just as we convinced Lech Walesa and Vaclav Havel and Andrei Sakharov that we were on their side. This will take time. It will be difficult.
We understand we are making the terrorists, dictators and autocrats nervous. We want them to be nervous. We want them to realize that America is on the march, and we are on the side of those whom they most fear - their own people.
Ever earlier form, from a speech last year.
We want them to be nervous. We want them to realize that America is on the march, and we are on the side of those whom they most fear - their own people.
I want them to be very afraid, I want them trembling, I want them to respond as if they are the ones in this passage in the Bible: "As for those of you who are left, I will make their hearts so fearful in the lands of their enemies that the sound of a windblown leaf will put them to flight. They will run as though fleeing from the sword, and they will fall, even though no one is pursuing them." Leviticus 26:36
Yup, that's what I want.
And we should make a League of Free Nations to coordinate our allies in this war.
I could use one of the older, longer versions but if you happen to have the real link to this one, that would be better.
One can argue now that the resolution requires the United States to go through Hans Blix in order to find a violation of the Security Council resolution, whether it's in the declaration, which Saddam owes on December 8, or a resistance by the Iraqis of inspections. Hans Blix, to put it as gently as a I can, does not have a stellar background of inquisitiveness or decisiveness. When in early 2000, the current U.N. inspection regime was being set up, the first head of the inspection regime was actually proposed, who would have been fine. The French and Russians and Chinese carrying Iraq's water objected to him and Kofi Annan found the one U.N. bureaucrat w ho would be acceptable to Saddam Hussein, namely Hans Blix. People can change. We can hope that Hans Blix does not continue as the Inspector Clouzo of international investigations.
See numerous other postings on Blix.
That's why the United Nations is a fatally flawed institution. Both on its Security Council (through vetoes) and in its General Assembly and other bodies (by majority) the dictators are still running the show. So worldwide, things are not as optimistic as this author believes.
The other error is an obvious one that any able writer, or editor, should have caught. The name of the referenced university is "Johns Hopkins." The gentleman after whom the university was named had an "s" at the end of his first name.
WWIV started 9/11/01, where has this guy been?
... on September 11th, 2001.
All of the above employed the united States of America as political leverage against the existing Soviet Union. For Woolsey to suggest otherwise is to insult the intelligence of the Boston Herald readership in addition to the citizens of Poland, Hungry and Russia.
It's a thought worth contemplation, however the world as a whole wasn't known in the year 609.