Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Debunked: Ten Conservative Myths About National Security

Going after the most dangerous myths spun by conservatives after 9/11.To begin with, "Islamofascism" itself is an impossible idea, and those who promote it betray a fundamental political ignorance. True fascism can only occur within an industrialized nation-state, few of which exist in the Islamic world. And many of our most intransigent problems with terrorism come from the opposite problem: modern terrorists have no state affiliations, and are thus free to drift across international borders with fluid ease. Defeating them means coming to grips with this fact. Calling them "fascists" makes it that much harder to grasp.Worse, "Islamofascism" suggests that the Muslim world is some kind of vast monolithic conspiracy, equal in might and will to the Soviet Union or Nazi Germany back in the day -- and that's another dangerous delusion. Just like Christianity, Islam covers a widely diverse range of cultures and political attitudes. In fact, the overwhelming majority of the world's 1.6 billion Muslims are not jihadis, and consider terrorism abhorrent. Turning one-quarter of the world's people into The Enemy will blind us to the subtle but critical distinctions within Islam. It will doom us to serious blunders, alienate potential allies, and cost us important opportunities to make real inroads against terrorism.

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