Non-intervention, Truman style...?!

By Owen Paine on Wednesday December 27, 2006 03:33 PM

File this under "almost, pal, but no cigar": this bright young spark Micah Zenko, a grad student at Brandeis and "research associate" in Harvard's Kennedy School, calls for a "no occupations anywhere" policy:
.. by making the opposition to military occupation a principle of US foreign policy it would end a vital rallying cry of Al Qaeda and its affiliates.... Nothing further unites and expands the international jihadist movement more than the prospect of opposing a perceived foreign occupation of Islamic lands.... outside military forces that control a foreign territory end up tarnishing the political character of that country. They employ violence to achieve their goals retard social and economic development and inevitably incite armed resistance....

And while he's at it Uncle oughta end other guys' occupations too, like

... India in Kashmir, Morocco in Western Sahara, Turkey in Northern Cyprus, and Israel in Palestine....[with a] full array of diplomatic incentives.
That last bit is a little queasy-making -- it sounds a lot like trying to suppress the Mafia by the force of moral exhortation. A US commitment to ending occupations everywhere would certainly require something a little more muscular than "diplomatic incentives" -- and just what is a diplomatic incentive anyway? A second helping of petits-fours?

In fact it does turn out that Micah is not quite ready to renounce the big stick; he just wants to keep it in ready reserve:

There should, of course, be exceptions to a non occupation doctrine: international peacekeepers or foreign militaries authorized by the UN Security Council, peacekeeping or stability operations recognized by the consensus of international organizations such as NATO, short-term humanitarian interventions intended to prevent future mass killings.... and deployments welcomed by the recognized government of a state.
Oh Micah, Micah. You had me going for a minute there. But each one of these loopholes is big enough to fit Bill Clinton's brass ass through. And sniff this telltale twist of phrase -- he's calling this "a commitment to the Truman Doctrine." Father Smiff would no doubt have seen the cloven hoof right up top, when the guy used the word "jihadist."

On second thought, let's go ahead and hand the guy a cigar -- just make it an exploder.

Comments (2)

J. Alva Scruggs:

Elite academia has this lunatic marketplace effect on the members. They don't look for solutions as much as they look for marketable positions that build their personal brand. Here's Micah staking out the consumer base of people who aren't keen on the Princeton Plan.


So nu?

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