February 21, 2007
Michael Oren On 'Power, Faith, and Fantasy in the Middle East'
PJM (hat tip - Java Report) has a must read interview by Michael J. Totten with renowned American-Israeli historian and best-selling author Michael Oren "on the Tangled Web of US Involvement from the age of Jefferson to Today". Oren is touring the United States promoting his new book Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East: 1776 to the Present, a sweeping history of America's involvement in the Middle East from 1776 to the present:
"You cannot withdraw from Iraq and be confident that the enemy is not going to follow you. Because the enemy is going to follow you. America can't detach from the Middle East because the Middle East is not going to detach from America. And America's going to have to learn to fight this fight to win in a much more prudent and effective way. And there are ways America can fight it more effectively." -- Michael OrenRead all of the interview and learn why, according to Oren, America's involvement in the Middle East 200 years ago matters today, and what it has to do with September 11 and Iraq.
Interestingly, our experience in the Middle East has very deep roots and not a hell of a lot has changed in the last 200 years. As for what to do now, I found Oren's take that America has been fighting a theology with an ideology, as right on. As he says, it doesn't work. We have to get in the business of promoting a reformist Islam. As controversial as the idea may be, it's important in gaining the upper hand on the radical Islamists. Oren says that the extreme Wahhabi interpretation of Islam predominates in schools across Europe, but what he doesn't mention is the significant degree of influence it has here in the U.S. also.
BTW, I can't help but believe that contrary to the Left's agenda, strengthening our own faith, and living it, will go a very long way toward strengthening our defense against the radical Islamists, and go a long way toward helping people of different faiths live in peace with one another.
Posted by Richard at February 21, 2007 10:40 AM