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John Derbyshire had an interesting post at The Corner yesterday in response to Andy McCarthy:
(...)The War on Terror, though, is not really a war to stamp out terrorism, a thing that probably can't be done, as our leaders very likely know. It is a war on terrorists getting nukes. ("WMD" if you like, but that is really just a synonym for nukes. Chemical and biological terrorism, in the present state of the dark arts, are minor threats by comparison.) Nukes can only be made by biggish, stable--whether under dictatorship or law--well-organized nations. Any such nation friendly to terrorists, hostile to us, and looking as if it is on the way to getting nukes, demands action.
The question is: What action? My answer would be, has always been: Attack them, smash up their assets, kill their leaders if you can, cripple their military. Then leave them in rubble and chaos. They're not going to be making any nukes in that condition. Mission accomplished. That was what I hoped we would do to Iraq, and why I supported the war. It is what I believe we should now do to Iran. The reduced-to-rubble nation might indeed "breed terrorists"; but then, as you pointed out, so might New Zealand or Spain. Rubble nations are not a threat to us. Africa has a score of them; none threatens us.
The administration has taken another course, one of "spreading American values," "building democracy," and so on. This won't work. It will end in tears. Any leaders of Iraq installed under any system we set up will be lynched by ululating mobs within a month of our departure. We can't export our system, even to small, cheap, near places like Haiti (where we have been trying for nigh on a century).
This is bad news for the many people living in the sphere of barbarism who would like a quiet, middle-class, law-governed, Western style of life, but it's not especially bad news for **us**, if we can just acknowledge it frankly and act accordingly...