“Mr. President, Here’s How to Make Sense of Your Second Term, Secure Your Legacy, And, Oh Yeah, Create a Future Worth Living,” by Thomas P.M. Barnett, Esquire, pg 128, February 2005.
“Unhelpful Sabre Rattling: Lebland, Syria, US,” by “Collounsbury,” Lounsbury, http://www.livejournal.com/users/collounsbury/287898.html?view=1181082, 14 February 2005.
“Re: The Assassination Was Tragic…,” by “Collounsbury,” Lounsbury, http://www.livejournal.com/users/collounsbury/287898.html?thread=1176218#t1176218, 15 February 2005.
Tying together two tangentially related Collounsbury posts
None of this is worth it. Syria needs to reform its economy to be sure, and the sooner the better. Bloody basket case, but there is no key state interest for the US to destabilize Syria.
Egypt is not (and if one thinks it is, one needs much, much better idea about the region) making progress. The regime is treading water, playing a song and dance game to keep the gullible Americans paying its bills, and when it blows, the “transformation” is not going to be pretty.
Egyptian gov is the US’s little whore, and she’s painted up really nice, but she’s got AIDS.
And this is your model for Syria. May Allah protect the Syrians.
In the first post, C denies any “key state interest” in destabilizing Syria. In the second, on another point, he notes that U.S. policies can be disasterous for another state.
From reading his blog, I gather C is a realst who is strongly opposed to destabilizing regimes and harming societies. We should all be careful of the ill we cause. And clearly a policy of regime transformation that “blows up” is a failure. However, the Lounsebury position is too extreme. Causing state chaos can be beneficial. It serves as a warning to all other rogue regimes that they cannot rely shoft-term American interests to save them.
This ties into regime change. As Dr. Barnett writes in Esquire
Version #3 (Ugly) is delivered sotto voce. Just have Paul Wolfowitz show [North Korean Leader] Kim the “six-month reconstruction plan” the Pentagon neocons drew up for the postwar occupation. If he thinks you’re bluffing, then instruct Wolfie to slip him some of those morgue shots of Uday and Qusay looking al stiched up like a pair of Frakensteins. Kim’ll get the hint. Your administration has proven that you’re willing to wage war with almost no concern for the resulting VIP body count, the subsequent incompetent occupation, or the inevitable political uproar back home. I say when you’ve got it, flaunt it.
The reconstruction of Iraq has gone worse than it should have. But the lesson — that the U.S. is willing to throw a state into chaos — is very valuable. This encourages conservative forces in rogue regimes to advocate normalization of relations. Good.