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View Diary: Frameshop: Feingold Now Leads Democrats [UPDATED] (462 comments)

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  •  My problem (none)
    I plan on turning this into a diary at some point when I know how to make the argument more coherently.  That being said, there is an important argument about the nature of Al-Qaeda/jihad that is being left out of the debate entirely.  Everyone is looking at this as a matter of "stopping the spread of radical Islam", that views Al-Qaeda as a goal oriented group and jihad as a goal oriented movement, but I think there is an argument to be made that the jihad is a personal religious obligation rather than a political action.  In this respect the jihad (Al-Qaeda) and the Islamic fundamentalists (see Iran and Saudi Arabia) are very different movements.  The Islamic fundamentalists seek to create Islamic Republics while the jihadis have no collective goal.  Individuals may partake in jihad for whatever reason, but it is a moral/ethical/personal quest that lacks any political goals.  If this is correct (I'm not certain that it is, but it's certainly a valid analysis of the situation that nobody is talking about), then it is simply not possible to "defeat" Al Qaeda, because the movement of jihad has no political motivation, there is no way to fight a "war" against a movement that has no goal.  The jihad accepts loss because it has no cause for victory.  Similarly I think what we're seeing in Iraq is a civil war between the jihadis and the fundamentalists, with US forces stuck in the middle.  Those who would support a liberal democracy are such a minority that waiting for one to take root is an unreasonable goal.  The jihadis cannot win in Iraq for the same reason they cannot win anywhere, they have no goal.  That leaves the Islamic Fundamentalists to take power in Iraq.  This "standards for success" line, therefore, is a load of crap just like the "finish the job" line is.  The only reasonable goal for us to have in Iraq is to hope for some measure of stability, and that would require us to abandon the ideal of a functioning liberal democracy and allow the fundamentalists to take power as they inevetably will.  I like Feingold, and think his is one of the Democratic positions that makes sense, but he still sees this as a political struggle on the part of the jihad, and that may be a mistaken way of viewing the situation that gives us a real enemy, something we do not have.  I've got a longer version of this on my blog.

    "You can only protect your liberties in this world by protecting the other man's freedom. You can only be free if I am free."-Clarence Darrow

    by cwech on Wed Nov 30, 2005 at 01:38:40 PM PST

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