- Politics and Social Issues
Carnality Is Good
Winning Hearts and Minds
US control over Iraqi affairs is about nil at this point. The country is in upheaval following the departure of our troops and firepower. The mere fact that the new Iraq would cut deals with its long-time enemy (Iran) just goes to show the level of chaos/corruption that has consumed the country. The country is buying oil from Iran and is also allowing the Iranians proxy access to banks to allow Iran to continue business as usual, despite heavy sanctions placed on it from the West.
As a form of punishment we can curtail all aid to Iraq, but this would mean we have zero influence -- which (economically) may as well occur since even with our assistance, the government of Iraq doesn't give a damn about US policy concerns.
The situation also exemplifies what a terrible waste of treasure and life was spent "liberating" Iraq.
Without a heavy-handed, military-style dictator, the various countries of the Middle East simply dissolve into anarchy. And this is a problem we cannot solve militarily. The only way we can succeed in modernizing the THINKING of people in the Middle East is by a slow-but-steady cultural take-over.
Instead of bombing them, we should be parachuting tons of hand-held and small computers that allow population centers high-speed access to the Internet via a wireless communications link to a satellite router in outer space or a drone flying in the troposphere. Over the long term, such a tactic would be far more effective than targeting their military/industrial centers.
To break the back of their orthodoxy, let the men enjoy free porn -- care of the US and EU.
Let them know that carnality is good. If it's good for us, why shouldn't we think it's good for the Middle East terrorist as well?
The Merriam-Webster's dictionary provides the following synonyms for the word "carnality": earthly, earthborn, earthbound, fleshly, material, mundane, sublunary, temporal, terrene, terrestrial, worldly. With the fanatical factions of Muslim preaching placing an emphasis on the influence and delights of an after-life, wouldn't we be prudent to remind converts about the earthly realm?
By placing Internet access at the common person's level, they will have a chance to get a flavor of freedom -- not just as a slogan but as something they can really salivate over.
In order to win over "hearts and minds" for the long-term, the West has to make our way of life tantalizing. We cannot do this through abstract dialectics.
Give them a taste of some good Canadian or Tennessee whiskey, let them smoke Marlboro cigarettes until their fingers turn yellow, let them yearn for Playboy centerfolds and sleek racing cars, let the women know about 50/50 splits in divorce, inundate them with rock music.
We have already been cast in the role of the "Great Satan." Okay, fine, let's show our adversaries what can be enjoyed by the Satanists. Instead of tempting potential converts with abstract notions of "democracy," provide them with a limitless opportunity to sample our culture in all of its wild freedoms and decadence.
Freedom can be intoxicating if you allow it to flow in all of its outrageous colors. For some, this approach will seem perverse; however, Western culture has subsumed every culture in which it has had sufficient contact. This absorption cannot be attributed to the spread of Christianity.
No, the West has done so well by exposing native populations to its own moral weaknesses (if they can be called that), not by preaching about God or the merits of voting.
For moralists, I would just remind them that it took centuries for the West to adopt its present level of "depravity." If we are to accelerate the modernization of the Middle East, we have to saturate them at the weakest points in the DNA of our species. This is what has been successful in the past, and I suspect it could be just as successful in the future.