Friday, December 29, 2006

Why what we say matters

It had been awhile since I checked out Iraq the Model, and so I found the article that I am referring to down just a little bit. Titled "It's in our interest to make them understand..." Omar is saying many of the things that I have felt, but lacked the coherence to put them to paper like he has. Perception is everything when it comes to foreign policy. If your opponents perceive you to be strong when you are not, they will be more careful just because it is ambiguous. Conversely, if you appear weak, they will plunge ahead in misadventures.
The article details how the Middle East has taken the Democratic take over of Congress to be the first step in our surrender. i don't think any Democrat is actually advocating surrender. They just want us out of there now. But for the listeners in the Middle East, that is the same as surrender. I predict that there will be an upsurge in violence in the coming months as an attempt to convince us that we were correct to abandon Iraq. Unfortunately, it will be our soldiers and Iraqi civilians who will pay the enhanced price of our change in direction.
As Omar said:
The ideology of the extremists believes in "either victory or martyrdom" and now they think they are closer to the former and this will be used to attract more of the reluctant to the camp that considers itself close to victory and we'll see intensified media efforts invested in this field.
What I want to say here is that now I believe more that I must disagree with those who claim that wrong American policy breeds extremism, and now I believe more than ever that wrong signals that might be interpreted as weakness are what can be exploited by the enemy to give more credit to extremism especially under the current circumstances.

Now the fanatics in the Middle East will be able to point to the Tehran Embassy, the Marine barracks in Lebanon, Mogadishu, and now Baghdad as examples of how to bring the Americans low.

Maybe they are right.

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