Magazine article The Washington Monthly

The Con in Conservative. (Letters)

Magazine article The Washington Monthly

The Con in Conservative. (Letters)

Article excerpt

Hats off to Joshua Micah Marshall's unveiling of the messianic mission of the neocons to "fix" the Middle East, in his article "Practice to Deceive" (April). But while Marshall does an admirable job of assessing the earthly risks incurred by the administration's implementation of its cartoon ideology, he accepts the basic worldview: that Islamic terrorism is rooted in Muslim fundamentalism and in the poverty and corruption of the "failed" Arab States. That worldview suggests only two alternatives: either "fix" the Middle East, Captain America-style, or do nothing and allow the bin Ladens to continue their war of terror.

I suppose it would be too much to ask that Marshall might place just a teensy bit of the onus for Islamic terrorism on the political, economic, and military intervention of the United States in the Middle East during the past 50-odd years, which might suggest that there is a third option for defusing Islamic terrorism: allowing genuine self-determination in that region by treating them with a little respect. But of course, there is a three-letter word that explains why that is simply not an option for those who are so unfortunate as to sit atop of a whole mess of fossilized vegetation.

KESHINI LADDUWAHETTY

Washington, D.C.

Joshua Micah Marshall asks what we will do if the Iraqis choose a government we can't live with. The first National Assembly election is highly likely to produce a government led by a coalition of Shi'a religious parties. Iraq's population is highly divided by ethnic and religious groups that will largely vote for their own, leading to a fractured parliament that works to the advantage of religious parties. …

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