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Old 07-09-2014   #6
Bill Moore
Council Member
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,989

Originally Posted by carl View Post
You are very right as the 20th Century would seem to prove. The Bolsheviks and Red Chinese were extremists and very successful. Extremism is perhaps an advantage in turbulent times.

My grandfather fought in the Mexican Revolution 100 years ago. He was an educator and a refined man, double tough but refined. One of the most disturbing things to him about that era was that brutal men, extremists so to speak, had an inordinate amount of influence because of their extremism. In turbulent times like those they were listened to and followed.
I see this type of analysis again and again, especially from our folks in the Department of State, but I think it is deeply flawed and without any intellectual merit whatsoever. They're looking at the world through rose colored glasses and make the assumption that all societies desire to embrace our liberal way of life. I'm confident that few people want to embrace the extremist way of life, but that doesn't mean they can or will stand up against them. Hard power trumps soft power when someone is willing to use it, and the extremists are. We saw this with Hitler, Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Saddam, Kim Jung il, and now Islamist extremists.

There is little evidence of successful revolts against hard power if they don't have external support. The Taliban were expelled from power in Afghanistan due to military power. The Northern Alliance would never have freed Afghanistan from their grip without it. Saddam and his Bathist party weren't going to leave office as long as controlled their security forces without U.S. intervention. The oppressed people of North Korea are in no position to rise up. What state occupied by Nazi Germany was able to free itself via a resistance movement? None, resistance movements were little more than a nuance. A lot of folks in China didn't like Mao, a lot of those folks died in various purges. A lot of folks in the USSR didn't like communism, initially they thought Germany during WWII would liberate them (opportunity missed by Hitler), but they could rise up effectively, and Stalin killed how many millions? The list goes on, and yet we still have arm chair analysts who comfortably from afar predict extremism doesn't work. If you look at over a period of decades, then maybe, but it has been proven to be effective as a means of control for many decades in many places.

Revisit the theory of "competitive control" and then identify what elements are organized to establish control of the populace if the government falls? In the Middle East is either the Military, the Muslim Brotherhood, or the extremists that can quickly exploit the chaos that follows state collapse. Beautiful, peaceful, and effective democracies don't simply arise from the ashes.

These comments were a little harsher than intended, but strategy must be based on reality, not political correctness.
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