Wednesday, 28 August 2013

The Fantasy of The Grand Alliance

This Michael Ledeen column from last week is amazingly confused and incoherent:

There’s an alliance plotting against us, bound together by two radical views of the world that share a profound, fundamental hatred of us.

If they win, it’s hell to pay, because then we will be attacked directly and often, and we will be faced with only two options, winning or losing.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that they’re divided, and slaughtering each other.

It must be a very strange alliance if its members are slaughtering one another. That would almost suggest that there is no alliance at all, and that it is just the product of someone’s fevered imagination.

This is only one of several glaring problems with Ledeen’s alarmist fear of “a global alliance of radical leftists and radical Islamists,” but it is most important flaw.

Belief in such a “global alliance” is a forced attempt to lump together various authoritarian regimes and Islamist groups in order to exaggerate the threats from all of them, and it suffers from all the same flaws as such nonsense ideas as “Islamofascism” and “the authoritarian axis.”

It treats disparate and sometimes diametrically, violently opposed groups as if they were on the same “side” in a global conflict against us, when the reality is that their interests are often at odds.

It is not even possible that this “alliance” can win, because its supposed members aren’t all seeking the same goals and don’t cooperate with one another to achieve them.

The only thing linking them together is that they are at odds with the U.S. over issues specific to them in their respective regions of the world, but any cooperation between them is typically opportunistic and quite limited.

The idea that the U.S. is opposed by such an “alliance” is the result of constant and absurd threat inflation combined with a misguided yearning for a titanic global struggle against a major foe, and it should be flatly rejected by anyone who wants a foreign policy dedicated to securing the interests of the United States.

Or, indeed to securing the interests of the United Kingdom.

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