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The Rambo Solution to the War on Terror


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An End to Evil Seeks Expansionist Role for U.S. Foreign Policy

The Rambo Solution to the War on Terror

by Allan H. Ryskind

Posted Jan 26, 2004

An End to Evil by Richard Perle and David Frum reads more like an extremist political tract than sober advice on how to win the war on terrorism. More's the pity. Why Perle, a highly respected foreign policy expert and Cold War hero, would put his name to such an undertaking is unclear.

Frum is a bright fellow who wrote an insightful book about Bush, The Right Man, but he is more neocon polemicist than policy guru.

The mudballs he hurled at Bob Novak and Pat Buchanan—he accused them of being "unpatriotic"—still stick in the craw of even those conservatives who don't buy into the Novak-Buchanan line on the Middle East. (The charge was the height of impudence coming from the Canadian-born Frum, who has been a U.S. citizen for approximately two of his 43 years.)

Perle's choice of Frum as co-author is thus unlikely to enhance his well-deserved reputation as a brilliant foreign policy strategist and national security expert. More to the point, the book's prescriptions for ending terrorism appear dangerously ambitious at best. The overall thrust of the book's advice (although the authors, because of contradictory comments, may object) is:

The United States government—without much need for allies or even the backing of American public opinion—should forthwith impose on foes, near-foes and possibly friends a laundry list of sometimes impossible demands. The U.S. should not only require that certain nations stop directly aiding terrorist groups—not a bad Perle-Frum recommendation, obviously—but also insist that these nations become democracies, free trade enthusiasts, women's rights champions, practitioners of religious freedom, and so forth.

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