Is Bush’s “freedom” really a cultural weapon of mass destruction?
A reader writes:
I couldn’t help but think of the discussion thread you had with James Woodhill regarding “Cultural WMDs” when I looked at the picture of the young girl in Beirut. Looks like the “C-WMDs” are doing their job…I replied:
Thanks for remembering that. I had exactly the same thought myself.The “C-WMDs” the reader refers to are Jim Woodhill’s Cultural Weapons of Mass Destruction. Woodhill proposed, in a long dialog published at VFR back in 2002, that we destroy the ability of the Moslem world to threaten us by introducing Western-style radical personal freedom, pop culture, and moral decadence into the Moslem world. I disagreed entirely with Mr. Woodhill’s idea, which I frankly saw as wicked, but entertained it nevertheless, on the basis that we should consider any and all reasoned proposals on how to protect ourselves from the Islamic menace.
One cannot dismiss the fascinating possibility that the reader raises. On one hand, the spreading of freedom may, as the Bushites hope, empower the Moslem world, which in the Bushites’ view would be very good for us, but which I fear might be very bad for us. On the other hand, the spreading of freedom may, as the reader suggests, discombobulate and weaken the Moslem world, which, I’ve argued here, would be ultimately good for us. Could George W. Bush, whom many of his supporters see as a Machiavellian genius, be a secret Woodhillite?
At the same time, however, we must point out that such a wicked scheme to impose our cultural decadence on another civilization would only redound upon ourselves, by reinforcing our own decadence and speeding our destruction. As I said to Woodhill in 2002, the C-WMDs plan would be both wrong in itself and harmful to us.