It’s interesting that Iowa’s two big winners may be the weakest candidates on foreign policy. Inspired by the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, William Shawcross, the English journalist, has a column that makes points worth pondering as we go forward with the process of selecting the country’s next leader.
It is especially deserving of a read from those who indulge in what Shawcross calls the “luxury” of believing that Islamic jihadists attacked us because of something we did. No, and there’s only one thing we can do to defeat them (hint: it’s not being nicer).
“Bernard-Henri Lévy, the French philosopher, points out that with Benazir Bhutto, they killed ‘a spectacularly visible woman’ who, whatever her flaws as a political leader, was astonishingly brave in fighting – uncovered, unveiled – for politics ‘and refusing the curse that, according to the new fascists [the jihadists], floats over the human face of women’.
“Lévy suggests that Benazir’s name should now become another password ‘for those who still believe that the good genius of Enlightenment will win out over the evil genius of fanaticism and crime’. But the Enlightenment will be lost unless we all realise that we have to fight for it….
“Maysoon al-Damluji, a brave Iraqi woman who returned from London exile after the overthrow of Saddam to help build a decent society, put it well recently. ‘Both al-Qa’eda and Iran are working to create the most dangerous culture that humanity has ever known,’ she said. ‘It is based on hatred and ignorance and manifests itself through suppressing all kinds of freedoms, especially on women. If, God forbid, the American forces withdrew, mayhem would strike Iraq; it would spill out to the entire region and no country in the Middle East would be spared.’ She is right. And not just for the Middle East.”
Think about this when you’re deciding who will be the best president of the United States.