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LibRealism?

David Dryer blogs on it at Foreign Policy Watch:


This point of view can be called realist liberalism, or liberal realism, but I can't see any reason not to call it LibRealism (hence the silly title of this post). Of course, Saudi religious extremism is complicated, and a sudden political opening is unlikely to stop the flow of Saudis into Iraq, for example. Nor, in the medium term, will Saudi reform mean that the next terrorist vanguard will not be Saudi -- Osama Bin Laden, after all, became a radical in part because he wanted fewer religious, minority, and press rights in Saudi Arabia, not more. But in the long-term, an accountable government, transparent legal structures, and a modern educational system are invaluable tools against Islamist radicalism, and indeed extremism of all kinds. That's good news for liberals, realists, Saudis, and all of us who would like to see terror not only fought, but also ultimately vanquished.


Sounds good, but there's still the question of what benchmarks should be used here. Do elections mean progress? Health care? Some free press?

There's also the issue of Western imperialism and Westoxication. Will the Saudi people ever view us favorably and reject radicalism if we continue to dump weapons and cash on the House of Sa'ud?

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