2003 October 24 Friday
Rumsfeld Calls For Agency For Battle Of Ideas

In a Washington Times interview US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld calls for the creation of an agency tasked with fighting the battle of ideas.

Mr. Rumsfeld suggested a "21st-century information agency in the government" to help in the international battle of ideas, to limit the teaching of terrorism and extremism, and to provide better education, he said.

His referece to providing better education suggests he wants this agency to have an international aid function in order to funnel money to places like Pakistan to move kids out of madrassah schools and into secular schools.

It is hard to fight a battle of ideas when Western leaders don't want to admit that Islam at its very roots has serious problems. On the other hand, an attempt to convince Muslims to abandon their religion would most likely backfire. When people have conflicting beliefs and values and those beliefs are religiously based it is difficult to try to change their minds.

Rummy also recognizes the obvious fact that current efforts to stop the spread of nuclear and other highly dangerous weapons are not working.

"I think it's pretty clear that the current [weapons control] regimes that exist in the world aren't working," he said. "It is possible and not even difficult in many cases for terrorist states to find ways to get their hands on these technologies."

On the latter point be sure to read my previous post Henry Sokolski: Taking Proliferation Seriously if you haven't already.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2003 October 24 10:57 AM  Civilizations Clash Of

linden said at October 26, 2003 9:34 PM:

They don't have to convince them to abandon their religion, but to convince them that others are not practicing according to the Koran. Which, from what I've read about the Koran, a great many people are not.

Bob Badour said at October 27, 2003 6:05 AM:


I have read the Qur'an. One can make a strong argument that Bin Laden et al are those who practice according to the Qur'an, and of course, Bin Laden et al make exactly that argument.

The base texts of the religion are extremely bellicose.

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