March 26, 2006


Down with stability (Mark Steyn, Mar. 22, 2006, Jerusalem Post)

"Containment" is not a strategy but the absence of strategy - and thug states understand it as such. In Saddam's case, he'd supposedly been "contained" since the first Gulf War in 1991, when Bush Sr. balked at finishing what he'd started. "Mr. President," Joe Biden, the Democrat Senator and beloved comic figure, condescendingly explained to Bush Jr. in 2002, "there is a reason your father stopped and did not go to Baghdad. The reason he stopped is he didn't want to be there for five years."

By my math, that means the Americans would have been out in spring of 1996. Instead, 12 years on, in the spring of 2003 the USAF and RAF were still policing the no-fly zone, ineffectually bombing Iraq every other week. And, in place of congratulations for their brilliant "containment" of Saddam, Washington was blamed for UN sanctions and systematically starving to death a million Iraqi kids - or two million, according to which "humanitarian" agency you believe. [...]

A NEW study by the American Enterprise Institute suggests that, aside from the terrific press, continuing this policy would not have come cheap for America: if you object (as John Kerry did) to the $400-600 billion price tag since the war, another three years of "containment" would have cost around $300 billion - and with no end in sight, and the alleged death toll of Iraqi infants no doubt up around six million. It would also have cost more real lives of real Iraqis: Despite the mosque bombings, there's a net gain of more than 100,000 civilians alive today who would have been shoveled into unmarked graves had Ba'athist rule continued. [...]

True, there's a political stalemate in Baghdad at the moment, but that's not a catastrophe: if you read the very federal Iraqi constitution carefully, the ingenious thing about it is that it's not just a constitution but also a pre-nup. If the Sunni hold-outs are determined to wreck the deal, 85% of the Iraqi population will go their respective ways creating a northern Kurdistan that would be free and pro-western and a southern Shiastan that would still be the most democratic state in the Arab world. That outcome would also be in America's long-term interest.

Indeed, almost any outcome would. In 2002, Amr Moussa, Secretary-General of the Arab League, warned that a US invasion of Iraq would "threaten the whole stability of the Middle East." Of course. Otherwise, why do it?

Diplomats use "stability" as a fancy term to dignify inertia and complacency as geopolitical sophistication, but the lesson of 9/11 is that "stability" is profoundly unstable. The unreal realpolitik of the previous 40 years had given the region a stability unique in the non-democratic world, and in return they exported their toxins, both as manpower (on 9/11) and as ideology. Instability was as good a strategic objective as any.

Our collection, Redefining Sovereignty, is finally available from the publisher and should be hitting bookstores next week as well as shipping from shipping from Barnes & Noble online at a discount. It includes the terrific essay, Stability, America's Enemy, by Ralph Peters.

We've made a conscious effort over the years not to ask folks to pay for the site -- though the unsolicited support we've gotten has been deeply appreciated -- but I'd be personally gratified and grateful if folks who think the topics covered in the book would be at all interesting could help to sell out the print run--which is, I think, 3,000 books--so that my publishers don't end up having to pulp them. I harbor no delusions of grandeur, but would really like to avoid such an ignominious fate for a text to which I have a hopefully understandable fatherly attachment.


It's available on-line at Amazon now:

-BOOK SITE: Redefining Sovereignty (Smith and Kraus Publishers' Global)
-Sovereignty Blog
PROFILE: Sovereignty Redefined (Edward B. Driscoll, Jr., 11/03/2005, Tech Central Station)
REVIEW: of Redefining Sovereignty. Ed. by Orrin C. Judd. Mar. 2006. 520p. Smith & Kraus, $29.99 (Brendan Driscoll, Feb. 1, 2005, Booklist)
Changing the rules: a review of Redefining Sovereignty: The Battle for the Moral High Ground in a Changing World By Orrin C. Judd (Steven Martinovich, February 27, 2006, Enter Stage Right)
ESSAY: Revisitation (David Warren, 3/12/06, Real Clear Politics)


Redefining Sovereignty, edited by Orrin C. Judd


I. SOVEREIGNTY: Setting the terms

Sovereignty: an introduction and brief history. (Daniel Philpott)

II. WESTFAILURE: The sovereignty frog-boil

Not So Sacred Borders (James Kitfield, National Journal)

Kosovo and the End of the Nation-State (Vaclav Havel)

The US and the UN: Legitimacy vs sovereignty (Criton M Zoakos)

Defining a new role for the United Nations In a unipolar world (Kofi A. Annan)


Liberal Democracy vs. Transnational Progressivism (John Fonte)

Sovereignty and Democracy (Marc F. Plattner)

The U.N.: Now Less Than Ever : There must be a way out (Roger Scruton)

The Shackles of Consensus (Jeane J. Kirkpatrick)

UN General Assembly Voting Habits (Fred Gedrich)

After Guantanamo: The War Over the Geneva Convention (Jeremy Rabkin)

The Sovereignty Implications of the Kyoto Protocol (Jeremy Rabkin)

Roots of Eco-Imperialism (Chapter 2 of Eco-Imperialism by Paul Driessen)

Should Foreign Law Be Used to Interpret Our Constitution? (Stuart Taylor Jr.)

What is the EU? (James Kalb)

On the Nation State: Empire and Anarchy (Yoram Hazony)


History Is Still Going Our Way (Francis Fukuyama)

Stability, America's Enemy (Ralph Peters)

Our World-Historical Gamble (Lee Harris)

The triumph of just war theory (Michael Walzer)

The new liberal imperialism (Robert Cooper)

The Empire of Freedom (Ramesh Ponnuru)

Voting Bloc (Jonathan Rauch)

President Bush Discusses Freedom in Iraq and Middle East (Remarks by the President)


The Jacksonian Tradition And American Foreign Policy (Walter Russell Mead)

Bush & Lincoln (David Warren)

Ronald Reagan at Bitburg Air Base

American Sovereignty and the UN. (Jesse Helms)

A grand strategy of transformation (John Lewis Gaddis)

Feminism in The 21st Century (Phyllis Chesler and Donna M. Hughes)



The Mayflower Compact

Declaration of Independence

Washington's Farewell Address 1796

Monroe Doctrine

James K. Polk Inaugural address

Abraham Lincoln Second Inaugural Address

President Woodrow Wilson's Fourteen Points

Atlantic Charter

Inaugural Address of John F. Kennedy

City Upon a Hill (Ronald Reagan)

The National Security Strategy of the United States of America

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 26, 2006 8:00 AM

I just pre-ordered from

Best of luck with the book.

Posted by: JAB at March 23, 2006 10:41 PM

His Juddliness lays down the terms. This will take some time.

Posted by: exclab at March 23, 2006 11:05 PM

I one-clicked it at Amazon for only $16.95. Hopefully you get second (and third?) print run.

Posted by: Patrick H at March 24, 2006 12:30 AM

The Amazon price is actually wrong--it still lists the paperback and they went with a hardcover after we got real cover blurbs. :)


Posted by: oj at March 24, 2006 12:35 AM

I've been obsessively checking my mailbox. I ordered it last month and am greatly anticipating its arrival. Good to hear it's on its way.

Posted by: Melissa at March 24, 2006 3:00 AM

THe book has the James Knox Polk speech: how could I not buy it.

Posted by: Lou Gots at March 24, 2006 6:27 AM

Are you going to be featured on the "Local Authors" rack at the Dartmouth Bookstore?

Posted by: Bryan at March 24, 2006 7:26 AM


Maybe even a signing--though I'd have to leave the house....

Posted by: oj at March 24, 2006 7:47 AM


Posted by: erp at March 24, 2006 9:51 AM

Update: Amazon isn't shipping until April 22?

Posted by: erp at March 24, 2006 9:57 AM

The publisher has a deal with B&N, which has real stores too. Amazon isn't even listing the right book. Sorry.

Posted by: oj at March 24, 2006 10:00 AM

I'm assuming I can get special order this from a physical B&N store? I get gift certificates to B&N regularly from work that can only be used at physical locations. I'll ask this weekend.

Posted by: Shelton at March 24, 2006 10:43 AM

Just bought one directly from the publisher. It cost a bit more, but this is a charity case after all . . . . (just kidding -- looking forward to it).

Posted by: rds at March 24, 2006 10:51 AM

"Instability was as good a strategic objective as any"

wow, If I'd had know that the initial goal of Bush II's war in Iraq, which the US and its allies had already tortured for over a decade (well, three decades if you count the fact that the CIA helped Saddam rise into power), was to carefully mold the state terrorists' free for all, devastate the economic infrastructure, excite ethnic tensions into a state of civil war, divert funds from more pressing security needs (like, say, building levees).
I wish Bush had come out and said this from the get-go, because to me it seemed like the goal of the war has been to take control of the oil-rich areas, install a puppet government, fatten the coffers of the world's largest defense contractors, directly or indirectly kill hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians, and do little (as we have in the past) to improve the lives of the majority of the imperialized.

Posted by: Ty at March 24, 2006 11:08 AM


All American wars are about forcing instability and will be until no people is oppressed. No one cares about oil.

Posted by: oj at March 24, 2006 11:14 AM

Ty's right. We should have kept spending the $300B on corrupted sanctions, let Saddam keep killing the civilians, ignored history/every then-current intel source (several of them Arab) that indicated that the WMD we could no longer "Inspect" for were very likely to exist and took the genocidal madman at his word. Then folks like Ty would have loved Bush and his status quo containment strategery. Please.

OJ: Good news -- you may not have to leave the house to sign the books. I'm ordering mine today. Though I'd prefer signed copies so I can hawk them on eBay at 3 times their face value some day.

Posted by: John Resnick at March 24, 2006 11:39 AM

OJ: So by instability do you mean increasing the likelihood of terrorist attacks in the future?

John: the policies in Iraq have been corrupted for decades; We installed Saddam because we knew he was insane and could removed in the future, the point of the sanctions was to weaken the state until it was ripe for invasion; the point of 9/11 was to be able to draw a false line between the event and Iraq; a line which everyone seems to keep drawing, even though Iraq never was a credible threat to the US (certainly not as much a threat as a hurricane); and the point of the war is many: to establish a base in the middle of the middle east, to control the second largest source of oil in the world, and (through bloody violence, media manipulation, and false intelligence) to lay the seeds for future wars against other Middle Eastern countries.

Posted by: Ty at March 24, 2006 11:51 AM


Yes, destabilizing rotten regimes will reduce our security from terrorists in the short term but ameliorate the causes of terrorism in the long term. Give young Artab men reason to look forward to a decent future and they may not figure death is a better option.

Posted by: oj at March 24, 2006 12:01 PM

"we installed Saddam"

That's where I stopped reading.

Posted by: not at March 24, 2006 12:08 PM

I just like the way the anti-war types were against Saddam when the US was for him but for him now that the US is against him. Just don't say they're anti-American!

So, Ty, given that the past is unchangable, how would you have dealt with Saddam? I'll grant that "installing" him was a bad idea (although I note that you present no evidence to back up that assertion) what are we supposed to do about it now? Is the US the only nation on earth that is not only not permitted to make mistakes but also can't correct the mistakes it made in the past? Wow, are you strict! If only you would hold the UN to such draconian standards!

Posted by: Bryan at March 24, 2006 12:13 PM

Do you have an arrangement at B&N that you'll receive credit for if I order online? Otherwise I'll order It from Borders.

I bought a few books from Amazon through your website and they stiffed me on a used book that I never received. As with Republican elephants, I have bad breath and never forget.

Posted by: Genecis at March 24, 2006 12:26 PM

All that stuff is way above my pay grade. I'm going to make $3k off the book no matter how cheap you can all find copies--I just want to sell them out.

Posted by: oj at March 24, 2006 12:35 PM

We installed Saddam...

Amazin', ain't it, the way he became a Soviet client state right after that. There's gratitude for ya.

Of course, what Ty fails to realize is that if we did install Saddam, it would behoove us to remove him.

Posted by: Mikey at March 24, 2006 12:35 PM

Ty: Wow! Cool crystal ball you got there. It's Friday so....OK, I'll bite: 1. How would you quantitatively define a "credible threat" to the US? 2. Other than hurricanes, avalanches, tornados and Global Warming™ and self-righteous Konservative blogs, do any exist today? 3. If so, what should be done about them? 4. If not, who is the next most likely "credible threat" to emmerge and why?

Posted by: John Resnick at March 24, 2006 1:09 PM

OJ, Borders it is. They have a store in Concord.

Ty, you have a wonderful imagination. However, I'm really impressed to read that you realize the Middle East is of strategic importance to the world and the USA ... and for all the same reasons. Not too many people will freely admit that for their own reasons, just as you ignore history for your own. If you would take the time to read some history, and when you finally reach maturity, you may look back on your reasoning today with a bit of embarrassment.

Posted by: Genecis at March 24, 2006 1:56 PM

Amazon UK is currently selling this for £123.77 :(

Posted by: Ali Choudhury at March 24, 2006 2:43 PM

wow, If I'd had know that the initial goal of Bush II's war in Iraq [was to] devastate the economic infrastructure...

Iraq's economy is BOOMING, better than it's been since '90.
Millions of cars and satellite dishes have been sold there since '03 - hardly the mark of disintegrating, poverty-stricken nations. Iraqis themselves are very optimistic about their future.

Thousands of Iraqi schools have been built or refurbished by America, which bodes well for the next generation.

...divert funds from more pressing security needs (like, say, building levees).

The thought that if we hadn't invaded Iraq, we would have spent billions on levee-building, is delusional.

[T]o me it seemed like the goal of the war has been to [...] directly or indirectly kill hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians...

That's completely wrong.
The only basis for claiming that "hundreds of thousands" of civilians have been killed is the Lancet article, and their conclusions cannot be supported BY THEIR OWN DATA.

Read the study, not just the synopsis. The publicized figure of "100,000 dead" had only a 40% chance of being accurate, according to their own analysis, and it was 80% likely that only 50,000 had been killed up to that point, a number far more in line with other studies and estimates.

...and do little (as we have in the past) to improve the lives of the majority of the imperialized.

Yeah ?

Try comparing "imperialized" American Samoa to neighboring Western Samoa, or "imperialized" Puerto Rico to neighboring Haiti or Cuba, and you'll see just how "little" associating with America has improved the lives of the residents of those territories.

Tell the natives of Guam that they could be "free" of Imperialist America, and nine out of ten would poke you in the eye.

...the point of the sanctions was to weaken the state until it was ripe for invasion...

The point of the sanctions was that we didn't want another war, otherwise Bush the Elder would have rolled up Saddam in '91.

...the point of 9/11 was to be able to draw a false line between the event and Iraq...

The notion that 9/11 was an American-controlled operation, to accomplish foreign-policy goals, is flatly insane.

Further, it's incredibly stupid. An American-run operation could have accomplished the same ends much more effectively, and at a lower cost to the nation.
For instance, it's a distinctly foreign idea that the World Trade Center was a popular, beloved symbol of America, and that attacking it would strike at the heart of the American psyche.

For instance, if the point of 9/11 was to provide a casus belli against Iraq, then wouldn't it have been smart to, like, have a few Iraqis among the hijackers ?
And wouldn't it have been a nice touch if, just before impact, the hijackers had sent out a radio message like "For Allah and Saddam! Now you will know the power of the Mother of all Rulers, Saddam Hussein, the true King of Pop, and Heir to Saladin!", etc. ?

Also, if it had been a crack team of American-trained BlackOps agents that had hijacked Flight 77, wouldn't they have known to study an aerial view of D.C. before the operation, so that they could locate the White House from the air, and not have to divert to their (badly chosen) secondary target ?

[A]nd the point of the war is many: to establish a base in the middle of the middle east...

We already had bases in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar - why would bases in Iraq be so much better that it would be worth a war ? control the second largest source of oil in the world...

We already control the two largest sources of oil on Earth, and #3 is America's largest trading partner.
In order of amount of petroleum reserves, (not current production of crude oil, but simply size of petroleum reserves), these nations have the most oil:

1) United States
2) Saudi Arabia
3) Canada
4) Iraq
5) Kuwait
6) Iran
7) the UAE
8) China
9) Russia
10) Mexico

Iraq is, however, the world's second-largest source of cheap oil; production costs in the U.S. and Canada are significantly higher, ranging up to 600% higher.

...and (through bloody violence, media manipulation, and false intelligence) to lay the seeds for future wars against other Middle Eastern countries.

Really ?
Who's left that we want to fight ?

Oh, you mean Iran and Syria, two nations whose ill-intentions are so widely known that even France is willing to nuke Iran, and the UN is threatening to impose sanctions on Syria.

But no doubt that's due to "false intelligence, media manipulation," and above-uber-secret CIA mind control rays via HAARP, right ?

I've often wondered about the total lack of knowledge displayed by the common delusional paranoiac - are they deluded because they're ignorant, or is there something about their personalities that makes them resist taking ten minutes out of their busy schedules to, say, look at a list of nations with oil reserves, or read a few headlines regarding Iran or Syria.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 24, 2006 3:03 PM

Just so it's clear: the US did not install Saddam. Saddam installed himself in a coup against the prior Ba'athist regime. CIA probably did have contacts with the original Ba'athist regime, but they were by no means "ours."

Posted by: David Cohen at March 24, 2006 3:50 PM

A followup for Ty if he's still around. Ty: where did you first hear that we installed Saddam? In class, from a friend, on the Internet, where? Nobody snark at the answer, please. We'd just like to know. "I don't remember" is a perfectly valid answer -- if this has just always been something you think you've known that's fine. Thanks in advance.

Posted by: joe shropshire at March 24, 2006 5:10 PM


Al Gore told him. Or Jimmy Carter (after all, he would know).

Posted by: ratbert at March 25, 2006 1:20 AM

OJ, are you sending a copy to Instapundit for a blog mention/review?

Posted by: RC at March 25, 2006 2:40 AM

Yawn. Steyn was writing the same article in 2003 and he'll be writing the same article in 2010. By any real-world standard, particularly the standard of the number of dead bodies, the invasion of Iraq has made things worse for America, worse for the Middle East, and worse for Iraq. Since Saddam did the bulk of his mass-murdering years before the invasion, more Iraqis are dying now than would have died under Saddam. As Jeane Kirkpatrick put it in "Dictatorships and Double Standards," the miseries of life under a tinpot dictator are "bearable"; the miseries unleashed by civil strife and occupation are far worse.

Some people understood this, people who were serious about foreign policy, like Brent Scowcroft (and most likely Bush's father). As Glenn Greenwald has wisely pointed out, the 2003 statements of Howard Dean prove him to have been a more serious and astute foreign-policy thinker than Bush (or Hillary Clinton for that matter) -- because Howard Dean is serious about national security; Bush, and people like Mark Steyn who can think only in terms of how many brown people have been killed today (and why aren't we killing more?), are by definition unserious about foreign policy.

"Iraq is a divided country, with Sunni, Shia and Kurdish factions that share both bitter rivalries and access to large quantities of arms. Anti-American feelings will surely be inflamed among the misguided who choose to see an assault on Iraq as an attack on Islam, or as a means of controlling Iraqi oil. And last week's tape by Osama bin Laden tells us that our enemies will seek relentlessly to transform a war into a tool for inspiring and recruiting more terrorists." -- Howard Dean, 2003, saying stuff that Bush didn't want to talk about.

Posted by: M.A. at March 25, 2006 3:45 AM


Brent Scowcroft? The guy who gave the butchers of Beijing the nod and helped Saddam put down the Shi'ite revolt in '91? You really know how to pick your idols.

Posted by: oj at March 25, 2006 7:48 AM


Sent him an e-mail months ago that got lost in his in-box, when he found it he asked for one, so I think he may mention it eventually.

Posted by: oj at March 25, 2006 7:51 AM

Howard Dean - foreign policy maven? What will the moonbats think of next?

Reading M.A.'s comment, I can see the chorus now, out on the Mall, under the moonlit shadow of the Washington Monument, chanting, "Weee hate Americaaa, but weee want to ruuule. Weee knooow what to dooo, weee went to grad schoool."

I suspect M.A. believes the CIA is bombing all the mosques and killing all those brown people, because if the US military wasn't there, why, they certainly wouldn't be doing it to each other.

But the emerging story from the translations of all the captured Iraqi documents is going to force the moonbat brigade to make a decision: either look at the evidence, or decide to pre-emptively condemn it. Howard Dean and Dennis Kucinich may take that route, but ABC (and the rest of the media) can't afford to take the risk.

Posted by: jim hamlen at March 25, 2006 9:51 AM

MA, "Anti-American feelings will surely be inflamed among the misguided ..."

Well Dean got that right, and he was right there "inflaming the misguided" along with the folks etc.

Posted by: Genecis at March 25, 2006 10:35 AM

And Dean's statement has been proved wrong by events.

Posted by: David Cohen at March 25, 2006 11:42 AM
like Mark Steyn who can think only in terms of how many brown people have been killed today (and why aren't we killing more?), are by definition unserious about foreign policy.

Uh-huh. Riiiiggghttt. What about people who think the "brown people" ought to have the jackboots of Saddam and Taliban thugs smashing their faces forever?

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at March 25, 2006 11:42 AM

Ali, Can this be right: £123.77 > $215.70 for a book selling for about $25.00 inc. postage? Or did I do my currency conversion backwards again.

Posted by: erp at March 26, 2006 4:26 PM

I see that in another thread, Rick Perlstein has decided to condemn the evidence (the Iraqi documents). Will he be saying the same thing 6 months from now, when much more is available? A year from now? 5 years from now?

Posted by: jim hamlen at March 27, 2006 9:12 AM