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Writing assignment

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Writing Assignment Remark Through ‘ Conversations in History’ former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) official Michael Scheuer considers a numberof important questions related to United States foreign policy in the Middle East. One of the interesting remarks he makes in this regards considers the role of democracy in the Middle East. The interviewer was inquiring as to the trouble of instituting democracy in the Middle East and in so doing referred to a traditional concept that the individuals there are simply not capable of democratic order. In refuting this notion, Michael Scheuer remarks that the issue is not a sort of innate resistance to democracy, but instead the long ingrained combination of church and state in the region that makes instituting democracy a highly challenging process. Scheuer indicates that when the West points to its own prosperous ways and the democractic political process that they were brought about through, the Middle Eastern people still believe that this form of government is man-made and has turned its back on God. Scheuer goes as far as to argue that the least exportable thing the United States has is its democracy. The remark underlines one of the critical areas of difference between the United States and Middle Eastern states. Namely this difference is a core value system, with the West pursuing a socially constructed sense of profit and equity, and the Middle Eastern clinging to an ancient religious order. Within this spectrum of thought, one begins to question the sociological elements that have led to the Middle East retaining their religious affiliations, while the United States has adopted a more profit-centered existence. 2. Critique A notable remark Michael Scheuer makes concerns some of the failures of American foreign policy. In these regards, he argues that one of the shortcomings of recent administrations is a sort of unwillingness to go to war, out of a belief that the American military can no longer win wars. Instead, Scheuer remarks that the United States has increasingly engaged in covert actions as a means of accomplishing goals. Scheuer believes that it is through neglecting to do the hard things – namely, engaging in warfare – that constitute one of biggest failures of American foreign policy. While there may be some truth to Scheuer’s statement, it seems more accurate to indicate that Scheuer is biased as to the extent of United States covert operations having been at the forefront of their development through his involvement in the Central Intelligence Agency. Considering his argument that the United States has somehow foregone war in recent administrations also seems historically inaccurate. In only the last decade the United States has engaged in extensive combat operations with both Iraq and Afghanistan. In these regards, it seems unclear the types of warfare that Scheuer would deem appropriate and where it would be necessary. In some regards, it seems he is subscribing to a vision of America as the idealized liberators of World War II, or heroic rebels, rather than truly considering the contemporary incarnations of warfare and their appropriate implementation.

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