Ed. (Jacobse) Very interesting interview.
Jamie Glazov | FrontPageMagazine.com | July 19, 2007
Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Ralph Peters, a retired military officer, a popular media commentator, and the author of 22 books. An opinion columnist for the New York Post, he is a member of the boards of contributors at USA Today and Armchair General magazine, a columnist for Armed Forces Journal, and a frequent guest on television and radio. He is the author of the new book, Wars of Blood and Faith: The Conflicts That Will Shape the 21st Century.
FP: Ralph Peters, welcome to Frontpage Interview.
Peters: Always a pleasure. I always enjoy Frontpage’s readiness to be intelligently provocative.
FP: Well thank you sir.
So what inspired you to write this book?
Peters: It’s an accumulation. Over the past few years, we’ve all learned a great deal. On one hand, the concepts I argued for in the Army over a dozen years ago, such as the need to prepare for asymmetrical conflicts, urban combat and confrontations between religions, have stood the test of time; still, there are always fresh nuances and new insights for those willing to be open-minded. On the other hand, I was wrong about some things: for example, hoping against hope, I thought there was at least a slight chance that Arabs could build a functioning, if imperfect, democracy–and the Middle East is so wretched that change is essential–yet, we’ve all learned the hard way that Arab societies are incompetent to build even the most half-baked rule-of-law democracy. So…Wars Of Blood And Faith represents the further development of the thinking I’ve been doing for a few decades now, but it also represents an evolution in that thought based upon recent first-hand experiences in Iraq, Israel (during the war), Africa and elsewhere.
There are two sorts of “thinkers” out there that repel me: Those who change their positions every other day and have no consistency or integrity (or first-hand experience of what they’re writing about), and, at the other extreme, academics who spend their entire lives defending their dissertations in the face of overwhelming evidence that they were wrong. My goal is to get it right–and I’m proud of my record over the years–but also to have the integrity to admit it when I get it wrong, for example when I believed that the Bush administration was really willing to fight to win in Iraq–which it hasn’t been.
Live and learn. And be honest about it. The new book looks in-depth at our military’s challenges, the threats to our security, and the dangers associated with globalization (Tom Friedman, bless him, gets it almost exactly wrong). And, I hope, the book’s fun to read. Sometimes, in this grotesque and bloody world, you just have to shake your head and laugh.
. . . more