In line with Claudia Rossett’s Pajamas Media article on Libya today and Michael Ledeen’s Tatler blog on Iran is this piece by Herbert Meyer in which he argues that the events in Egypt present us with an opportunity to preserve Western civilization. Meyer served during the Reagan Administration as Special Assistant to the Director of Central Intelligence and Vice Chairman of the CIA’s National Intelligence Council and knows what he’s talking about unlike so many of TV’s favorite talking heads. . He says we are entering one of those moments when history is about to be remade and we have to fight on every level to win this fight just as we did in the fight against fascism and communism.
While most people today think of the Cold War as a nuclear struggle between the Free World and the Soviet Union — and indeed it was — the Cold War was also a 45-year ideological struggle for the hearts and minds of western Europe’s citizens. From the Truman administration through the Reagan administration, we fought this ideological battle at the political level and the diplomatic level. We fought it at the intellectual level, for example at conferences, in leading publications read by European opinion makers, at swishy embassy dinner parties and over endless cups of espresso with university students in cheap cafes across the continent. At the CIA we fought it out with the bad guys at 3am in the back alleys of cities like Rome, Paris and Berlin. It was hard going all the way, with more blunders and setbacks than any of us who were involved care to remember. But in the end, western Europeans themselves rejected communism, the Soviet Union collapsed — and we’d won.
Just as we kept the communists from hijacking western Europe, we now must keep the radical Islamists from hijacking the Mideast. To be precise, we’ve got to stop the Muslim Brotherhood from getting power, in Egypt or in any other country that will come into play. This is the great battle that lies before us, and we’ve got to fight it out in every way — militarily, diplomatically, intellectually, and covertly.