A God Gap in US Foreign Policy - WTF

This Is Ridiculous III

'God gap' impedes U.S. foreign policy, task force says:
American foreign policy is handicapped by a narrow, ill-informed and "uncompromising Western secularism" that feeds religious extremism, threatens traditional cultures and fails to encourage religious groups that promote peace and human rights, according to a two-year study by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

The council's 32-member task force, which included former government officials and scholars representing all major faiths, delivered its report to the White House on Tuesday. The report warns of a serious "capabilities gap" and recommends that President Obama make religion "an integral part of our foreign policy."
I'm speechless. Okay, not really, but it sounds good. Actually, I'm wondering if this article needs to be parodied, or if it is obvious enough as a self-parody. I'm going to leave this as is for now. If anyone requests a take-down, I'd be glad to provide it.

Dang, I can't help but post more drivel.
"It's a hot topic," said Chris Seiple, president of the Institute for Global Engagement in Arlington County and a Council on Foreign Relations member. "It's the elephant in the room. You're taught not to talk about religion and politics, but the bummer is that it's at the nexus of national security. The truth is the academy has been run by secular fundamentalists for a long time, people who believe religion is not a legitimate component of realpolitik."
Do people know how low the qualifications are to be on the Council of Foreign Relations? More than a pulse and a kisser, but not much more. A couple of recommendations from the task force:
Empowering government departments and agencies to engage local and regional religious communities where they are central players in the promotion of human rights and peace, as well as the delivery of health care and other forms of assistance.

Address and clarify the role of religious freedom in U.S. foreign policy. [Former VP at the National Association of Evangelicals Richard] Cizik said some parts of the world - the Middle East, China, Russia and India, for example - are particularly sensitive to the U.S. government's emphasis on religious freedom and see it as a form of imperialism.
Does anyone on the task force realize the first applies to HAMAS? The second doesn't make any sense. Do they want more of a role for the religious freedom agenda or less? In case anybody doesn't realize the subtext of this issue, I've posted it after the jump.

UPDATE: Completely random blog, Undiplomatic, has a good post showing how terrible the Washington Post story was:
Maybe Waters read the report. But it sure doesn’t look like it. And as a result, a serious effort to address the question of how U.S. foreign policy should address the challenge of engaging religious communities becomes, in Waters’ story, an “ill-informed” screed calling for an end of separation of church and state in U.S. foreign policy.

To put it another way, the report attempts to put forward a nuanced argument in favor of broader U.S. engagement with religious groups around the world, and approvingly cites President Obama’s speech in Cairo as an important first step. ... Waters’ story, in contrast, adopts a sensationalistic tone that breathlessly implies that the report thinks Obama should to name God to be his next Secretary of State.
Should have known better than to think the Washington Post was a legitimate news source. Abu Ghraib


Publius said...

Nice catch here. Yes, they are ridiculous. I've been checking you periodically since I first saw your thoughts on Ricks's site. Now I see you've left Ricks, which is a pity, because he needs more folks keeping him honest.

WRT to your decision to give up on Ricks, just recall LBJ's comment re: Hoover, when asked why he didn't fire old Edgar. "Rather have him pissing from inside the tent than from the outside."

Good work.

Norwegian Shooter said...

Thanks, I really appreciate it. On Ricks, I'll go with an oldie but goodie: "You can't teach an old dog new tricks." What still intrigues me is the dissonance. He's almost up to 50 posts on the unravelling of Iraq, and he wants to keep 30,000 to 50,000 troops there indefinitely? How does he do it?

I'll still read / comment on Walt and Lynch. But they don't say outrageous things very often, so I comment less.