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Idealism

Reader comment on item: The Roots of Iraq's Rebellion

Submitted by Robert Vaughn (United States), Apr 14, 2004 at 01:42

Dear Mr.Pipes,

I find your insight on current world affairs one of the most thoughtful and reasoned voices I know. That being said I must say I highly disagree with your conclusion that what Iraq needs is democratically minded strongman. Your basis for this conclusion, that being that the history of Islamic nations proves that no foreign power has the wherewithall or ability to overcome basic fundamentals of Islamic faith which make imposition of Western ideals of freedom and democratic self rule impossible seems to me to be defeatist and would betray the ideals we have put forth to the world in regards to what human beings should expect from each other. I understand the need to not be idealistic to the point of irrationalism, so committed to a belief that we cannot adapt to the clear evidence of a failing strategy but I do not believe that the old models of Muslim inflexablity as they applied to clear cases of colonialism within the last 400 years will be the deciding factor in Iraq.

You cannot escape the fact that it is a different age we live in, an age where information travels around the globe. The success of America serves as a model to the potential of liberty. Our power and our security demonstrate to a highly sophisticated people that liberty and interaction (free markets ect) bring strength and security and a chance to honor and practice their faith in peace. A "democratically minded strongman" will only serve the intrests of those who wish to point to the hypocricy of America and use it as a tool of recruitment against us. I believe we must break the old models through bold and decisive and yes, revolutionary action. The Iraqi's may reject this model in the end. They may decide security and Islamic leadership preferable to bold action. In such a situation we would have no choice but to set up a strongman but I believe we must at least try. I would appreciate any comments you would make in rebuttal. Sincerely,

Robert, SSgt USAF
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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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