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Support for democratization or support for strongmen?

Reader comment on item: Obama, the Middle East and Islam - An Initial Assessment

Submitted by Northerner (Israel), Feb 4, 2009 at 07:37

If I recall correctly Dr. Pipes, you were in favor of placing a strongman to head post-war Iraq and hesitant about the rapid democratization of the Arab world. That makes sense, especially after the Algeria and Gaza experiments.

So why does Obama's retreat from democratization signal an "unfortunate" change in policy?

Submitting....

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Daniel Pipes replies:

You recall correctly. But I also endorsed the democratization policy. I just thought it should have been applied more cautiously, slowly, and modestly. In the case of Iraq, for example, I urged an iniital focus on security, to be followed by democratization.

Giving up the whole project is a definite step backwards.

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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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