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Reply to Daniel Pipes- what is a moderate

Reader comment on item: There Are No Moderates: Dealing with Fundamentalist Islam
in response to reader comment: Was not MoamarGaddafi a moderate?

Submitted by Sammy (United States), Feb 28, 2014 at 22:08

Dr Pipes:

It was partly said tongue in cheek, with no intention of excusing or glossing over the acts of Qaddafi in any way. It was just to point out the issue with outsting tyrants to welcome in the Islamists.

That said however, everyone conveniently forgets the 'good' years when he was giving up nuclear, helping catch terrorists, paying back victims. Bush had 911 on his mind and was therefore propelled in part by his drive to remove Islamists, which Qaddafi shared in spades. By engaging with Qaddafi he succeeded in making an ally out of a Middle east dictator with economic and intelligence benefits to his country. Since his death, there has not been much benefit to US interests (of course the EU has benefitted from oil). Is there another Arab nation that was cooperating with US interests so?

The point is: if you define a moderate as someone who shuns violence and extremist jihadi ideology, Qaddafi was that. And he also did a lot for his country economically and socially reforms too in his eccentric manner. Not to defend him, but sometimes, or many times, it is a choice of the lesser of the evils. The rise of Islamism would not have gotten such a push had he been left alone.

Replacing dictators has not been terribly advantageous for us- making friends and asking questions later- or too late.

Submitting....

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