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I agree - please comment on a diverging opinion

Reader comment on item: Radical Islam as Its Own Antidote[, Argues Reuel Gerecht]

Submitted by Josh G (United States), Jun 23, 2005 at 17:45

Prof. Pipes:

Well done, as always.

About the following words, with which I agree: "instead of focusing on quick elections, which almost always benefit the Islamists, the American government should shift its efforts to slower and deeper goals: "political participation, the rule of law (including an independent judiciary), freedom of speech and religion, property rights, minority rights, and the right to form voluntary organizations (especially political parties)." Elections should only follow on the achievement of these steps. Realistically, they could well take decades to achieve."

I have a friend who is very conservative, politically. He would probably disagree with the above, saying that most anything democratic (e.g., free elections) is a step in the right direction. Thus, he points to the Iraqi, Palestinian, and Afghanistan as all positive for spreading American, democratic ideals throughout the Middle East.

I am inclined to agree with you ... although these elections are ostensibly free and open, they have probably served, at least in a couple of cases, to entrench Islamism, autocracy, and corruption. What would you say?
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