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Pipes is right.

Reader comment on item: A Strongman for Iraq?

Submitted by Allen Davies (United States), Apr 28, 2003 at 22:35

A friend sent me a copy of the subject article. Here is my response to him:

"I think Pipes has his head screwed on right. I remember the later days of Franco in Spain. He was a strong man (an iron man, as a matter of fact) and nothing got done without his say-so. But he was more or less benevolent as far as I could see from several trips there on business. And the streets were absolutely safe. One of my cousins who lived there at the time allowed his teen age daughters to go alone into the city center at night with no fear.

It was a great place to live as long as you were law abiding. I guess Spain would now be called a democracy. I haven’t been back for some 15 years, but from what I hear it is no longer such a safe place. The criminals have less fear of wrong doing.

I have always said that a benevolent dictator is a great leader. The problem is to keep him benevolent. That’s why a democracy is needed ultimately."
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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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