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Liberals vs. Fringe Conspiracy Theorists

Reader comment on item: Why the Left Loves Osama [and Saddam]

Submitted by Justin H. (United States), Jan 13, 2006 at 12:49

Even as a liberal, this article does not offend me. Instead, it enhances my desire to defend liberals. There is a difference between a liberal and the fringe conspiracy theorists who claim that the 9/11 terrorists attacks were, in fact, the result of either demolation or a missile disguised as a plane.

Such a thing is akin to Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad's Holocaust denials...ridiculous. Liberals such as myself, on the other hand, love America. Many of us (myself included) are also pro-Israeli. However, we are concerned about what is happening to America (namely when it comes to President Bush's domestic policies). We worry about our basic civil liberties (and rightfully so). Furthermore, we are also concerned both about America's handling of the war on terror and its tainted, distorted image throughout the world, particularly in the Middle East and in countries such as Pakistan, for instance. Moreover
We also oppose the Iraq war for varying reasons. One reason is something that Dr. Pipes may agree with (and again, I welcome disagreement; this is what academia and intellectual debate are all about): the end result is going to be a pro-Iranian islamist government, which is hostile to the West. Another is the fact that you cannot bring democracy to a country such as Iraq (and not because of Islam). It is divided along religious, tribal, and ethnic fault lines. Even George H.W. Bush opposed regime-change in Iraq in 1991 for that very reason.

Saddam Hussein was one of the worst tyrants of the 20th century, and his 1988 chemical attacks against the Kurds (and killings of Shiites) were disgraceful. However, the Kurds had already had a de facto independent territory for 12 years. America had liberated the Kurds in 1991. They did not need to be liberated again. Both liberals and pragmatists alike recognize this, as well as the fact that by invading Iraq based on faulty intelligence, America harmed its own interests (imagine if Moqtada al-Sadr were to become the leader of Iraq one day). Thus, we need to learn a lesson from Iraq in our dealings with Syria. Whether we like Bashar al-Asad or not, he must remain in power to prevent Islamists from coming to power. As George W. Bush is learning the hard way, it is a hard ball world, and often a matter of choosing one evil over another. Right now, if I were Bush, I would much rather have Bashar (or even Saddam) in power in their respective countries than face an Islamist axis, or a civil war in Iraq. In order to fight the War on Terror, we must pay special attention to three countries in particular (in order of importance from #3 to #1):

3) Iran
2) Pakistan
1) ***Saudi Arabia***

In reading this response, you may not consider me to be a true "liberal". On foreign affairs, I am more or less a moderate, supporting both liberal and conservative arguments. On domestic affairs, however, I am, indeed, a liberal. As Americans, we want our government to both fight terrorism AND protect our civil liberties at the same time. I neither admire Bin Laden, nor do I approve of Saddam. However, I do not approve of the Patriot Act, Domestic spying, or the Iraq War, either.
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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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