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Unfortunately not quite true

Reader comment on item: "[Symposium] On the Strip: Where To Go from Gaza?"
in response to reader comment: Dr. Pipes Forgets

Submitted by Morten Nielsen (Denmark), Jul 6, 2006 at 16:06

This sort of blindness is unfortunately not confined to Russia.

The Western world gave substantial support to some of the worst Muslim terrorist networks during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan 1979-89. Back then Islam was seen in the West, not even as the lesser of two evils but actually as an essential ally in the fight against Communism. The mujahideen from Afghanistan have become the backbone of much of todays militant Islamic movement.

Granted, the West has stopped directly supporting these networks, but if memory serves the most significant Western response to the Beslan massacre was a condemnation of Putin's "slide towards authoritarianism"!

Also, the nations of Western Europe remain a leading centre for recruitment and financing of terrorist activities as well as for the production and distribution of their propaganda. Things have improved somewhat since 9/11, but even now many advocate "tolerance" since the Islamists are after all only a kind of freedom fighters seeking to overthrow undemocratic regimes and end foreign occupation of their homelands (Israel, Kashmir, Chechnya, Iraq...).

While Russia's support of the Iranian mullahs is a case of geopolitical shortsightedness much like Western support of the Afghan "freedom fighters", I am afraid that Western Europes continuing tolerance of the intolerable may be the greater threat in the long run.


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