Pipes on what to do about Libya

At the end of a column filled with decisive-sounding reasons for the United States not to use military force to help the Libyan rebels overthrow the Kaddafi regime, Daniel Pipes, with his usual marvelous intellectual consistency, turns around and concludes:

[W]hat advice to give the Obama administration? Help the Libyan opposition with aid and escalate as needed.

Humanitarian, political, and economic reasons converge in Libya to overcome legitimate hesitations. Working with international authorization, the U.S. government should fulfill its accustomed role of leadership and help Libya’s opposition. However risky that course, doing nothing is yet riskier.

But the trouble is, Pipes never identified the risks of doing nothing. He did, however, spell out in detail the risks of helping the rebels. Among them were:

However easy [creating a no-fly zone] might look, Qaddafi could have unexpected reserves of power that could lead to a long and messy engagement. If he survives, he could become all the more virulent. However repulsive he may be, his (Islamist?) opponents could be yet more threatening to U.S. interests.

Oh, so Pipes thinks Kaddafi’s opponents may well be Islamists, meaning that Kaddafi’s fall would result in an Islamist regime. Yet Pipes nevertheless favors the use of U.S. forces to overthrow Kaddafi.

Daniel Pipes, the master logician of our age.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at March 10, 2011 11:17 AM | Send

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