Posted by: theoptimisticconservative | March 16, 2011

This is Your World without Traditional US Leadership

The essential formlessness of the late-Western left’s ideas is being modeled in 3-D in the Libya crisis right now.  Events in Libya are not understood in any detail, and the world’s leading nations can’t decide what to do.  France and Britain are certain that there should be an intervention; Germany is opposed to the idea; Russia and China have spoken against it; the US is looking at all options, a process that has now been underway for three weeks.

In Libya, meanwhile, the reporting that does come out is grim for the rebels. Qaddafi’s forces have retaken the rebel-held coastal enclaves as far east as Ajdabiyah (see the map here) and are closing in on the major port city of Benghazi.  As a center of infrastructure, Benghazi is the key to cornering the rebels: if Qaddafi can take it and thoroughly rid it of organized rebel guerrillas, the rebels will be driven into an untenable position between Benghazi and the eastern border with Egypt.  They can’t increase their viability from this position, at least not without outside help; they can only hold out for some period of time.

The rebels must make Qaddafi fight hard for Benghazi.  If his victory there is Pyrrhic enough, that would buy the remaining rebels some time to regroup.  It would also lay Benghazi waste.

Strictly from the standpoint of material factors, the rebels’ situation is not by any means hopeless.  They can’t retake the lost coastal territory by themselves, but they could maneuver to prejudice Qaddafi’s position with the international community.  Their best option would be occupying the oil and gas fields of the Sirte basin, in Libya’s vast interior.  Holding most of Libya’s oil resources, along with the coastal cities and commercial facilities of Darna and Tobruk, they would be in a position to bargain seriously for support from foreign governments.  The process of organizing to pursue this opportunity would exert a beneficial effect on their own coherence.

But we hear no one talking in these terms because the perspective fostered in the modern Western mind is that of the pre-adolescent.  The world’s happenings are an incoherent mishmash of impressions and inexplicable eruptions, about which the most important things are who is at fault, who might be considered at fault, and how everyone feels about us as it all unfolds.  The leaders of the Western world have never seemed so much like a classroom of 4th-graders, making garbled arguments to each other after 15 minutes spent perusing their Weekly Readers.

The White House asserts that it is considering “all the implications and ramifications.”  But there is no way to think systematically about this situation without the overlay of coherent leadership in some form.  Obama hasn’t even stated a US national interest or objective for Libya.  Do we support the rebels?  If we don’t know what their character is, there’s only one way to find out.  The reason the White House’s evaluation of implications and ramifications is never-ending is that it won’t be complete without some kind of policy commitment from … the White House.

There hasn’t been one, and that’s the problem.  If the question now were to pick a course of action, that would be one thing – but Team Obama is still stuck back at the starting line.  It doesn’t even know what it wants. It doesn’t have any positive vision for this situation.  It wants fewer people to be killed, and it wishes Qaddafi weren’t hanging on against the desires of his people.  But those aren’t policy positions, they are emotional reactions.

It takes policy and method to drive back a brutal dictator and prevent people from being killed.  It can’t be done any other way.  If we want Qaddafi to be gone, it’s necessary to take concrete steps to drive him out.  If Obama isn’t willing to do that, then it doesn’t matter what he says.

Others are acting, according to their interests.  Italy’s oil and gas giant Eni has already asked the EU to lift its sanctions on Libya.  Eni’s contacts are with the Qaddafi government and the management of Libya’s National Oil Company (NOC).

It is not clear how much of the reporting about Al Qaeda activity in Libya is valid – Qaddafi is attributing rebel acts to Al Qaeda right and left – but there has long been an Al Qaeda affiliate in Libya, and it is keeping a high profile among the rebel groups.

Britain and France formally asked the UN Security Council for a no-fly zone resolution on Tuesday evening.  The Arab League endorsed a no-fly zone last week.

Belarus has reportedly sent arms to Qaddafi.  Fighters from Mali, Niger, and Darfur have come to his aid.  Foreign news agencies suggest Egyptian special forces are in Libya supporting the rebels.

The world is not merely standing by right now, but it has been in something of a holding pattern.  The outcome in Libya can go one of two ways:  Qaddafi gains momentum and starts reestablishing his commercial ties with Europe, or the rebels keep him mired in a fight that makes him less attractive to foreign parties.  In the latter case, there will only be an increase in foreign involvement in Libya.

The world has been waiting for the US to take the lead, but it’s obvious we aren’t going to.  I think almost everyone in America other than Obama and his Amen chorus in the MSM realizes that.  The proper framing of the issue, at this point, is that we have not taken the lead, and the moment to prove that we would, could, or should has passed.

J.E. Dyer blogs at Hot Air’s Green Room and Commentary’s “contentions.”  She writes a weekly column for Patheos.


Responses

  1. The West will do nothing. The left and its primary representative Obama, have no interest in Libya, its an irrelevance to their agenda. Emasculated liberals wish the rebels well but only in an ivory tower sort of way, as they have no interest in actually determining what the rebels stand for…and so can only wring their hands and make oxymoronic appeals to Qaddafi’s ‘better nature’. That and cry for someone to do something.

    As presently constructed, a world without US leadership leaves the field to 3 primary players: thuggish Putin’s Russia, totalitarian China and Islam. The EU is an eunuch and everyone else hasn’t the fortitude and/or resources to pose a serious challenge to any of the three primary players.

    Prognosticating a world under any one of or combination of those three players is easily encapsulated in one sentence: Another “Medieval Dark Age” in which tens of millions unnecessarily die and billions suffer.

  2. Assuming that with or without outside assistance, the Libyan rebels, whoever they might be, are successful in toppling the powerful Ghadaffi regime, then what? Will they transform the country to a kind of burnoosed southern California of the 50s, with a bearded Ward Ali Cleaver returning home from work at the pump station, giving a kiss to Suha June and checking Osman Wally and the Beaver’s homework? Just as the French revolutionaries that overthrew the Bourbon monarchy surpassed those kings by miles in coercion, violence and totalitarian terror, so too victorious Libyan rebels would be compelled to wreak vengeance on their opposition and tyranny on the rest of the population. It’s not possible to paint a pretty picture of the Libyan future.

    • I take that back. According to the Washington Post: “On Sunday, Abdul Fattah Younis, the head of the rebel armed forces and Gaddafi’s former interior minister, declared that conventional forces, most of them defected soldiers from Gaddafi’s army, were playing a significant combat role.

      But they were nowhere to be seen Tuesday on what was perhaps the most pivotal battlefront of the rebellion.”

      If Gaddafi’s one-time interior minister is in charge of the rebels, things would be a lot different.

  3. Thats not fair OC, I had a much better grasp geo-strategic reality when I was in 4th grade than POTUS and other Western “leaders” do now, and I don’t mean that in a complimentary way to myself.

    The trouble is, as Chuck Martel says we don’t exactly know what we’re getting if we held the rebels. (I’d venture to say Gaddafi’s several orders of magnitude worse than the Bourbons though won’t go out on a limb to speculate how the rebels compare with the Bourbons’ sundry successors).

    Bad options and all, though, it does seem that Western and U.S. generally tends to make things worse so when in doubt shoot first and ask questions later (?). Possibly.

    In any case, Haley Barber wants to cut defense spending so all is now right with the world.

  4. I can’t see it as wise for the US to enter a third war in a muslim nation in 10 years. Call me emasculated.

  5. Obama shouldn’t be dithering and acting completely disinterested; but I sympathize with his problem. The truth is that we don’t know which dog in this hunt is more likely to bite us sooner, the Ghadaffy we know, or the new Ghadaffy who will eventually be in charge in Libya.

    By inspection we can see that the odds of a Muslim country developing a stable democracy are about 20 to 1. And it’s hard to imagine that much of a sense of how to behave in a democracy have developed in Libya over the 40 years since Ghadaffi took over.

    And, our failure to act has at least one positive implication. It lets the Euro countries, which are the ones dependent on Libyan oil know that if they want water carried they had better buy some buckets.

    Finally, not to imply that Obama and his administration would do anything, like cynical; but if Ghadaffi massacres the rebels it will put a damper on folks in Saudi Arabia who want to bring down that regime. Real trouble in Saudi is the last thing we as a country need, and the last thing President Obama wants going forward toward 2012.

  6. In the interests of some fairness, it needs to be pointed out that the disparate strands that comprise the Republican Party are shown at their most disparate when it comes to Libya. Judging from the conflicting comment emanating from Tea-Party elements, the remnants of the neo-cons, the Republican establishment, the right-wing elites, and the ultra liberals as personified by Rand Paul, any alternative Republican administration would be even more confused as to what should be done.

    In fact, the Obama administration is faced with the same conflicting and entirely unappetising choices that would face any US administration. This dilemma is self-inflicted.

    We are now stuck with the choice between cutting our losses or following them. Decades of meddling in the region has left us no option that doesn’t have a serious downside. The only good option was never to have gotten involved in the first place. Alas! As a wise man observed “Not even God can change the past”. Two generations of geo-strategic geniuses (of both parties) never seem to have realized that our only real interest in the Middle East is ensuring that the oil flows. They seem not to have cottoned-on that oil works equally effectively to produce the energy we need irrespective of its provenance. Had we not interfered in the Middle East the US would not have become associated with all the negative things it has come to be associated with (dictators, industrial scale death by B52, cluster-weapons, etc). Had we minded our own business there would have been a good chance that the Middle East would have slowly evolved societies not dissimilar to our own. Alas, that is not to be. Our meddling and the concocted “War between Civilizations” has predictable driven a small but significant number of Moslems to embrace an extreme form of their religion which mirrors the sort of “conversion by the sword” ideology that was in vogue in 15th century Christiandom. Were we under cultural and military threat from agressive outsiders we would be doing the same. We would certainly not be rushing to embrace their professed values. The last time we had a positive imput into the Middle East was when we told Britain, France, and Israel, that the age of colonialism was over and to get the hell out of Sinai.

    Oh yes…What was the question? What should we do? We have created (at the cost of $zillions of US tax-dollars, and considerable loss of human life) a situation wherein we find ourselves turning our backs on those who would bring about change in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain – while hypocritically agonizing about the fate of their counterparts in Libya. My advice is to stop agonizing and mark this date at the date on which we stopped our meddling. Anyhow, agonizing about the fate of a small number of Libyan rebels doesn’t become a nation that killed tens of thousands of Iraqis in a war concocted out of a lie.
    Once we have gotten our heads around a policy of non-interference we should address ourselves to slimming down our military to a size commensurate with the necessities of US security rather than US Empire. We might also think about how we might make ourselves more energy-independent by a combination of more efficient use of our fossil fuels, new-generation nukes, and renewables.

    But our most pressing need is to live within our means. Insolvency is our biggest threat. Military meddling is by far the most expensive and least effective means of securing our foreign-policy objectives. We might also consider cutting ALL foreign aid other than strictly humanitarian aid.

    • Rand Paul = ultra liberals? Get your facts right, Paul’s a libertarian and isolationist.

      By your argument it would necessarily follow that Islamic radicals wouldn’t attack New Zealand, as they’ve ‘stayed out of it’. In support of that view, “the NZ Security Intelligence Service stated in its 2006 report that “the risk of a terrorist attack on New Zealand or New Zealand interests is low”, but also warned against complacency.”

      On June 1, 2010… 217 Die in New Zealand Terrorist Attack

      “we should address ourselves to slimming down our military to a size commensurate with the necessities of US security rather than US Empire.”

      In a world of nuclear weapons, the only way to meet US security needs is to possess overwhelming superiority. The US is not an empire, nor has it ever had one. To assert that it is or has is to blatantly mis-characterize American power. Clearly you’ve accepted, at least partially, the liberal narrative.

      Our most pressing need is to live within our means, entitlement spending is by far the greatest impediment to that. To state that “military ‘meddling’ is by far …the least effective means of securing our foreign-policy objectives” reveals a grave lack of understanding of the real world and of human nature.

      “War is not merely a political act, but also a political instrument, a continuation of political relations, a carrying out of the same by other means,”von Clausewitz

      Well intentioned and therefore reasonable people can always avoid war but as each generation produces selfishly ambitious, ruthlessly unreasonable people who rise to power and in turn create unreasonable societies…war can only be avoided through surrender. Seeking to appease by claiming ‘neutrality’ is a facade, moral cowardice masquerading as being ‘above it all’.

      • Libertarianism, as I always understood the term to mean, properly refers to the belief that humans are free agents with free will – (as opposed to “determinism”). The term “liberal” is incorrectly used in the US as a lable for someone having leftish economic views, libertarian social views, or both. Correctly used, the term “liberal” refers to someone who believes in minimal government interference in both economic and social spheres. A philosopher or economist would have no trouble identifying Rand Paul as a classic economic liberal. Neither is he an ideological “isolationist”. His wariness of foreign military intervention is firmly grounded on the empirical failure (and economic bad value for the taxpayer) of military ‘solutions’ for most foreign-policy problems.

        All countries have security and anti-terrorism policies. To extrapolate that fact to imply that New Zealand is a likely terrorist target is, frankly, nonsense. There was never any terrorist attack on New Zealand on 6/01/2010 or on any other date. You have been spoofed.

        In a world of nuclear weapons we have enough of the things to utterly destroy China or any other nation as a functioning society several times over. In fact, if we used about 25% of our present nuclear arsenal on China (or any other country in the northern hemisphere) there would be catastrophic environmental repercussions for the entire hemisphere – including the US (See ‘Foreign Policy’, April 2009).

        Well intentioned and moral people avoid war, and view it, not as a policy alternative, but as a last resort because it destroys human life and lives (and, from a purely utilitarian view, its outcome and consequences are nearly always unpredictable). However, I agree that sometimes it becomes necessary to face down an existential threat with force. No such threat exists today. All our present or forseeable foreign-policy challenges are either not amenable to the use of force in a nuclear age (Russia, China, for example) or are better dealt with by other means (almost everywhere else). Carl von Clausewitz had an amoral attitude to war, and his thinking formed an unbroken thread permeating the philosophy of the Prussian, and subsequently, German, general staff until April 1945. Given what it accomplished for Germany, I would have thought it is not a philosophy we should emulate.

        • “The term “liberal” is incorrectly used in the US as a lable for someone having leftish economic views, libertarian social views, or both. Correctly used, the term “liberal” refers to someone who believes in minimal government interference in both economic and social spheres.”

          Prior to the modern age, that was certainly true. Those term’s definition however has changed and the current categorization has applied for some time. The classic liberal is almost extinct in the democratic party. The ‘scoop’ “Jackson/Patrick Moynahan” liberal vanished from the democrat party with the departure of Dell Miller of GA.

          Rand’s ‘wariness’ of foreign military intervention springs from an isolationist attitude, not a neutral assessment of the issues, you are conflating your attitude with his.

          The empirical failure of military ‘solutions’ for most foreign-policy problems has far more to do with political considerations than the actual efficacy of military solutions.

          Obama is actively working to reduce our nuclear arsenal to less than Russia and China’s. Should he be reelected, our military supremacy won’t last through Obama’s second term.

          Carl von Clausewitz’s ‘amoral’ attitude toward war in no way obviates the accuracy of his assessment. But Clausewitz romanticized war, having 19th century attitudes toward it, hardly an amoral attitude. His truism about war is simply articulating the interrelationship between diplomacy and war and the national goals that those methods pursue.

          Yes, well intentioned and moral people hate war and for the reasons you cite, they do not however, ‘avoid’ war, there’s a subtle but important difference perhaps best illustrated by pointing out that Churchill hated war, Chamberlain sought to avoid it.

          Seeking to avoid a fight, always reveals moral ambivalence. One does not engage in war except when it is necessary but if one waits till an existential threat physically exists, it is often the ‘avoidance of war’ which allowed the existential threat to arise in the first place.

          Hitler’s rise is a perfect example of this, when Hitler ordered German troops into the Sudetenland, his generals had orders to retreat if the French and British physically opposed Germany. The Brits and French sought to appease, to avoid war at all costs, threw the Chek’s to the ‘alligator’ and sealed the fate of the 60 million unnecessary deaths that would follow in WWII.

  7. @Paulite “Had we minded our own business there would have been a good chance that the Middle East would have slowly evolved societies not dissimilar to our own.” – Nonesense.

    Take it from someone who speaks Arabic, has lived in, worked in, and studied Islam and the Middle East for more than 20 years, and who actually reads Islamic law instead of the New York Timesínterpretations of it – Nothing about Islam leads to societies that are structured along western models.

    • On the contrary, the vast majority of Moslems who live in the ‘West’ have no problem adapting and conforming to the incidences of our liberal democratic society without feeling any conflict between their beliefs and their citizenship.

      The Japanese, formerly indoctrinated with a strain of militaristic Shintoism that makes even the most extreme interpretation of Islam appear mild in comparison, now maintain a vibrant functioning democracy. This analogy would suggest that your conclusions are most likely nothing more than an assumption based on a prejudice.

      Irish immigration into the US, and “popish superstitions”, was once viewed by most Protestant Americans as presaging the end of American civilization as we knew it. The Irish (and Roman Catholicism) are now regarded as ‘bedrock’ American. The British justified their occupation of Ireland as being necessary because the Irish were incapable of governing. Left to themselves, the same Irish continually make the top 5 nations on the planet in the ‘Heritage’ freedom index.

      I believe that we have got things backwards with the Islamic world. We interfere with them in their own countries by subverting their governments, invading them, bombing them, and completely ignoring our own core values in our dealings with them. Putting people under threat is not an action calculated to encourage liberalism or political and social liberalization. At the same time we apply the threadbare policy of multiculturalism at home. We should leave them strictly alone in their own countries to evolve their societies without outside interference. At the same time we should insist that all immigrants coming here are observant of our core values, in particular, the core value of personal autonomy. In fact, the vast majority of immigrant Moslems seem to have no problem at all with our core values.

      • Respectfully, doesn’t the fact that you refer to the Islamic world, by which you must mean over a dozen different nations, as “them” undermine your assertion that Muslims in America aren’t collecivist in instinct? Further, is it really your impression that Islamic American life has any features that one would identify as indicative of “personal autonomy”. I have no doubt that they love political liberty for themselves, but I am intrigued by the idea you have that they mirror what you describe as the core value of personal autonomy. I would further feel less comfortable if you could name any nation that has assimilated more than 15% Muslim citizens.

        While no country can claim a spotless record on the world stage, it seems that your assessment of American foreign policy is rather harsh. I sometimes think it would be instructive for the United States to embark on the building of an actual empire, the kind in which we plunder, disregard civilian losses except as they may serve as horrid exemplars, close Gitmo for reasons totally opposite in spirit to the present one, dismiss backwater burgs like fallujah (nothing there we could possibly want) and have done with schools, roads, shura councils, and purple fingers, needing only a port, some long pipe and some hovering gunships. I think it might bring some sanity back to this subject of empire.

        I can understand the idea that moral well intentioned people avoid war and view it only as a last resort to be used only when the threat has evolved to the point it threatens existence. My ethnic heritage is of such a people… long ago conquered. When the existential threat came, it was too late. I bet even in the last days there were some insisting that if it werent for that raid 20 years ago, all would be well.

        • sorry i meant “less uncomfortable”

  8. But we hear no one talking in these terms because the perspective fostered in the modern Western mind is that of the pre-adolescent.

    you do make me smile, Kid.

  9. Contrast the command to Christians to submit to the governing authorities (Romans 13) with the command to Islamists to fight against and overturn anything that is not Sharia Law. (Sorry, I don’t have a Koran handy.)

    The Middle East is different qualitatively, not just quantitatively.

  10. I’m not knowledgeable enough about Islam to speak to anything about the Koran as a whole. I’ve certainly heard many claims and references to its suggestions of violence or authoritarianism in contrast to the more gentle parts of the New Testament.

    But its seems to that in all fairness you have to note that the Bible has several books where the Israelites are enjoined to commit genocide, even down to killing their enemy’s livestock, and are even punished by God for failing to do so completely enough.

    • this is true, but does anyone follow Mosaic law? Is anyone who proposes to stab their son in the chest on instructions from God treated as anything other than a criminally dangerous psychotic? Children who disobey their parents are put on daytime TV, not the gallows. Yet in the Muslim world, polls that query whether blasphemy and apostasy should be punishable by death get regular and sometimes overwhelming majorities.

      Muslims fight Copts in Egypt
      Muslims fight Jews in the ME
      Muslims fight Hindus in India
      Muslims fight Christians in Nigeria, the west, Indonesia and pretty much everywhere.

      Maybe jews hindus and christians are simply warlike? yet
      where do jews fight christians?
      where do christians fight hindus?
      where do jews fight hindus?

      Who is going to kill you if you torch the Torah? Who is going to chop your head off if you manhandle the Bhagavad Gita? We know what happens when you drop a crucifix in a jar of urine…we give you money.

      Willfull blindness writ large.

      • I think it is fair to say that most Jews observe, not fundamentalist Mosaic law, but the norms of whatever society in which they live. The small exception is the fanatical Jewish settler movement in the West Bank who observe such niceties as “The Price”. When the Israeli army tries to remove an illegal settlement outpost, the settlers, instead of resisting the IDF, attack their Palestinian neighbours and burn their crops. However, this behaviour is hardly an argument that Judaism is incompatible with true democracy.

        The only trueism is that some Christians, Jews, and Moslems, when infected with the pathogen of religious fundamentalism, behave in a manner which is inimical to the core values of liberal democracy and human decency.

  11. Just heard that Obama has caved in to British and French efforts to revive the colonial era. Oh, the white man’s burden! Are we now goint to be consistant and insist on the Shias of Bahrain and Saudi, and the non-Jews of Israel/Palestine, having equal political rights?

    Not on yer nanny…..

    And so it goes, Generation unto generation. Will we ever get sense?

  12. Certain people wanted a multipolar world. They got it. Of course it will get ugly.

    I understand the argument that the US has no dog in this fight, that we have enough on our plate, shouldn´t be naive about the rebels and so on. But what if Gaddafi wins? He is our declared enemy. Has always been, always will be.

    The only rational solution – and it is easily within our means to do it – would be not to get involved beyond killing Gaddafi the next time we know where he is. Bomb him, shoot him. Murder him. Kill his son, too. Then let the chips fall where they may, or leave it to the Europeans and Arabs to sort it out.

  13. I have just heard the news. Ghaddafi has responded to the UN NFZ by announcing a ceasefire.
    He may be a bad man, but sometime s you just gotta admire him. Our mandate gives us no authority to insert ground forces or to attack Ghaddafi’s forces from the air as long as he isn’t attacking the insurgents. We are now enforcing the status quo. And let me remind you what that status quo is. Ghaddafi has most of Libya and most of the oil. The insurgents are bottled up in the wreckage of Benghazi unable to feed themselves without our assistance. No doubt, Ghaddafi’s first move will be to reinstate oil exports from one of the ports in his control. He will leave Benghazi to repent at its leisure and wither on the vine. There is absolutely no chance whatever that the Chinese or Russians will allow the extension of the no-fly mandate.

    We are now potentially stuck in an indefinite siege, with the responsibility to feed the beseiged, and no mandate to break it. Billions of dollars worth of US tax-payer funded military assets will be tied down for the duration. Another great victory for the neo-con and humanitarian-interventionist coalition. May the lot of them choke on their breakfasts this morning.

    Perhaps the worst aspect of this debacle is that the longer it goes on the less Ghaddafi will be seen as a corrupt tyrant, and the more he will be viewed in the Islamic world as yet another Moslem martyr valiantly resisting the hated Americans.

    The US taxpayer wept………… yet again.

    • Oh stop it. I´m not in favor of the sort of intervention you describe but this constant whining about the taxpayer is ridiculous. Your taxpayer has contributed, by his own shortsighted choices, to the deep financial hole we´re in. A few hundred million more will not make the least bit of difference. No matter what the problem is, you Paulites have only one answer. Drones are drones, from the left or from the right.

  14. “On the contrary, the vast majority of Moslems who live in the ‘West’ have no problem adapting and conforming to the incidences of our liberal democratic society without feeling any conflict between their beliefs and their citizenship.”Paulite

    In 2007, a “survey of 1,003 Muslims by the polling company Populus through internet and telephone questionnaires, nearly 60% said they would prefer to live under British law, while 37% of 16 to 24-year-olds said they would prefer sharia law, against 17% of those over 55. Eighty-six per cent said their religion was the most important thing in their lives. [my emphasis]

    Nearly a third of 16 to 24-year-olds believed that those converting to another religion should be executed”

    In 2010, another poll revealed that now “32% of British Muslim students support killing for Islam; 40% want Sharia Law”.

    In Egypt, 84% approve of the death penalty for apostasy. That percentage is representative of the general attitude in the Muslim world.

    Immigrants come to western countries from Islamic nations, so upon what basis would one assume that Muslims ‘in the west’ actually feel differently? Wishful thinking? Upon what empirical data do you base your assessment that Muslims feel no conflict between the inherent and unresolvable conflict between Islamic theological precepts and antithetical western liberal precepts?

    The more conventionally devout the Muslim, the greater the internal conflict must be and given the universally accepted use of Taqqiya (ok to lie if it advances Islamic goals) how do you determine ‘moderate’ Muslims from those pretending to be?


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