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The PJ Tatler

Richard Perle


March 8, 2011 - 12:38 pm

It will be a miracle if the opposition to Qaddafi, armed only with a small supply of weapons seized from government arsenals, is able to withstand heavily armed attacks on the positions it now holds. While the administration dithers, and debate swirls around “no fly zones,” there is an urgent, immediate need to get anti-tank and anti-air weapons into the hands of those rebels who would free Libya–and not turn it over to Islamist radicals. If we don’t assist the rebels, Iran and other Islamists will, with disastrous consequences. (They are probably there already). We helped the Mujahideen defeat the Soviets in Afghanistan, but we allowed the Pakistanis and the Saudis to decide who would be armed. Of course they armed the Islamist groups they wished to promote–and we got the Taliban. Now the administration is said to be debating whether to ask the Saudis to send weapons to the rebels–because we don’t have the courage it do it ourselves. Guess who will wind up running Libya?

Richard Perle served the Ronald Reagan administration as Assistant Secretary of Defense after 11 years on the staff of Senator Henry “Scoop” Jackson. He is now a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.
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