Gadhafi Must Not Be Left in Power

Wednesday, 27 Apr 2011 08:13 AM

By Tawfik Hamid

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The U.S. intervention in Libya can significantly alter the United States' image in the Muslim world. The inability of the United States to achieve a real victory in Afghanistan and in Iraq has weakened its image and thus encouraged Islamic radicals to continue their war against the West.

If Gadhafi is defeated, the United States can regain its status in the eyes of the Muslim world. But defeat will encourage radicals.

Even a protracted campaign will be viewed as failure by the Muslim world.

According to the media, Libyan soldiers break into homes and create terror by raping women, mostly married ones. Hundreds of Libyan women who had been abused and raped by Gadhafi’s loyal men desperately seek to commit suicide for they do not want to live with the torture done to them in front of their children. There are even reports of those who are safe and untouched wanting to be killed by their relatives rather than face rape.

The inability of al-Qaida to protect the civilians or to prevent the rape of these Muslim women can work in the United States favor — if the United States success Gadhafi. (Protecting the women is the most important issue for Muslims.)

There is another danger to the West: If Gadhafi's defeat is not complete, he may turn to supporting international terrorism against the United States and against other countries that supported his opponents.

It's all or nothing for the United States.  If Gadhafi remains in power, in any capacity,  it would have been better for the United States to not intervene in Libya at all. 

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