My name is Fred and I am a gay conservative living in Ottawa. This blog supports limited government, the right of the State of Israel to live in peace and security, and tries to expose the threat to us all from cultural relativism, post-modernism, and radical Islam. I am also the founder of the Free Thinking Film Society in Ottawa (

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Kirchick on Khadafy

Jamie Kirchick, who is as brilliant as he is prolific, chides  those who would compare the overthrow of Libya's dictator with that of Saddam Hussein:  

Tactics aside, likening American involvement in Libya to its overthrow of Saddam Hussein in Iraq is worse than comparing apples and oranges. It's akin to equating the arrest of a mugger to an FBI sting of a nationwide mob operation.

As brutal a leader as he was, Moammar Khadafy did not pose a strategic threat to the United States as did Hussein's Iraq. In 2004, Khadafy gave up his weapons of mass destruction program and in 2006 the United States removed Libya from its list of state-sponsors of terrorism (Khadafy undertook these moves in response to the overthrow of Saddam, a positive outcome of the war which the President's supporters have neglected to include in their estimations). Were Libya still in possession of such capabilities, it's far from certain that NATO would have intervened.

Moreover, Iraq is at the geographical and political heart of the Arab world - a regional power bordered by other key states like Saudi Arabia, Iran and Turkey. Libya, in all senses, is on the periphery. Simply put, what happens there is not nearly as important to American strategic interests as what occurs in Mesopotamia.

To segue from the serious to the frivolous, the most interesting thing to me about the Libyan dictator was, of course, the fact that there seemed to be an infinite number of ways of spelling his name. Here's an article from earlier this year on this all-important topic:

The Associated Press, CNN, and MSNBC spell it "Moammar Gadhafi." The New York Times spells it "Muammar el-Qaddafi." At the Los Angeles Times, it's "Moammar Kadafi." Reuters, the Guardian, and the BBC go with "Muammar Gaddafi." The Irish Times goes with "Muammar Gadafy." ABC News – which spells it "Moammar Gaddafi" – has posted a list of 112 variations on the English spelling of the Libyan strongman's name.

At The Christian Science Monitor, we go with "Muammar Qaddafi," a spelling that is no more or less defensible than anyone else's.

All this would just be a matter of idle curiosity if it weren't for the Web. Go to Google News and type in “Gadhafi.” Now try “Qaddafi.” And now try “Gaddafi.” Notice how it returns three completely different lists of stories? How you choose to spell it determines what news you get.

Here's  the ABC list mentioned above.  Enjoy!


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