Steven A. Cook, Council on Foreign Relations | June 19, 2008
The guiding idea that empowering moderates in the Middle East will squelch the appeal of radicals is faulty reasoning. ++ First of all, defining a “moderate” is impossible. ++ A social “moderate” in Egypt, for example, calls for less religion in society, but condones suicide bombings as a legitimate means of diplomacy. ++ Secondly, the record has shown that moderates do not remain moderate once in power. ++ The West should stop playing ideological sides and support leaders in the region on a pragmatic basis.