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In retrospect, should President Reagan have agreed to the French request to take out Khaddafi? A lot of innocent lives would have been spared. Terrorist attacks from Lockerbie, Scotland to the Mediterranean would have been averted.

Alas, such action by Reagan would indeed have been illegal, and was not the mission or foreign policy plan of his incoming administration. Had Reagan started his presidency by violating an executive order on assassinations, liberals in that post-Watergate/post-Vietnam Congress would have run him out of town with impeachment papers before his historic two-term takedown of the Evil Empire could commence.

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Reagan did what he could – or couldn’t.

Nonetheless, this is a very intriguing tale of what happens behind the scenes – and of what might have been. The death of Khaddafi had to wait a long, painful 30 years.

Only now, finally, this bad dude is gone.

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Dr. Paul Kengor is professor of political science and executive director of The Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College. His latest book is “11 Principles of a Reagan Conservative.” A longer version of this article appeared at Conservative Review.
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