Wednesday, April 07, 2004

I Still Wouldn't Vacation In Tripoli 

Claudia Rosett highlights that Libya may have surrendered its WMDs, but Gadhafi is anything but a saint. I must say that my feelings are mixed on the whole Libya issue.

Of course, Gadhafi's decision not to pursue WMDs is worth celebrating. The fact that the it took invading Iraq to compel him is a reminder that force is one option when dealing with rogue states that cannot be dismissed too easily. And it appears that Libya is sharing intelligence on al-Qaeda, a welcome move indeed.

Nonetheless, the schnoozing of British officials, including Tony Blair, with Gadhafi is unsettling, to say the least. Libya remains a violator of human rights, and our appreciation of the elimination of Libya's WMD programs should not give Gadhafi the opportunity to gloat and flaunt his newfound return from the cold. As noted previously, my support of the Iraq War was based more on national security issues than humanitarianism, so I am aware that the biggest priority in our relations with Libya has been dealt with successfully. But since President Bush made it clear that promoting democracy in the Middle East is one of his major foreign policy objectives (a laudable goal, I should add), it doesn't help much to have the prime minister of America's biggest ally shaking Gadhafi's hand, while the State Department remains silent on Libya's humanitarian situation.

Perhaps it's true that you win some and you lose some. But I don't think that whoever said that meant that you win some, and you capitulate the rest.

A note: I've read Gadhafi, Qaddafi, and more. Honestly, I haven't a clue, and I keep switching between them. But I hope we all know who I'm talking about here.
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