December 21, 2003



FoxNews reported this weekend: U.S.: Al-Qaddafi Eager to End Weapons Programs.

President Bush said the downfall of Saddam Hussein and U.S. efforts to crack down on North Korea's pursuit of weapons helped influence al-Qaddafi's decision...

Priorities & Frivolities points out someone not affiliated with the administration who has a similar assessment.

Ashton B. Carter, an assistant secretary of defense under President Clinton who is now co-director of the Harvard-Stanford Preventive Defense Project, agreed that Iraq was a turning point in convincing Colonel Qaddafi to give up his weapons.

"One certainly hopes that what we did in Iraq put countries like Libya on notice that we're really serious about countering proliferation," said Mr. Carter, who has been advising [Howard] Dean. [Emphasis added.]

What does this mean for Iran and North Korea? The Sunday Herald (Scotland) reports: Libya's fatal blow to axis of evil (Via InstaPundit).

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi took the decision to renounce all weapons of mass destruction (WMD) on Friday night, but while at first it was thought this only had implications for Libya it is now clear that his decision has scuppered a secret partnership between Libya, Iran and North Korea formed with the intention of developing an independent nuclear weapon.

New documents revealed yesterday show that the three were working on the nuclear weapons programme at a top-secret underground site near the Kufra Oasis of the Sahara in southeastern Libya. The team was made up of North Korean scientists, engineers and technicians, as well as some Iranian and Libyan nuclear scientists.

And Steven Den Beste has an analysis worth reading: Another Hammer Blow.

Diplomacy can accomplish much. Those who claim that now are not wrong. What's wrong is what they're leaving out: diplomacy is usually much more effective when backed by a credible threat of force. [...] What the Chinese/Russians/et-al are trying to do is to downplay that aspect of this diplomatic triumph, and to ignore the fact that what finally made Qaddafi capitulate was not ferocious scowling from continental Europe or years of trade sanctions. It was naked fear of the US Marines, and the realization that the 9/11 attack had made America willing to use them or other forces it has against nations it thought were non-imminent threats. (Like Libya.)

In our "Your Attention Please" cartoon, we opined that taking out Saddam would make other Axis members more attentive. Unfortunately we ran out of room, and the one Axis of Evil member we choose to leave out was Libya (Bush added Syria, Cuba and Libya to the Axis of Evil in May 2002). So this cartoon is an addendum of sorts.

UPDATE: FoxNews reports: Libya OKs Nuke Inspections.

UPDATE Dec. 26: Dare Balogun has an excellent post on why Gaddafi is not to be trusted despite his apparent concessions: The Truth vs. Moammar Gaddafi: The Case for His Elimination.

Prior to September 11, 2001, terrorists were trained and harbored in hellholes like Afghanistan. The danger to the West is that much of sub-Saharan Africa may be turned into one giant terrorist camp. The Libyan tyrant fulfills this threat on all counts: he is spreading (militant) Islam; he hates the West; and he is amassing the wealth that will buy him time, weapons, and willing soldiers. ... America's shortsighted trust of Gaddafi is hinged largely on Gaddafi's widely-reported disassociation from other Arab nations. [...] But, a disdain for the Middle East is not equivalent to a love of the West.

Posted by Forkum at December 21, 2003 09:49 PM