December 20, 2003

Of Causation (Libya) Gadhafi's son

Of Causation (Libya)

Gadhafi's son says that the Iraq conflict was irrelevant to the Libyan offer on WMD disarmament. Sure, and the Reagan administration's "robust" (to use a word that's been making the rounds lately) anti-Soviet stance had nothing to do with the defeat of the U.S.S.R. and end of the Cold War either.

UPDATE: Andrew quips that Howard Dean would have sent Warren Christopher instead.

Remember back when Clinton dispatched Christopher to get the Euros on board to lift the arms embargo on the Bosniaks and use NATO to strike Bosnian Serb gunners terrorizing U.N. "safe" areas like Sarajevo?

He didn't quite pull it off and reported back that there had been an "exchange" of views.

Someone (I can't recall who though it may have been "acerbic" Richard Perle) quipped to the press that, yeah, an exchange of views had occurred all right. Christopher went to Europe with a U.S. view and returned with a European one.

Look for more such "exchanges of views" if Dean (or Clark or Gephardt) make it to 1600 Pennsylvania.

UPDATE II: Tagorda has more.

UPDATE III: Of course, the Iraq factor wasn't the definitive one at play. But it, doubtless, helped focus minds in Tripoli. Still, like most historical events, this one was multi-causal:

"What forced Gaddafi to act was a combination of things -- U.N. sanctions after the Lockerbie bombing, his international isolation after the Soviet Union's collapse . . . and internal economic problems that led to domestic unrest by Islamists and forces within the military," said Ray Takeyh, a Libya expert at the National Defense University."

But note too:

"Whether by coincidence or fear that Libya might be targeted, Gaddafi's envoys approached Britain on the eve of the Iraq war to discuss a deal, U.S. officials said.

"The invasion of Iraq sent a strong message to governments around the world that if the United States feels threatened by weapons of mass destruction, we are prepared to act against regimes not prepared to change their behavior," said a senior State Department official who requested anonymity."

Posted by Gregory at December 20, 2003 06:14 PM
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