Voice from the Commonwealth
Commentary, World Views and Occasional Rants from a small 'l' libertarian in Massachussetts

"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your council nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." - Samuel Adams

Friday, July 26, 2002

Tony Blair is sending an envoy to talk to Ghadaffi.

As far as nations on the terrorist watch list I think Libya is the most likely to become a more open and friendly pro-western place. Ghadffi has no love for al-Qaeda and in fact they have a bounty out for him. He is not an Islamist nor does he support Islamists (he's a Socialist). Unlike Syria, Iraq, Cuba and the others the people of his nation are not oppressed under a reign of terror (he has written and often spoken passionately about the rights of women). He has dealt with a number of bad characters but has for the most part done so in order to further the causes of economic pan-Africanism and pan-Arabism. We have had our friendly dealings with equally unsavory governments (Saudi Arabia comes to mind).

Even now he has a fairly pragmatic view on America. He was one of the few world leaders to come out and say that if we have definitive proof that al-Qaeda was behind the attacks, the war in Afghanistan is justified. It is a given that he is not hard on Arafat or Saddam but it is also true that of the Muslim leaders he has been less anti-Israel (distance is probably a factor in this) and anti-American than most. He, often, acts and speaks independent of the Arab Bloc. He forwards his own plan for ending the Israel-Palestine issue (given it is PGT Beauregard-like in its outrageous and far-reaching unworkability) and often does not fall into the lazy rhetoric blame-game.

This is not to say I unconditionally endorse the idea that we drop all of our sanctions and embrace Ghadaffi as our ally. There is much work to be done. The issues of the murder and terrorism of Pan-Am 103 and the disco bombing in Berlin need to be faced and an accouting needs to be had. It is tough to just say that an admissin of guilt and a cash payment should absolve past crimes but we face a hard and realistic choice. Can we honestly believe that the governemtns that stand arrayed against us in all their full blown anti-American hatred can and shoulld be defeated militarily? Uneasy truces have been made with governments once hostile and leaders once in charge of ordering the death of Americans (Jefferson Davis, George III, Gorbachev and Hirohito to name four).

None of the nations or leaders that stand against us (or on the side, cheering on [secretly or not] those against us) will come to stand with us unless defeated, ousted or convinced that the better option is to change their ways and join us. I think that Ghadaffi is one of the few that can be convinced and I think that he will not need a great deal of cajoling or threatening (as opposed to Syria, Iran, Saudi Arabia, North Korea, Cuba, France) and has a population not immersed in hatred and violence.

< email | 7/26/2002 09:44:00 PM | link

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