Wednesday, March 02, 2011

NY Times: Bush middle east policy vindicated

Ok, they didn't put it that way. But I will.

What the Times said was Libyan Arms Pact Reduces Qaddafi’s Power
In late 2009, the Obama administration was leaning on Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi and his son Seif to allow the removal from Libya of the remnants of the country’s nuclear weapons program: casks of highly enriched uranium.

Meeting with the American ambassador, Gene A. Cretz, the younger Qaddafi complained that the United States had retained “an embargo on the purchase of lethal equipment” even though Libya had turned over more than $100 million in bomb-making technology in 2003. Libya was “fed up,” he told Mr. Cretz, at Washington’s slowness in doling out rewards for Libya’s cooperation, according to cables released by WikiLeaks.

Today, with father and son preparing for a siege of Tripoli, the success of a joint American-British effort to eliminate Libya’s capability to make nuclear and chemical weapons has never, in retrospect, looked more important.
And why was that effort successful? Does anyone else remember this?
It received little notice at the time, but in an interview with the British Spectator in September, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi (search) said Qaddafi had told him in a phone conversation that "I will do whatever the Americans want, because I saw what happened in Iraq, and I was afraid."
I do. Libya is one of the collateral benefits of Iraq, and it's been obvious for a very long time. Back in 2005, when Chuck Hagel decided to hop on the "rush-to-defeat" bandwagon, I made this comment about what had happened in Iraq:
2 1/2 years ago, Saddam Hussein was in power in Baghdad. He was paying the families of Palestinian suicide bombers. He was providing a haven for some Al-quaeda members. He was shooting at US and British planes that were enforcing the UN no-fly zones. He had the largest army in the middle-east. He was taking UN Oil-for-Food money and preventing aid in the form of food and medicine from reaching his oppressed citizens. Now he's gone, his armies are gone, his sons are gone and the Iraqi people have elected a representative government that's making progress towards a democratic constitution. The influence of the actions in Iraq has caused changes in behavior - positive changes of behavior - in Syria and Lebanon and Libya.
So, yeah, I'm going to say "Bush policy vindicated."

Labels: , , ,



Post a Comment


<< Home

Links to this post

Links to this post:

Create a Link