Still the little dictator, the tunic wearing Muammar Qadaffi is being given a "get out of jail free" card by the U.S. State Department in 45 days for willingly deposing of his nuclear program and renouncing terrorism & the pan-Arab struggle against the West. According to media reports, he'll be free to do biz with the Christian hemisphere as a prize for the good work he's done to combat terrorism.
Some claim that Qadaffi shouldn't be let off so easily. Despite the millions his government has paid (blackmailed?) to the relatives of Lockerbie victims for his government's involvement in the Pan Am Flight 103 bombing in 1988, some like the Libyan National Congress, an opposition group, are questioning the rationale behind letting a well entrenched dictator off "scot" free.
Putting aside responsibility for terrorist acts in West Berlin, Scotland and major funding for the PFLP (a rather brutal Palestinian guerilla outfit) in the 80s, one wonders the fairness of rewarding a man who continues to repress freedom of press and the right to pen a constitution. Weren't these cherished values what induced Tom Paine to write Common Sense and for the continentals to get off their arses and fight for independence?
If the point is that the US is playing the expediency game, making nice with the dictatorial crew (Libya, Pakistan, Nigeria, etc…) while making pretified but ultimately false statements about democracy building, then we should be aware of double speak in the echo chambers.
Conspiracy theories are nice and good but they don't necessarily explain things. Dick Cheney & Company as is well known did business with both Iraq and Libya in the late 90s. For fucking around with sanction laws, his Halliburton company was fined in the millions. Questions of course should be asked about the connection between the board members at Houston-based ConocoPhillips and Marathon Oil Corp. & the Bush admin., but just because the link seems to be there doesn't mean the emerald city's not a mirage. The 800 pound gorilla who's been farting up a storm in my head late at night has only one question to ask: What does U.S. democracy building mean when Qaddaffi doesn't have an intention in hell of letting up on the reigns anytime soon?
Here's the Realist calculation from National Review Online:
…It's important to note that (traditionally at least) maintaining diplomatic ties with a country doesn't (or shouldn't) connote approval of its governing regime. It merely means that it has done enough to be considered a full member of the international 'community', and (however revolting its regime) Libya probably has done that. And is there anything wrong, particularly under the current circumstances, with the US building up additional contacts/communication in that part of the world? I don't think so.
Here's the Desperation Move from Junkyard Blog.com:
…I don’t think Qaddafi has had a change of heart. I think what happened is he realized he had been beaten. Reagan took the wind out of his sails in 1986. The Scots went all Braveheart on him about the Lockerbie bombing and he has had to pay out billions to the families of his victims. The CIA broke the A.Q. Khan nuclear bazaar that was supplying him with atomic nightmare fuel. At the same time he began to realize that his Arab League allies were never really going to amount to much, nor would they even get his back in a fight
Unbridled Cynicism From the Daily Kos:
Oh…low production costs, sea access, and the potential for exploration. Well, surprise, surprise. When Iraq oil doesn't work out, just get in bed with the next dictator that will have you. Great work Dick. Those blind trusts will get a bump I am sure.