Columnist Charles Krauthammer has criticized the Washington Post for suggesting that Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi announced that he is giving up weapons of mass destruction or WMD programs because of U.N. pressure. Krauthammer also criticized Senator John Kerry for saying the announcement represents the success of multilateralism and diplomacy. Krauthammer contends Gadhafi “capitulated” because of the possibility of U.S. military action and the nearby example of the invasion of Iraq and capture of Saddam Hussein.
Krauthammer may himself be guilty of wishful thinking by suggesting the Gadhafi announcement is an Iraq war dividend. First, Gadhafi is getting credit in the media for dismantling WMD programs that he shouldn’t have had in the first place. Second, U.S. officials who visited some of Libya’s weapons sites say that his nuclear program had progressed further that we had suspected. Gadhafi’s intelligence chief even reportedly says the regime gave “germ bombs” to al Qaeda. That means that the U.S. has suffered another major intelligence failure. We haven’t found WMD in Iraq and missed a lot of it in Libya. Gadhafi has agreed to permit U.N. inspectors to come in, but these are the same inspectors that the U.S. says have failed to do an adequate job in Iraq, Iran and North Korea.
Joseph Farah of WorldNetDaily suggests Gadhafi has his best weapons hidden away and that new inspections are a deadly diversion. What’s more, Libya was recently caught providing $340,000 in cash to American Muslim leader Abdurahman Alamoudi that may have been destined for terrorist groups. Middle East expert Amir Taheri notes that Gadhafi has promised to change twice before and actually stepped up his attacks on Americans. Libyan “volunteers” are in Iraq killing Americans today.
The announcement of Gadhafi’s deal was made just two days before the anniversary of the bombing of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. That terrorist incident, ordered by Gadhafi, killed 270 people, including 189 Americans. Gadhafi was never prosecuted but turned over two of his intelligence officers for trial, one of whom was convicted but is now living in country-club prison conditions and may be out in 20 years.
Susan Cohen, who lost her daughter in the bombing, said that if Gadhafi can be rehabilitated after mass murder such as this, then Osama bin Laden could come back and join the international community. Many families believe that Gadhafi made the deal so he could get American oil companies back in Libya and generate needed funds for his regime. That money could be used to build more weapons.
One week after the announcement, the British newspaper The Sunday Express reported that the deal with Gadhafi included suppressing that evidence from Libya itself about Gadhafi supplying germ weapons to al Qaeda. A British official said Gadhafi’s terror links have been “air-brushed.” Mohamed Eljahmi, a member of the Libyan American Freedom Alliance, says the real end to Libya’s WMD program will only come through “regime change.” Bush tried it in Iraq, but it has apparently been ruled out in Libya.