Saturday, August 27, 2011

The State Department wasn't the only one playing Footsie with Gaddafi

Muammar Kaddafi was "Dictator Du Jour" on this site a few days ago.  It's a new program I've started to honor the murderous dictators that our State Department blesses with lots of free stuff - training, military hardware, etc. 

(Note: I'm no longer even trying to spell this guy's name consistently from link to link.)

It gets better and better.  This is from The Business Insider:

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) promised to help former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi obtain U.S. military hardware, as one of the United States' partners in the war on terror," according to a U.S. diplomatic cable released Wednesday by anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks.

If the Nobel Peace Prize committee wants to atone for giving the prize to The Teleprompter Jesus, they oughta give it to Julian Assange, the founder and publisher of Wikileaks. 

The meeting, which took place just over a year ago on Aug. 14, 2009, included other influential Americans, such as Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT), Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Sen. Susan Collins (R-SC) and Senate Armed Services Committee staffer Richard Fontaine, the document explains.

McCain opened the meeting by characterizing Libya's relationship with the U.S. as "excellent," to which Liebermann added: "We never would have guessed ten years ago that we would be sitting in Tripoli, being welcomed by a son of Muammar al-Qadhafi."

"Lieberman called Libya an important ally in the war on terrorism, noting that common enemies sometimes make better friends," the cable continues. "The Senators recognized Libya's cooperation on counterterrorism and conveyed that it was in the interest of both countries to make the relationship stronger."

Part and parcel to that relationship: military hardware, including helicopters and non-lethal weaponry, meant to ensure the security of Tripoli. In exchange for this and assisting the nation in rehabilitating its image with other lawmakers, Gaddafi pledged to send Libya's highly enriched uranium supplies to Russia for proper disposal.

Note that the article doesn't say "in exchange for this, Gaddafi gave us money".  It just says that "in exchange for this, Gaddafi pledged" do something or other. 

The cable does not mention anything about the senators pressing Gaddafi for democratic reforms. 


Nick said...


What a short memory some people have. I was a private in Airborne School on the day Reagan bombed Libya. I remember being mustered for guard duty.

He may very well have been cooperative in recent years, perhaps out of necessity given the circumstances of late. But even a reformed murderous dictator is still a murderous dictator.

NickM said...

"I'm no longer even trying to spell this guy's name consistently from link to link"

I had the same problem once

I read on - I think - Wikipedia that Muammar Gadaffi has - in English - the most spellings of any well known figure of all time - about 40 are "correct". The thing is Arabic is not a language as such - it's more a language grouping like "Slavic" or "Romance". Couple to that the fact that Libya is a very tribal country and they all have their own dialects of Libyan Arabic. The only real constant Arabic is Qu'ranic Arabic and that's deader than Latin. Some passages of the Qu'ran are apparently pretty-much impossible to decipher. So WS you are in the same company as he finest scholars of the language - and me!

"He may very well have been cooperative in recent years, perhaps out of necessity given the circumstances of late."

Yes he has. You don't remain a dictator for 42 years without being a master at forecasting the weather.

As to his being disgusting. Yes. I hope the video of our own dear Tony Blair shaking his hand lives to haunt our former prime minister. And all the rest of 'em.

That's the thing with realpolitik - a really cool idea at the time but eventually it will bite you on the ass.