The Corner

Our Modern-Day Ribbentrops

Can we at least be spared during the Libyan bombing sermons from the parade of ex–Libyan ambassadors still embedded in embassies in the U.S. and Europe, who bolted only when it looked like three weeks ago Tripoli would fall? 

They keep appearing on television pontificating about humanity and freedom and lecturing the West about our moral responsibility to end this Qaddafi monstrosity, but not a one ever reminds us exactly how they got such good jobs under such a nightmarish regime in the first place. 

No one forced them to work for Qaddafi, and they seemed to have quit only when it was likely he would fall and they might find justice at the hands of an angry lynch mob. I would make a modest prediction that should the Qaddafi clique perish, and should some sort of regime emerge to take his place, most of these international diplomats in a year or two will be employed and trashing the U.S. over its pro-”Zionist” policies. 

The template was offered by the Americanized career of Egyptian house diplomat Mohamed ElBaradei, frequent U.S. critic and now would-be reformist candidate in Egypt, who is “shocked” at thuggery in the Arab world, but for some reason rose to the top of Egyptian society under Sadat/Mubarak autocratic patronage, and never seemed to have much problem with the nexus of the ruling oligarchy, its kleptocratic and human-rights excesses, and the dictatorship’s promotion of his own career abroad — until Mubarak was likely to fall and it was wise to get out of town a day ahead of the posse.

NRO contributor Victor Davis Hanson is the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and the author, most recently, of The Case for Trump.

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