The Corner

We’ve Restored Diplomatic Ties With Libya

Secretary Rice gave this speech announcing it.

I’m depressed.

I e-mailed our friend Michael Rubin about it and he replied:

Contrast Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s speech with Bush’s second inauguration speech. From the Middle Eastern perspective, there can be only two conclusions:

  1. Bush is a liar
  2. Anyone who listens to White House rhetoric about democracy is a fool.

If Libya has fulfilled its agreements with regard to terrorism, fine. Remove Libya from the state sponsor of terrorism list. But why re-establish full relations? Hadn’t Bush cited the release of Fathi El-Jahmi as evidence that Qadhafi had changed? Well what does it say when Qadhafi then re-arrests Libya’s leading dissident and the White House remains silent? Would it have been that hard to tie rapprochement to human rights? It seems someone in the State Department has taken all the lessons of the fall of Soviet tyranny and decided to do the opposite. The only winners today are the Qadhafi regime. The losers are the Libyan people, Arab liberals across the region, and victims of terrorism in the United States and around the world.

Read more about Fathi El-Jahmi here and here .

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