December 23, 2003


Dean left speechless on Libya arms move (Bill Sammon, December 23, 2003, THE WASHINGTON TIMES)

"Look, the agreement with the Libyans is good news and an important step forward in the effort to combat weapons of mass destruction," conceded Dean spokesman Jay Carson.

"But the agreement is the result of years of diplomacy and sanctions, conducted in concert with the international community, which Governor Dean believes is the most effective means of pursuing that goal," he added.

Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi made it clear that his decision to disarm was prompted by Operation Iraqi Freedom.

"I will do whatever the Americans want because I saw what happened in Iraq, and I was afraid," Mr. Gadhafi told Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, according to a Berlusconi spokesman who was quoted in yesterday's Telegraph of London.

Unlike the contest between Mr. Dean and General Clark over which is lying, this seems an easy call: after all, what advantage could Colonel Gadhafi hope to gain by admitting to the world he's terrified of George W. Bush?

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 23, 2003 10:50 AM

We know Qaddafi is not afraid of the French or the UN.

Howard Dean wouldn't know how to scare anyone but a centrist Democrat.

Posted by: jim hamlen at December 23, 2003 11:25 AM

Hate to join the tinfoil hat crowd, but the question is, "What advantage could Berlusconi hope to gain by misquoting Gadhafi?"

Posted by: Mike Earl at December 23, 2003 2:09 PM

Oil contracts for Italian companies. No, wait, that would lose them, and we all know it's all about the oil.

Posted by: oj at December 23, 2003 2:13 PM

Well, never mind; apparently Gadhafi is saying much the same on CNN interviews. I must admit that I don't understand his game, unless perhaps he's trying to increase the pressure on other rogue states to give up their WMD now that he'll have none?

Posted by: Mike Earl at December 23, 2003 2:41 PM

His game is rather simple. He wants to live and to be on the side that wins. Maybe he read a history book.

Posted by: BJW at December 23, 2003 3:04 PM

Gadhafi recently declared that democracy is the best system of government, but I haven't seen that mentioned anywhere in the stories about his WMD announement.

Posted by: some random person at December 23, 2003 3:44 PM


There are a variety of rumors circulating, the most hopeful of which is that his son has convinced him the state needs to be reformed and made more Western--though there's always a risk of getting Andropoved on those tales.

Posted by: oj at December 23, 2003 4:19 PM

I think Dean has been weakened to the point where one surprise loss or narrow win in one of the early primaries will puncture the "inevitability" of his campaign. But the problem is the candidate conventional wisdom now says will be his main competitor, Clark, is spouting just as looney statements as Howard is uttering, which would be trading one set of problems for another.

Combine the two and you have the Democratic Party seemingly on their own Bataan Death March to the 2004 election. But another 30 days of comments like these on Gadahfi and Dick Gephardt may find a way to restart his campaign in Iowa.

Posted by: John at December 23, 2003 10:13 PM


Or, Gadhafi's been looking for a way to back down while saving face (a key factor in staying at the top of the heap in a dictatorship) because the expense and risk of the WMD's isn't worth it. Now that we've got a crazy cowboy running a military machine that chews up Middle Eastern regimes in weeks, he can back down without looking like a wimp. Potential replacements can't make a good argument that they, somehow, would be able to stand up the USA when Gadhafi couldn't.

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at December 23, 2003 11:31 PM