December 19, 2003


Libya to give up WMD (BBC, 12/20/03)

Libyan leader Colonel Gaddafi has admitted his country was developing weapons of mass destruction, but will dismantle its secret programme.

He told the official Libyan news agency he was ready to play its role in building a world free from all forms of terrorism, after months of negotiations with the West.

The process of dismantling the programme would be "transparent and verifiable" and the range of all Libya's missiles would be restricted to 300km, he said.

UK Prime Minister Tony Blair revealed the unexpected decision and called it "an historic one and a courageous one and I applaud it". . . .

The US and its allies have long suspected that Libya had secret chemical and bio-weapons programmes, however Libya always denied such allegations saying it had only facilities for pharmaceutical or agricultural research.

In 1995 the country reopened its Rabta pharmaceutical plant, at Qabilat az Zaribah, which prior to its 1990 closure had produced up to 100 tons of chemical weapons, according to the US.

But chemical weapon production at Libya's underground Tarhuna facility is thought to have been suspended following intense public scrutiny.

UK officials believe Libya was close to obtaining a nuclear weapons capability before the deal.

Gosh, you'd think Gaddafi was afraid that actions have consequences.

Posted by David Cohen at December 19, 2003 8:55 PM

Yes, we've reached a point where the statements and behavior of Colonel Qaddafi make more sense than those of the leading Democrats.

Posted by: oj at December 19, 2003 10:37 PM

"UK Prime Minister Tony Blair revealed the unexpected decision and called it "an historic one and a courageous one and I applaud it"."

Why unexpected? Gaddafi has always been known for his principled courage.

Posted by: Peter B at December 19, 2003 10:48 PM

You mean, those weren't really plants that made children's cough syrup? Shocker.

Posted by: kevin whited at December 20, 2003 12:47 AM

Wonder if any editorial from any major newspaper or any of the leading talking heads will note that Bush can practice diplomacy, and practice it multilaterally.

Wonder if the press will be upset because another event occurred without their knowledge?

Wonder if any Democrat will say that we are safer.

But I won't hold my breath.

Posted by: jim hamlen at December 20, 2003 12:49 AM

You know, at this point if I were a Democrat I'd just pack up all my possessions, get together with my friends, and go find some remote island in the Pacific to colonize. It might be my only remaining chance of seeing one of my own elected to higher office in '04.

If I could just think of a name for my little left-leaning utopia.... hmm, New France isn't taken yet, is it?

Posted by: R.W. at December 20, 2003 2:26 AM

Just wait a day or two. This will be the result of 'multilateralism' of some sort, or otherwise not at all related to our actions in Iraq. Or, the story dies without a ripple. Any way you slice it, lots of folks will seek to deny credit where it is due. So, Jim, the answer is no.

Posted by: Dave in LA at December 20, 2003 2:50 AM