Sunday, March 13, 2005

Kadafi's Makeover

Moammar Kadafi has been an international rouge for many, many years. There's no longer any dispute that his regime was primarily responsible for harboring and training the group that blew up Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988. He's admitted as much.

There's also no dispute that Kadafi's a cagey character, and perhaps a whole lot smarter than Saddam ever was. Many, many investigations have made it easy to conclude that Saddam was a typical Maximum Leader - surrounding himself with sycophants, and exacting retribution on those in his coterie who brought him bad or conflicting news. (Sound familiar?) Saddam was all about Saddam, in the here and now. Kadafi, it appears, is all about his legacy.

So, it shouldn't have been a great surprise early last year when the Libyan leader culminated many years of diplomatic effort to end economic sanctions against his country, and rejoin the world community. He'd been sending out the feelers for a long time.

Today, the LA Times publishes an indepth look at the negotiations that led to Kadafi's apparent capitulation. It's really an intriguing story. In the end, the article is as much a makeover of the Keystone Cops U.S. and U.K. intelligence failures in Iraq as of Kadafi himself, and perhaps that's the reason that diplomats and intelligence agents were allowed to go on record with the story in the first place.

But also in the end, I think it's important to acknowledge that the world is a bit of a safer place with Kadafi on the sidelines, for whatever his motivation in making the move. So, enjoy a bit of intrigue and positive news with your morning coffee.

The Deal to Disarm Kadafi