Gadhafi's Good News

Article excerpt

Byline: THE WASHINGTON TIMES

We weren't talking to Iraq when we gave our reasons for invasion as pre-empting its use of unconventional weapons and severing its ties with al Qaeda. We were talking to rogue nations such as North Korea, Iran and Libya. We were telling rogue nations this will happen to you if you don't open your country to surprise inspections and end your cooperation with al Qaeda and other terrorist groups, such as Ansar al-Islam and Hezbollah.

We were saying, figuratively, "Rogue nation, tear down this wall." Libya heard us. ("Libya to allow spot inspections by U.N. agency," Nation, Saturday).

This deadly feint was a warning to all rogue nations: We negotiate like grown-ups; we play hardball. Our starting posture is the stick rather than the carrot and does not distinguish between friends and enemies, just between acceptable and unacceptable behavior. We show no fear; we know we are the world's superpower, and we're going to signal the costs or benefits of defying us or joining us.

For example, we told our allies that if they didn't join us in our rout of Iraq, they can't join us in its lucrative reconstruction. Of course, that worked. Look at the capitulations of France and Germany in debt forgiveness to Iraq.

We are unequivocally demonstrating - we are showing rather than telling - what our interests and their interests are. To build bridges, we must tear down walls. And, yes, we're talking to you, rogue nations.

ONA BUNCE

Falls Church

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The world seems to be changing fast. Saddam Hussein is gone and will be remembered only as a footnote in history. Now Moammar Gadhafi of Libya is changing - but who knows for how long?

It was encouraging when I heard that fire-breathing Col. Gadhafi had decided to abandon his country's program for developing weapons of mass destruction. Is Col. Gadhafi afraid because of the recent developments in Iraq? I doubt it. Col. Gadhafi is a man who for a long time preferred war instead of peace. Remember him?

Remember the late '80s and '90s? He spit fire and destruction on America and the Western world. He was responsible for the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988. The Libyan leader was a nightmare to many American presidents.

His actions and behavior put him in a position where it was very difficult to trust him wholeheartedly. …