Academic journal article Middle East Quarterly

Qaddafi's Libya in World Politics

Academic journal article Middle East Quarterly

Qaddafi's Libya in World Politics

Article excerpt

Qaddafi's Libya in World Politics. By Yehudit Ronen. Boulder: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2008. 243 pp. $55.

Ronen of the Moshe Dayan Center has produced an ambitious though incomplete review of Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi and the Libya government's conduct in international affairs. She begins with a history of Qadhafi's attempts to position himself as a Nasserite, pan- Arab, antiimperialist through his rhetoric against the United States and its chief ally in the Middle East, Israel. His success at securing the withdrawal of U.S. forces from an air base near Tripoli and his nationalization of the oil sector (and other formerly foreign-owned concerns) made Qadhafi a household name in the Arab world.

However, his attempts at pan- Arab discourse resulted in two ill-fated unions, first with Sudan and then with Egypt and Syria. Libya's support for the POLISARIO Front in the Western Sahara conflict strained its relations with Morocco. Qadhafi also sharply criticized his fellow Arab leaders over their stance on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the emerging Iraqi crisis. Increasingly marginalized because of his outspoken opinions and under the strain of economic sanctions, Qadhafi sought a new platform for his regional aspirations, abandoning pan-Arabism and embracing a pan-African approach to Libyan foreign policy. …

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