Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Germany: Feeding the Libyan beast?

PJ: Libya was at the forefront of terrorist activity in the mid 1980s with then Secretary of State George Schultz saying, "Whether it is his involvement in terrorism, whether it is freedom of navigation, (Gadhafi) is on the wrong side of the issues. If you let people get away with murder, you'll get murder." Getting on the wrong side of the international community proved detrimental but not fatal to Gadhafi's rule but did force him to back away from overt-terrorist activity. And while the West knew not to trust him, since Libya controls about 17% of the world's oil production, the West settled into a tense but somewhat symbiotic relationship with the dictator who some openly detested while others turned a blind eye to his tyrannical rule.

The financial daily Handelsblatt writes:

"The bizarre 'Colonel,' with his fantasy uniforms, has ruled in Tripoli for 42 years. Now the people are revolting against his violent regime. And Gadhafi has promptly shown his true face. Terror was, and is, his source of power."

"Europeans and Americans, worried about oil, were lulled by Gadhafi in 2003 when he apparently converted from a world pariah to a partner of the West. He swore off terrorism and sought acceptance from the international community. Since then, Libya has become an El Dorado for oil exploration. With this new economic opening, many observers hoped the country would liberalize politically, too. In Gadhafi's son, Saif al-Islam, they even saw a potential successor who could modernize Libya. They were wrong.",1518,747009,00.html

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