An American plane carrying components of Libya’s nuclear weapons and missile programs arrived Tuesday in the United States as Moammar Gadhafi follows through on a pledge to dismantle the program.
The plane landed at McGhee Tyson airport outside Knoxville, Tenn., carrying about 55,000 pounds of equipment, including stock to enrich uranium, centrifuge parts and guidance sets for long-range missiles, White House spokesman Scott McClellan said.The equipment likely will be evaluated at the Oak Ridge nuclear weapons plant in Tennessee. The “most sensitive documentation” associated with Libya’s nuclear program arrived by plane last week, McClellan said.Also, the spokesman announced that Libya had begun destroying chemical munitions.
So if Kadafi had turned off and turned over his entire WMD programs into the custody of your presidential administration, what would you do? I think it would be fair to transfer 55,000 pounds of conventional stuff. A tank or two, some armored personnel carriers. But I'd say, wait a year or so and then we'll send you a diplomatic type guy with some arms connections, and they can't be American built - but we'll get you some good quality Russian stuff. This is something the President of the US could arrange, and I think GWBush probably did and I don't see what's so wrong about that.
Such is the sort of business that establishing diplomatic ties entails. You give conventional carrots in exchange for nuclear sticks, plus money one assumes. You do so without moving warships or tasking spy satellites, sending 'advisors', flying fighters, bombers or heaven forbid putting boots on the ground, as all Obamites are loathe to ever consider.
Here's what Bush had to say in 2006:
Working with Great Britain and Pakistan and other nations, the United States shut down the world's most dangerous nuclear trading cartel, the AQ Khan network. This network had supplied Iran and Libya and North Korea with equipment and know-how that advanced their efforts to obtain nuclear weapons. And we launched the Proliferation Security Initiative, a coalition of more than 70 nations that is working together to stop shipments related to weapons of mass destruction on land, at sea, and in the air. The greatest threat this world faces is the danger of extremists and terrorists armed with weapons of mass destruction -- and this is a threat America cannot defeat on her own. We applaud the determined efforts of many nations around the world to stop the spread of these dangerous weapons. Together, we pledge we'll continue to work together to stop the world's most dangerous men from getting their hands on the world's most dangerous weapons.
...the nation of Libya has renounced terrorism, and given up its weapons of mass destruction programs, and its nuclear materials and equipment.
Nice work, if you can accomplish it. And it is the standard by which the Obama Administration will be judged, a standard I imagine he'll have some difficulty in attaining.
It won't be long before you'll hear repeated that the US is incapable of positively influencing the affairs of the world, which is understandable given the paucity of imagination and moral willpower in the hearts and minds of such people likely to say so. But the stark fact of the matter is that the US led overthrow of Saddam Hussein's criminal family is exactly the sort of action required to changes the strategic landscape of the Middle East. Kadafi's own mafia is also legendarily infested and will be quite hard to eradicate. Good diplomacy won't do it. So by definition we are at something of an impasse with regards to the sort of political will it takes to kickstart democratic processes over there.
There is a reasonable standard to assume for the engagement of America's force projection, but understand how that works when looked at from the other angle. You can say that America will not use its military except for those extreme condititions - if Kadafi for example mounted a campaign of genocide. From the other angle it can be said of the same policy that America tolerates all injustices up to the level of genocide from foreign tyrants. Indeed, Americans against the Iraq war didn't even like to acknowledge Saddam Hussein's own campaign of genocide against the Marsh Arabs or his use of poison gas at Halbja via his notorious henchman 'Chemical Ali'.
So now that Obama is marginally against Kadafi, I'm hearing bodewash about how much the Bush Administration's Curt Weldon was for Kadafi. Now I'm beginning to understand why Americans have a reputation for being ahistorical.
Of course I hold with Christopher Hitchens, arguably the most influential voice I listen to, despite the inane accusations associating me with Tea Parties, Glenn Beck and the KKK, that if Saddam Hussein were still in power, this year's Arab uprisings could never have happened.
We will watch over the next few years how the prospects for liberty will hold together in the Middle East. In Lebanon, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Egypt, Tunisia and elsewhere there will be battles and deals. And as history demonstrates, the biggest rewards often follow the biggest efforts and the biggest risks. Clearly Obama makes no great plans for the Middle East. So we shall depend on luck.