Sunday, March 4, 2007


From: 'No reward' for non-nuclear Libya(BBC, March 3rd, 2007)

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has said his country has not been given adequate compensation for its decision to renounce nuclear weapons in 2003.

Speaking to the BBC, Colonel Gaddafi said the failure by the West to reward Libya meant Iran and North Korea were reluctant to follow Tripoli's lead. [...]

Speaking to BBC diplomatic correspondent James Robbins, Col Gaddafi said this meant the West had lost bargaining power with countries like Iran and North Korea.

"This should be a model to be followed, but Libya is disappointed because the promises given by America and Britain were not fulfilled," he said.

"And therefore those countries said 'we are not going to follow Libya's example because Libya abolished its programme without any compensation'."

Some years ago I was in Greece discussing international politics with a group of young modern progressive types who were very aggrieved about the raw deal Greece was getting from the West and particularly the United States. They were angry about support for Turkey, angry about Macedonia, angry about American bases and angry about a lot of other things. Trying to convey to them as politely as possible that Greek sensibilities might not always be the number one strategic consideration in Western foreign ministries, I slowly became aware that they were nursing a huge sense of past Greek sacrifices for the rest of us for which they were owed big time. In their eyes, Greece’s membership in NATO and the consequent millions of dollars in civil and military aid she received was not a noble commitment the West made to keep Greece free, but a huge sacrifice Greeks made to improve the American strategic position vis-a-vis the Soviets. When, they wanted to know, was payback time?

Clearly this sentiment is driving much diplomacy today as the West ever more desperately seeks ways to bribe countries like Iran and North Korea not to blow us all up. In Britain, the perennial debate on the special relationship focuses on what the UK “gets out of it”. Africa is always at the door with a beggar’s bowl. Does the end of history imply the world will be one big welfare project with the American taxpayer paying everybody else to stay friendly, free and democratic?

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