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Joe Mariani

Libya: The First Domino Falls
Dec 20, 2003

For months, President Bush's increasingly shrill detractors have attacked his foreign policy decisions at every turn. They've reserved a particularly virulent hatred for the liberation of Iraq from Saddam Hussein as part of the war against terrorism. Iraq had nothing to do with terrorism, they've insisted... the result will be a more powerful, united and angry Middle East, it was all about oil, and so on. They seem to believe that the Iraq war exists in a vaccuum, unrelated to the rest of the world. However, Saddam Hussein was a key supporter of international terrorism. Though Liberals like to pretend Saddam had no weapons of mass destruction, Democratic leaders have agreed for years that he did. Now that he's been decisively and publicly removed from power, the dominoes in the Middle East are beginning to fall.

Once again, the Left was dead wrong about the most important dangers facing the world today.

Since the campaign in Iraq began, President Bush and Prime Minister Blair have been conducting secret negotiations with Col. Moammar Ghaddafi, President of Libya. Watching our war against terrorists and countries that support them bearing fruit in Afghanistan and encroaching on Iraq, Ghaddafi approached them to begin negotiations. Yesterday, President Bush and PM Blair announced that Ghaddafi will dismantle his top-secret nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs, turn over all his banned materials, limit his missiles to the 300 km/187 mile range, allow international weapons inspectors full and unrestricted access to his country, and end all support for terrorism.

Anyone who thinks that this development is a coincidence, nothing to do with the Iraq war, please raise your hands while I slip a straightjacket on you. Ghaddafi's capitulation came nine months to the day after the Iraq campaign began, and just five days after the capture of Saddam Hussein, found cowering in a hole and asking Americans not to shoot him. Someone must have felt some "shock and awe" back in March after all.

Could it be that the idea of having his head checked for lice and his teeth examined for poison capsules by an American Army doctor in front of the entire world ran through Ghaddafi's mind at least once during this past week? Hot on the heels of that idea must have been the thought of getting out of the illegal weapons and terrorism business before that doctor got itchy fingers again.

Surely a little voice in Ghaddafi's head said, "Hey, dummy... that could be you next week".

And Moammar Ghaddafi listened to that voice. Good for him, good for his people, good for the Middle East, good for us, good for the world. Bad for terrorists and other dictators.

Not too good for Democrats, either.

With Saddam Hussein behind bars and Moammar Ghaddafi "voluntarily" renouncing WMDs and terrorism, who's going to be next? Will Syria be the next country to give up on the idea that producing weapons of mass destruction and co- habitating with terrorists is a good idea, or will it be Iran?

Only time will tell.

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