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Libyan WMD Announcement

I am pleased to hear that Libya has decided to end its WMD program. I didn't know it had a WMD program — Libya hasn't been in the news very much and hasn't been identified as a target in the overall War Against Terrorism (where "Terrorism" is a euphemism for "Arab-Islamic Fundamentalism.") Now we know why:

The White House suggested that Libya's dramatic decision was influenced by the war in Iraq that toppled Saddam Hussein, as well as U.S. efforts to rein in weapons of mass destruction capabilities in North Korean and Iran.

Blair, speaking from Durham, Britain, and Bush, addressing reporters in the White House briefing room, described a process of nine months of secret talks and onsite inspections, initiated by the long reviled Libyan leader shortly after he agreed to a settlement in the 1988 bombing of a Pan Am jet over Lockerbie, Scotland.

This outcome is richly ironic, because the invasion of Iraq had very little to do with WMDs in the first place — WMDs were merely a diplomatic pretense successfully (if narrowly) used to gain political cover for Tony Blair's decision to help the United States in the invasion, and to mollify the fears of other states in the region. (I regard the deception involved as wholly justified and necessary; we would not have succeeded, or could only have succeeded at too high a cost, without it.)

However, given the nine-month process of the negotiations with Libya, WMDs would have figured prominently when negotiations began. The cooperation of Libya has the appearance of being an unexpected bonus and not something that figured into the plan.

Bush said the United States and Britain, wary of Libyan promises, would watch closely to make sure Gadhafi keeps his word. And he said Libya's promises on weapons aren't enough; it must "fully engage in the war against terror" as well.

If Libya "takes these essential steps and demonstrates its seriousness," Bush held out the promise of helping Libya build "a more free and prosperous country."

I am curious to learn what our (and the UK's) end of this bargain is.

I am very curious to hear Steven Den Beste's reaction, which I'll link to as soon as he writes it. :) UPDATE 2003-12-21 02:49:50 UTC: Here it is.

Also see my own followup.

Tiny Island