December 19, 2003
Libya Abandons WMD
Libya's abandoning of WMD is one heck of a foreign policy victory for the President Bush. Without firing a shot, Gadhafi gave up. Bush bashers and members of Duck, M.D.'s raft may try to argue that diplomacy can be just as effective as war. And since war has all that destruction, they would argue diplomacy is the more moral option. Let's look at the timeline here. From the AP story:
In London, Blair said Libya had approached Britain and the United States in March, after successful negotiations on Lockerbie, to see if it could "resolve its weapons of mass destruction issues in a similar manner."
Gadhafi started talks at the time of the final military build-up and invasion. Would the dictator have even bothered if he didn't think the U.S. and U.K. were willing to go to war if necessary? I'm sure Gadhafi's reasons for abandoning WMD development are more complex than that. From my very casual following of Libyan news Gadhafi wants to bring Libya out of the international hinterlands. There may be domestic politics involved that would explain a part in his actions, but I'm very sure a possible military confrontation played a role.
Also note that Bush didn't publically threaten Libya. Diplomacy was used. Non-U.N., non-French diplomacy to be exact.
Combine this news with Iran agreeing to international nuclear inspectors, and one can make a pretty credible case that President Bush's muscular policy is having a positive effect.
Surfing the blogosphere, James Joyner asks, "Could it be that the 'you're either with us or you're against us' line is actually having positive results?" It's hard to say it isn't. The outlier is North Korea. Hindrocket at Power Line is happy writing, "if the administration's tough line can yield results like these, its wisdom should be beyond question." HipperCritical has a wide range of links on this story. To give you an idea how knee-jerk Bush bashers are taking this news, here's an Oliver Willis quote:
You mean we can stop WMDs without invading and occupying nations? Unpossible!
"Libya to Give Up Weapons Programs"
UPDATE: Oliver reminds me that he thinks Blair and Bush did a good job. So I'll take back calling him a "knee-jerk Bush basher" in this instance. Oliver caught me. Me bad, me sorry. I'll try not to be so knee-jerk myself.