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Lets's talk about democracy
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Monday, 29 March 2004
Our new buddy
This wouldn't have anything to do with African oil, would it?-------------

Colonel Gadafy
The prodigal son returns

Leader
Friday March 26, 2004
The Guardian

If a fatted calf - or lamb - was slaughtered yesterday in Tripoli, it will have been by the Libyan hosts rather than by their guest, Tony Blair. But there was no doubting the strength and passion with which the prime minister welcomed the return of that remarkable prodigal son, Brother Leader of the Revolution Muammar Gadafy, to the international family. Mr Blair spoke of partnership, of sympathy, of dialogue and, more practically, of oil contracts and a new military relationship with the UK. He conceded that it was "strange, given the history, to come here and do this", but argued that these are strange times. The world according to Mr Blair's book is a wholly different place since September 11. Col Gadafy has renounced weapons of mass destruction, has offered convincing proof and deserves his full reward. If other nations with dangerous WMD programmes are convinced they will meet with "a sympathetic response" on giving them up, the world will also become a much safer place.

Like all of Mr Blair's arguments, this is delivered with burning conviction, but it should not be taken quite at face value. Mr Blair surely cannot be expecting to sit down any time soon with Kim Jong-il or Ariel Sharon to congratulate them on giving up their nuclear programmes. Of course, Col Gadafy has taken a very welcome step - even if he was never regarded as a serious WMD threat and had condemned September 11 in unqualified terms immediately after the event. We should congratulate the Foreign Office for its quiet and effective diplomacy, only wishing that it had been given the chance to display as much patience in another area. Yet it would have been more appropriate for the foreign secretary to go to Tripoli, in return for the visit of his Libyan counterpart to London. A future prime ministerial visit could then be considered calmly in the light of progress over the Yvonne Fletcher case and the desire of the Lockerbie families for more light to be shed on what is still an obscure as well as shocking act of terrorism. Col Gadafy should be encouraged, but not at such a forced pace.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/leaders/story/0,3604,1178266,00.html

Posted by bushmeister0 at 2:53 PM EST
Updated: Monday, 29 March 2004 2:54 PM EST
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