Why Qaddafi Turned his Back on Terror

(International Herald Tribune) Thomas E. McNamara - There are two main reasons Qaddafi finally "renounced" terrorism and opened to inspection his weapons of mass destruction. First, as successful multilateral sanctions weakened him, his economy was essentially stagnant through the 1990s, and his neighbors in Africa and the Middle East shunned him. Second, the ideology that fueled his terrorism in the 1970 and 1980s, Nasserite Arab nationalism, was a spent force. It has been replaced by more virulent, pan-Islamic, religious terrorism that aims to destroy both the West and secular Islamic rulers like Qaddafi. And most dangerous of all, it is very attractive to Libya's youth. No longer rampaging or defiant, Qaddafi knows that he and other secular Islamic rulers, from Mauritania to Indonesia, are the targets of Islamic religious terror.

2004-05-06 00:00:00

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