The Qadhafi Gamble

[Le Figaro-France] Stephane Marchand - Should Libya be supplied with civilian nuclear technologies, as French President Nicolas Sarkozy proposed during his visit to Tripoli last week? In 2003 Libya abandoned all military nuclear programs. It signed the Nonproliferation Treaty. Recall that in the days when friendship with Iraq was at its height, France supplied Saddam Hussein, vaunted then as a modern reformer, with a power plant whose purpose it is frightening to contemplate, if Israeli aviation had not destroyed it in 1981. More recently, the Islamic Republic of Iran proved to the world that a country that has signed the NPT, including the additional protocol, can suddenly exclude inspectors and conjure up the apocalyptic specter of a military diversion of its program, which would be technically an easy matter. So should we trust Col. Qadhafi, this leader who was long a state terrorist, who endorsed the destruction of at least two Western airliners, and who is now seeking to rejoin the "concert of nations?" The utmost caution is necessary. Libya remains a dictatorship, lacking any checks and balances and dominated by an unpredictable man, to say the least.

2007-08-03 01:00:00

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