Reply to CNN's interview with Saif al-Qadhafi|
In a Sept. 11, 2008 interview Zain Verjee inaccurately depicted the Libyan regime as sincere. Saif al-Qadhafi was not challenged when he equated the circumstances of Lockerbie victims deaths to Libyans who died as a result of 1986 US retaliatory air bombings over Benghazi and Tripoli. Lockerbie was a State sponsored terror act, while the US strike was a retaliation against Colonel Qadhafi’s order to bomb a Berlin Disco frequented by American Service personnel. The Qadhafi regime bears full responsibility since it carried out unprovoked acts of terror, while its apparatus of terror was located purposely in populated areas.
To be sure, the regime has not changed, two years ago, Saif has merely said that terrorism is no longer useful, "We used terrorism as tactics, for bargaining." In the CNN interview he stated a similar tone, “We tried to terrorize our enemies, yes…Now, the Americans are our friends.”
More space should have been devoted to Libya’s domestic problems which resulted from an Opaque and corrupt Orwellian system that forces dependence on the State. Despite oil wealth, nearly one fifth of Libyans live under poverty line and up to % 20 works in surveillance for State Security. Dissent is illegal and punishable by death in any of the country’s hidden prisons.
Rapprochement with Libya is not a success. Thanks to Bush’s State Department, Colonel Qadhafi enjoys enhanced legitimacy while other rogue States are holding out for better deals because they have deadlier tools.