Entries Tagged as 'Gaddafi'

After Gaddafi’s Rule, Libya Gets Sharia Law

October 28th, 2011 at 12:03 am 97 Comments

If George Bush’s adventures ended up handing Iraq on a silver platter to America’s enemies in Iran, President Obama’s softer and gentler imperialism has been the catalyst that stands to deliver North Africa into the hands of the anti-American Muslim Brotherhood. Dumb and Dumber could hardly ask for a better cast.

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Mob Rule Comes to Libya

October 24th, 2011 at 12:56 pm 15 Comments

If there was any doubt in my mind that the so-called Arab Spring was nothing more than a backdrop to a long winter freeze, that doubt was set aside by the gory scenes of the death of Col. Gaddafi, played again and again on TV networks. The mad dog of the Middle East was dead, but not before he was captured alive and subject to mob justice and public lynching that have become part of Arab heritage for the last 1,400 years.

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I Come Not to Bury Obama But to Praise Him

October 22nd, 2011 at 5:00 pm 98 Comments

“Vene, recipe Vidi, Mori”  Forgive the mangled Latin in both tense and person. Hilary Clinton’s delighted expression yesterday that “We came, We saw, He died,” echoing Caesar, delighted me. It is time for conservatives and Republicans to follow Pete Wehner at Commentary and begin praising Nobel Peace Prize recipient Barack Hussein Obama for his willingness to kill this country’s enemies wherever he finds them without asking permission.

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A Clownish Killer

October 21st, 2011 at 4:43 pm 43 Comments

It is perhaps a shame that no one will have a chance to interrogate Gaddafi and find out the details of his regime’s involvement in crimes like the destruction of Pan Am Flight 103, ed the equally appalling but less cited bringing down of UTA Flight 772 in 1989, online the bombing of the Berlin discothèque that led to Ronald Reagan’s air-strike on Tripoli, or his support for various terrorist groups.

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Gaddafi: The EU’s Border Fence

October 21st, 2011 at 10:28 am 8 Comments

As millions of people around the world rejoice over the death of Muammar Gaddafi, here one suspects that FRONTEX, pills  the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union, sovaldi  may not share the same degree of enthusiasm.

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Good Riddance for Gaddafi

October 20th, 2011 at 12:31 pm 230 Comments

The most noteworthy aspect of the rebellion in Libya and today’s death of Muammar Gaddafi is that it took so long.

When the rebellion started last February — catching the world by surprise, since it was spontaneous and without advance planning — it was initially expected to be quick and decisive.

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Obama Heads for Foreign Policy Disaster

David Frum September 17th, 2009 at 1:26 pm 19 Comments

Ernest Hemingway offered a memorable description of the experience of going broke: It occurs at first very slowly, then all at once. The Obama foreign policy remains as yet in the “very slowly” stage. But the ultimate destination to which it is trending has already come into sight.

AFGHANISTAN. George W. Bush took a lot of criticism for cutting taxes at the beginning of the prior administration’s wars. What are we to say about President Obama cutting military spending at the beginning of his? Senior military commanders are pressing for more troops. The civilian overseers of the Department of Defense are resisting. And Democrats in Congress are already eyeing the exits. The president initiated this commitment for campaign purposes in his candidate days, to allow him to balance hawkish themes in Afghanistan against his dovishness on Iraq. The commitment was not connected in any organic way to the rest of his foreign policy, the grand theme of which is conciliation through moral and practical concession. Nobody thinks a surge in Afghanistan is the policy he would have chosen if he had expressed his own mind back in 2007 and 2008. Nor was it supported by any effective constituency within his party. Unsurprisingly, then, it’s a commitment that the president avoids talking about—and whose costs are being massaged and messaged rather than explained and defended. This is a formula for a credibility gap down the road, and political failure a little further after that.

IRAN. Averting its eyes from the rigging of the presidential election and the suppression of dissent, the Obama administration will begin mid-level talks with Iran on Oct. 1. The Iranians have already announced that no nuclear concessions will be forthcoming. There’s good reason to believe them—they followed this same tactic in talks with Europeans in the mid-2000s, buying time for themselves as the nuclear clock ticked down. Iran is the most conspicuous and most important test of the president’s conciliation policy. On its present course, the likeliest result is the creation of a new and very dangerous nuclear state—established over only the most nominal American resistance.

EUROPE. The release of convicted Lockerbie bomber Abdelbasset al-Megrahi showed an amazing disregard of U.S. sensibilities by the governments of the United Kingdom and Scotland. Despite the affront, the Obama administration murmured only the most tepid of complaints. Likewise, the governments of France and Germany buzzed off the new president’s dubious calls for huge fiscal stimulus. So much for the restoration of cooperation supposedly achieved by Obama’s election. The cowboy Bush got worse press but better results from our European allies than the Euro-favorite Obama.

WESTERN HEMISPHERE. One of the Bush administration’s great achievements was the quiet success of Plan Colombia, which has helped pacify the Venezuelan-aided narco-insurgency in Colombia. Democrats opposed the plan at the time—and evidently haven’t learned anything from the experience. They now show amazingly little interest in the even more serious crisis of law and order in Mexico. Under Obama, the U.S. could face a threat not experienced since the very earliest days of the republic: violent instability on the nation’s border, unless this self-certain president bends enough to learn some lessons from his predecessor. But can he? Obama’s reaction to the power struggle in Honduras, admittedly a non-strategic country, reveals a depressing, knee-jerk partiality to the Latin American left-wing, even at its most anti-constitutional and authoritarian.

INTERNATIONAL TRADE. The jury is still out, but the early indications—the insertion of Buy-American provisions in the stimulus package; tariffs imposed upon Chinese tires—are disturbing to put it mildly. The Democrats’ campaign-season denunciations of NAFTA were charitably disregarded by domestic and international observers as cynical but meaningless pandering. It remains hard to believe that the sophisticated Obama can have much personal sympathy for trade protection. But what the whole world must worry about is whether a president who let Congress write his stimulus package and his health-care plan lacks the clout to tell a Democratic Congress “no” on protectionism.

ISRAEL/PALESTINE. Here, for once, the administration is exerting some muscle. But to what end? President Obama has swiftly plunged into the great time sink that so uselessly consumed the last weeks of the Clinton presidency. The U.S. is applying pressure to Israel, because Israel is susceptible to U.S. pressure, in hopes of gaining concessions from the Palestinians, who are not. The process is the diplomatic equivalent of a drunk searching for his key under the streetlamp—because it’s brighter there. The approach has never worked before, but repeated failure does not seem to have discouraged Obama from trying yet again.

Not everything that goes wrong in the world is the president’s fault, of course. Vladimir Putin’s Russia would behave aggressively no matter who was president, just as any president would confront the same unappealing range of options in Pakistan. But the very intractability of such problems makes it more important to do right what can be done right.

Despite the domestic focus of these early months of his presidency, Barack Obama thinks of himself as a foreign policy thinker above all, according to those who know him best. His confidence is undiminished by his lack of experience and credentials. That confidence continues to flourish despite a lack of positive results. Given present trends, it is unlikely to bow to lessons even from seriously negative consequences. The president is committed to his path. So, ominously, is the country.

Originally published in The Week.

The Lockerbie Bomber Story Continues to Unravel

David Frum September 6th, 2009 at 9:31 am 9 Comments

Most of the doctors who examined convicted Lockerbie bomber Abdelbasset al-Megrahi concluded that he had some time to live, up to a year. Scottish Justice Minister Kenny McAskill opted instead to rely on a minority of doctors who estimated Megrahi’s life expectancy at less than three months. This mattered, because under Scottish law only those with less than 3 months to live qualify for compassionate release. Now Britain’s Daily Telegraph reports this:

Medical evidence that helped Megrahi, 57, to be released was paid for by the Libyan government, which encouraged three doctors to say he had only three months to live…

Megrahi is suffering from terminal prostate cancer. Two of the three doctors commissioned by the Libyans provided the required three-month estimates, while the third also indicated that the prisoner had a short time to live.

This contrasted with findings of doctors in June and July who had concluded that Megrahi had up to 10 months to live, which would have prevented his release.

Professor Karol Sikora, one of the examining doctors and the medical director of CancerPartnersUK in London, told The Sunday Telegraph: “The figure of three months was suggested as being helpful [by the Libyans].

“To start with I said it was impossible to do that [give a three-month life expectancy estimate] but, when I looked at it, it looked as though it could be done – you could actually say that.” He said that he and a second doctor, a Libyan, had legitimately then estimated Megrahi’s life expectancy as “about three months”. A third doctor would say only that he had a short time to live.

This weekend it was reported that Megrahi was moved out of an emergency care unit in Tripoli.

Far from an individual act of perhaps misguided compassion by one Scottish minister, the case increasingly looks like a deceitful connivance between the British, the Scots and the Libyans to cut short the imprisonment of a convicted mass murderer for commercial reasons.

The only consolation is that the British press has pressed for the truth and exposed their government’s true role. Meanwhile on this side of the Atlantic, an uncurious American press has accepted the Obama administration’s account at face value. Possibly that story is true. But given the level of lying in London and Edinburgh, it would be unrealistic to put much faith in Washington. What we need now are congressional hearings to discover:

  • When did the Obama administration first hear of London’s desire to see Megrahi released – not formally learn, but actually learn.
  • How did the administration respond? Did it protest? How forcefully?
  • Did the Obama administration have any role in the Libya-U.K. negotiations? Specifically – did the Obama administration agree to downplay its complaints (i.e. Obama’s ultra-mild description of the release as a “mistake”) in exchange for commercial considerations for U.S. firms or interests?
  • What consequences going forward will Britain’s attitude have for U.S.-U.K. relations and especially for U.S.-U.K. criminal justice cooperation?

There are many other questions to ask too as we seek to discover how the man who was convicted for killing 180 Americans was allowed to escape the full sentence for his crimes.

The Headlines Review

August 30th, 2009 at 8:10 pm Comments Off

Napoleon Linardatos presents a humorous take on today’s headlines.


“As Internet Booms, the Postal Service Fights Back”

-New York Times, 08.28.09

The U.S. Postal Service plans to start its own email service. The users of the service will be able to send and receive emails every day except Sunday.


* * *


“Bernanke Victimized by Identity Fraud Ring”

-Newsweek, 08.25.09

The Federal Reserve Chairman, Ben Bernanke, became suspicious when his attempted online purchase of Suze Orman’s The Laws of Money was declined.


* * *


“Colorado wildlife experts get aggressive going after smart bears”

-Denver Post, 8.24.09

Bears found in Mensa meetings will be shot at once.


* * *


“GOP Offers Seniors Health Bill of Rights”

-Associated Press, 8.24.09

Article I. Congress shall make no law reducing the massive intergenerational wealth transfers instituted by our political opponents in the years past.


* * *


“Yahoo renews vow to fight Microsoft”

-Financial Times, 8.25.09

Yahoo’s CEO said “We shall fight them on the closed circuits, we shall fight them on the e-commerce platforms, we shall fight them on the copper and fiber lines, we shall never merge.”


* * *


“Anne Fine deplores ‘gritty realism’ of modern children’s books”

-The Times, 8.24.09

J. K. Rowling’s newest book Notes from the Hogwarts Underground will be out this fall.


* * *


“Iran puts leading reformers on trial over unrest”

-Reuters, 8.25.09

The dissidents are charged with disorderly contact and astroturfing.


* * *


“U.S. limits visas in Honduras, stepping up pressure”

-Reuters, 8.25.09

In an effort to improve its relationship with the Obama administration, Honduras plans to turn decidedly anti-American.


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“Italy to Ask Libya for Help in Controlling Migration”

-Wall Street Journal, 8.28.09

If Libya refuses the offer, Italy plans to cut off the head of Gaddafi’s favorite camel and place it in the dictator’s bed.


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“Robbers pretended to sell President Obama health insurance policies to invade Long Island home”

-New York Daily News, 8.29.09

The victims got wary when they were told that the first insurance premium payment would consist of the plasma TV, the kid’s iPod and the “really cute shepherdess lamp.”

Megrahi’s Release: Another Shoe Drops

David Frum August 30th, 2009 at 10:00 am 7 Comments

A story in the Independent on Sunday suggests that while the Obama administration was opposed to the release of the convicted mass murderer, it made clear that it was open to compromise – such as house arrest in Scotland – rather than implacably opposed, period.

US officials had “very reluctantly” backed a proposal to move Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi from Greenock Prison into some kind of high-security accommodation elsewhere in Scotland, senior government sources on both sides of the Atlantic confirmed.

Meanwhile, the U.K. government’s story that the release was a solo adventure of crazed lefties in Edinburgh continues to unravel. The Times reports leaked ministerial letters showing that U.K. Justice Secretary Jack Straw wrote to his Scottish counterpart two years ago to urge Megrahi’s release on national interest grounds, i.e. to accelerate an oil deal with Libya.

The British government decided it was “in the overwhelming interests of the United Kingdom” to make Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi, the Lockerbie bomber, eligible for return to Libya, leaked ministerial letters reveal.

Gordon Brown’s government made the decision after discussions between Libya and B.P. over a multi-million-pound oil exploration deal had hit difficulties. These were resolved soon afterwards.

The letters were sent two years ago by Jack Straw, the justice secretary, to Kenny MacAskill, his counterpart in Scotland, who has been widely criticised for taking the formal decision to permit Megrahi’s release.

The correspondence makes it plain that the key decision to include Megrahi in a deal with Libya to allow prisoners to return home was, in fact, taken in London for British national interests.

Most of the disgrace in this matter should fall on Britain. Still, the yielding attitude of the Obama administration seems to have contributed to persuading the U.K. and Scottish governments that they had wiggle room to proceed as they wished, without too many consequences to themselves. If so, they look to have been absolutely right about that. London and Edinburgh have sent home a man guilty of the murder of 180 Americans, with so far as anybody can tell, zero negative consequences to U.S.-U.K. relations and only a few faint murmurs of “mistake” from the president and “disappointment” from the Secretary of State.

I think it’s time to stop complaining that the president no longer uses the phrase “war on terror.” Truly: the war is over as far as the U.S. and U.K. governments are concerned. Why pretend otherwise?