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Libya and the US: How Terror Won

lenin | 27.01.2004 18:48 | Analysis | Anti-militarism | Terror War

If you believed the Reagan administration, Qadaffi was the source of every explosion, earthquake, blizzard and thunderstorm. If you believed Clinton and Major, he was responsible for Pan Am 103. If you believe Bush on anything, you need your fucking head examined.

It is January 27th, as I finish editing this article. The Guardian reports that the US is considering a deal in which it will pay for Libya to destroy it’s weapons programmes. The parsing of the headline is curious, because it uses the term “weapons” to refer to what it later describes as “nuclear and chemical weapons programmes”, a somewhat more sterile term. The United Kingdom government takes enormous pride in its negotiation of this ‘disarmament’ process, even though Libya voluntarily offered to relinquish the weapons it did not have . Even if such weapons existed, it would behoove Blair and Bush to abstain from their triumphant declarations that they have made the world a safer place. After all, Libya is being asked to disarm itself unilaterally. Imagine if someone were to suggest that the US and UK should rise to the moral level of Libya and disband its WMD programmes unilaterally.
Elementary perceptions such as these are usually reduced to complaints about “double standards”. But the US and UK are not schizophrenic, or morally confused. The appearance of double-standards merely points toward a single, hidden standard which eludes mainstream discourse. That standard, obviously enough, is self-interest. It could only be missed if you were eager to impute noble motives to our leaders. The story of Libya in the last two decades, however, militates powerfully against any such fantasies...

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