Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Mad Dog Gadhafi: 'Friend' or foe?

Pittsburg Tribune

President Ronald Reagan once referred to Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi as a "mad dog." And given Mr. Gadhafi's overtures for arms from Russia, the mutt hasn't lost his fleas.

After securing for Libya a pass on assorted terrorists acts -- including the 1988 massacre of 270 people in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 -- and shielding his nation from further U.S. litigation, Gadhafi has opted to warm up to Russia, taking advantage of the ongoing chill in U.S.-Russian relations.

This, supposedly to advance mutual energy interests. But also to secure for Gadhafi Russian anti-aircraft missiles, two squadrons of fighter jets and other military materiel. Libya also reportedly has offered to host a Russian naval base.

Perhaps the only issue for Gadhafi, apart from any U.S. fallout, is whether he'll have to wait on line for Russian arms behind Venezuela's Hugo Chavez.

These are not the actions of a friend.

Nor does a friend -- now with fully restored U.S. diplomatic ties -- refuse to disclose its terrorist involvements that cost the lives of U.S. military personnel and civilians. Long before al-Qaida wrote its legacy in blood, there was Libya. Gadhafi simply mopped up his terrorist past with wads of cash.

Oh yes, Libya also vowed to abandon its nuclear ambitions. But given its recent shopping spree for arms, the old dog is up to the same old tricks.

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