Thursday, January 01, 2004

Behind the Libyan Volte-Face

I suspected that there was more to Ghaddafi's sudden change of heart than had been revealed to the public, but this latest bit of news is really quite dramatic.

Officials have confirmed that a German-flagged ship was carrying parts to build a nuclear bomb from a Persian Gulf country to Libya in October. Investigators seized the shipment before it reached its destination.

Just a few months before Libya declared it would cease its efforts to create weapons of mass destruction, American and British agents seized a German freighter ship loaded with centrifuges and other parts that are used to create enriched uranium, the material needed to build nuclear bombs. The seizure is believed to have influenced Tripoli’s decision to suspend its weapons program last month.

So much, then, for claims that Ghaddafi had long given up on his desire to obtain nuclear weapons. El Baradei's credibility was marginal enough as it was, but his rush to absolve the Libyans of any nuclear aspirations looks especially bad in light of this new information. The man cannot be trusted to keep the Iranians on the straight and narrow.