Thoughts on South African and international politics and culture

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

US resumes diplomatic ties with Libya
Despite rumours of political assassination plots, (see previous post) Gaddafi has got what he wanted, diplomatic and trade ties with the US. The Washinton Post reports that with a letter from Bush and a ceremonial opening of the US Liaison Office in Tripoli, the US has opened its arms to the former pariah.

Taking this step whilst in the middle of a State Department investigation into the allegations infers that this is an intensely political move. Bush is desperate for successes in his fight against terrorism, and Gaddafi represents a major victory, a former symbol of terrorism entering the "free" fold. (We won't even get into the implications of dropping the sanctions on Libya's vast oil resources!)

It's a brave move that could backfire immensely should the State Department uphold the assassination allegations in their report, and it's indicative of a leadership that knows how tight the forthcoming election is going to be.