International Information Programs
Office of Research Issue Focus Foreign Media Reaction

August 19, 2003

August 19, 2003





**  Qadhafi's "admission of guilt" is a "big step" in his bid for political "rehabilitation."


**  "Cold calculation" of political and economic interests, not remorse, motivated Tripoli.


**  "Libyan model" validates the efficacy of sanctions aimed at "hemming in" rogue regimes.


**  France's "predicament" over the UTA bombing could lead to a "new Franco-American crisis."




'Qadhafi is firmly determined to free himself from the pariah image'--  Commentators worldwide contended that Tripoli's "change of heart" indicates a desire to return to the international community "at any price."  Echoing a common sentiment, Germany's left-leaning weekly Der Spiegel commented that Qadhafi has bought "absolution from past sins."  Even though no sum can replace the lives lost, said Thailand's moderately conservative Bangkok Post, payments will bring a "sliver of justice" to the Lockerbie victims.  German and Saudi outlets expressed dismay that "anyone can commit any stupidity, admit it, and then pay for it."


'Strategic interests' drove the decision to 'open up' Libya--  Although this is not his first effort at "rehabilitation," Qadhafi "recognized the signs of the time" after the Iraq war.  After years of U.S. and UN trade embargoes, Qadhafi wants to attract tourism and investment to his "oil rich" nation.  Skeptics doubted Tripoli's "genuine remorse," citing Qadhafi's funding of rogue regimes in Africa and pursuit of WMD.  Britain's independent Economist warned that Qadhafi could "turn nasty again."


The settlement represents 'a modest victory for tenacious diplomacy'--  European commentators lauded the sanctions for inducing Tripoli to admit culpability.  Many analysts expressed optimism that "war is not the first and only strategy against terrorism."  According to Britain's independent Financial Times, Libya demonstrates that rogue governments "can be contained and brought back into line" with international law.  "Starved" of investment, Qadhafi "has cut or considerably reduced" his links to international terror.  Israel's conservative Jerusalem Post urged the international community to apply the "Libyan model" to Iran and Syria.


France 'cannot disregard the lack of equality' for UTA victims--  Pressing for greater compensation for the UTA bombing, French journalists cautioned that "France's diplomacy is right to consider a [UN] veto."  Facing another potential conflict with Washington and London, right-of-center Le Figaro lamented that "in this battle France has no allies."  Charging that "France gains nothing" from a veto, a Polish commentator warned of an "offended Libya...on the margins" and of the UNSC "once again" proving itself a "body incapable of making crucial decisions."


EDITOR: Andrew Borda

EDITOR'S NOTE: This analysis is based on 34 reports from 17 countries, August 12-20, 2003.  Editorial excerpts from each country are listed from the most recent date.





BRITAIN: "Engaging Libya"


The independent Financial Times asserted (8/15):  "Libya's decision to take responsibility for the 1988 bombing of an airliner over Lockerbie in Scotland, and to compensate the families of the 270 victims, can be seen as a modest victory for tenacious diplomacy.  While offering no template for dealing with rogue states, it does suggest some of them can be contained and brought back into line with international law....  After being hemmed in by sanctions and starved of investment, he [Mr. Qadhafi appears to have renounced terrorism as an instrument of policy.  British diplomats took the lead in both softening up Libya and bringing the U.S. to the point where this week's deal was feasible.  The U.S. will not be lifting its own bilateral sanctions--which precede the UN embargo--but Mr. Qadhafi now understands the game enough to have made part of the Lockerbie compensation contingent on their eventually doing so and has tied another portion of the money to Libya's removal from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism.  The U.S. should consider both these changes in its approach to Libya (which is keen to attract American oil companies).  Such a policy of cautious engagement would show there are alternatives to an Iraq [situation] and perhaps encourage other countries on the state terror list, such as Iran and Syria, with the prospect of getting off it."


"Compensation But No Real Justice"


The independent weekly Economist asserted (8/14): "For the past five years, Muammar Qadhafi has been trying to pass himself off as a reformed character.  Hitherto one of the world's leading sponsors of terrorism, Libya’s dictator decided in 1998 to hand over for trial two Libyans accused of planting the bomb that blew up Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988. Having previously trained many of the guerrillas who have wrought death and destruction across Africa and elsewhere, he switched to playing peace broker in several African conflicts.  And he condemned the September 11th terrorist attacks on America and provided information on groups linked to al-Qaida....  The deal signed this week is likely to aid Mr. Qadhafi in his quest for rehabilitation.... But such moves do not yet mean that Mr. Qadhafi is a man that America and Europe can do business with....  Though his behavior has improved considerably of late, the mercurial Mr. Qadhafi could quite conceivably turn nasty again, and still has the means to wreak havoc."


FRANCE: “Victims and Deals”


Bruno Frappat wrote in Catholic La Croix (8/20): “In the big bazaar of global cynicism everything can be bought...including impunity for dictators....   He who deals best gets the best deal....  The Anglo-Americans, decidedly the geo-political couple of the year, has just obtained Qadhafi’s acknowledgment of Libya’s responsibility if not its culpability....  With this bartering deal Libya will see the end of the UN sanctions and re-enter the international community of nations....  This macabre accounting has determined that the life of Pan Am’s passengers is worth more than that of UTA’s passengers. This discrepancy is most probably equal to the distance that lies between justice and cynicism. Criminal dictators of the world, you can become rich as you make up for your crimes!”


"France’s Predicament"


Luc de Brochez noted in right-of-center Le Figaro (8/19):  “France’s diplomacy is in the hands of Colonel Qadhafi.  He alone can save the day....  But he can also plunge Paris into the deepest of predicaments by refusing to agree to additional payments for the victims of the UTA DC-10 explosion.  Paris would then find itself in the difficult situation of having to choose between vetoing the lifting of UN sanctions against Libya and going back on its stand.  If it chooses to go with a veto, Paris will once again find itself in opposition to Washington and London....  If France chooses to abstain, French diplomacy runs the risk of ridiculing itself....  In this battle France has no allies....  But it can find solace in the fact that it is literally fighting for widows and orphans.  Nevertheless France’s dilemma remains.  The only way for France to come out unscathed would be if Colonel Qadhafi were to make a quick financial gesture.  Otherwise France will have to go to battle, alone and with few weapons.” 


“Libya: A Veto for Equality”


Right-of-center Le Figaro remarked (8/18): “Libya’s claim that it is being blackmailed is ludicrous.  If it weren’t for the 170 victims of the UTA DC 10 aircraft, one might be tempted to laugh.  While it is legitimate for Colonel Qadhafi to seek some sort of international legitimacy, Libya has committed too many crimes for it not to pay the highest possible price.  Libya thought it was enough to settle the Lockerbie issue.  But Libya is forgetting the fact that the sanctions can only be lifted by the UN and that France is part of the UN Security Council.  France’s diplomacy is right to be considering a veto unless the families of the UTA crash victims are treated like those of the Lockerbie crash. Qadhafi’s cavalier conduct seems to confirm once again that the U.S. manages world order as it pleases....  France, by positioning itself once more in opposition to the U.S., wants to remind everyone that reestablishing relations with Libya must be a concerted effort....  It would be unfortunate if France’s legitimate request were to lead to a new Franco-American crisis at the UN.”


“A Controversial Fistful of Libyan Dollars.”


Right-of-center Les Echos editorialized (8/18): “Colonel Qadhafi has managed to divide France and the U.S. and Great Britain....  This is more a victory of Anglo-Saxon lawyers than international justice.  The agreement reached with Libya raises a number of questions, not the least of them whether a nation can buy back its international standing thanks to a fistful of dollars....  France cannot disregard the lack of equality between the agreement for the Lockerbie victims and the promises made for the UTA victims.... France, which is threatening to use its veto, is not alone in its opposition to a lifting of the sanctions.  The Bush administration's hawks are not fully in favor of it and Washington may abstain at the UNSC.  The U.S. is expected to maintain its bilateral sanctions against Libya which is accused of seeking WMD.  This in itself is a paradox since the payment to the Lockerbie victims is tied to the lifting of the bilateral sanctions.”


GERMANY: "Qadhafi's Cloak"


Left-of-center Frankfurter Rundschau stated (8/20): "The French ambassador to the UN is right when he compares the compensation sums which Libya is willing to pay to the relatives of the victims of the Lockerbie attack and to the victims of the French airliner for which Libya is also responsible.  An unequal treatment of nationalities is outrageous.  But this discrepancy between the U.S. and Europe should not have be reason for France to allow the UN resolution on Libya to fail....  We cannot get rid of the impression that Qadhafi bought himself free....  Qadhafi, who was formerly the host of African freedom fighters and asylum seekers, who helped European groups he considered freedom fighters, has taken off his revolutionary cloak.  That is why the sanctions will fall.  From London to New York people have learned that Libya has taken part for years in the fight against terrorism, extradited criminals, and issued international arrest warrants, for instance against Usama bin Laden at a time when U.S. intelligence service did not even know how to spell his name."


"The Deal"


Center-right Frankfurter Allgemeine argued (8/18):


 "The overall sum, which Libya will now pay is considerable even for a state that is rich in oil.  It is a silent admission of guilt for a terrorist past, in which it is still difficult to prove who must be blamed for what.  But more important than words are the deeds with which the aging revolutionary leader is trying to show that he has broken with the past....  Since we cannot expect regime change in Libya since there is no opposition, Qadhafi will remain present for the international community for quite some time to come.  But he wants to return to this community at any price.  This wish continues to offer the chance to exert influence [on Libya] from the outside.  For instance with respect to human and civil rights in Libya."


"Remorseful Rogue"


Major independent left-leaning weekly Der Spiegel expressed (Internet Version 8/17): "For two decades, Libyan revolutionary leader Muammar Qadhafi reveled in the role of world-ranking rogue.  He instigated bomb attacks and murders, and passengers on board fully laden airliners plunged to their deaths at his command.  Now that he has turned 60, he prefers to pose as a reformed, moderate statesman, a partner in the fight against Usama Bin Laden.  His present priority being to buy his absolution from past sins....  This change of heart is likely to have been motivated less by genuine remorse than by the desert state's tangible political and economic interests:   Libya would like the U.S. and the UN to at last lift their trade embargoes....  It remains doubtful whether Qadhafi will manage to get the sanctions lifted: the view of the world may turn out to be that the crimes were just too heinous."  




Center-right Frankfurter Allgemeine noted (8/15): "The establishment of a compensation fund for bereaved family members of the Lockerbie attacks from 1988 will certainly speed up Colonel Qadhafi's rapprochement with the rest of the world.  They know that the establishment of this fund is a Libyan admission of guilt, but they criticize that Qadhafi is saved from a 'profound and independent investigation' of the crime....  Will the Tripoli regime now find a way to show consideration for these arguments?  Washington and Tripoli have tried for quite some time to improve relations....  Qadhafi wants to be deleted from the U.S. list of those who are considered terrorists.  It may even be his dream to take part in the Steuben parade."


"Not Forgotten, Not Forgiven"


Centrist Der Tagesspiegel of Berlin remarked (8/15): "The Usama bin Laden of the 80s returns to the bosom of the international community.  Muammar al Qadhafi the murderer from the La Belle discotheque and Lockerbie will be deleted from the list of those who support international terrorism...and sanctions against Libya will be lifted.  For moral purists, including the family members of the Lockerbie crash, this looks like a defeat....  But we need not be cynics to welcome the compensation agreement.  The payment of money and, admittedly, the vague declaration...are clear: they are an admission of guilt.  And it is made clear to a world that is increasingly unable to differ between historical truth and political conspiracy that Qadhafi ordered the killing of 270 people over Scotland.  With this knowledge we can return to the everyday agenda, i.e. return to those who are still on the list."


"The Lockerbie Deal"


Roland Heine argued in left-of-center Berliner Zeitung (8/15): "It would be appropriate to consider the Lockerbie case to be concluded after such a spectacular step of the Libyan side.  But neither the expected declaration from Tripoli to the UN Security Council nor the expected money payments will give us certainty about the events surrounding PanAm flight 103 on December 21, 1988.  It is well possible that the Libyan leadership, in view of international pressure, only confesses what it had planned and ordered...but so many imponderables and contradictions remain that another hypothesis cannot be ignored.  Qadhafi is firmly determined to free himself from the pariah image.  But without concessions in the Lockerbie case, he will fail, regardless of whether or not he was the organizer of the attack....  If the United Nations, in return for Libya's concessions, really lifted the sanctions on Libya, which have thus far only been suspended, then this would be an important success for Libya's leader.  If the U.S. then also lifted its sanctions, the greatest danger for Qadhafi should be over.  U.S. oil companies have been pushing Washington anyway not to build permanent obstacles that could prevent them from striking promising deals with Libya."


"All Is Well That Ends Well?"


Centrist Mitteldeutsche Zeitung editorialized (8/15): "The family members of the U.S. victims have a different view and want Qadhafi to be put on trial.  In view of their suffering, this demand is understandable, but it remains unrealistic.  It is surprising enough that Qadhafi extradited his agents to justice authorities and allowed others to force him to publicly confess his guilt and to accept compensation payments.  Saddam Hussein or Kim Jong-il would certainly not have been willing to do this.  What remains is the insight that terrorist attacks can be atoned for and that war is not the first and only strategy against terrorism."


"A Bit Of Satisfaction"


Right-of-center Hamburger Abendblatt contended (8/15): "Despite the billions in compensation payments to the family members of the victims of Lockerbie, Libya's revolutionary leader Qadhafi remains a dictator.  But the ruler in Tripoli has recognized the signs of the time.  Iraq's example demonstrated to him that short work is made of rogue states, and this is likely to have improved Qadhafi's willingness to pay.  It is true that the family members will not get back their next-of-kin, but maybe they feel at least a bit of satisfaction."




Right-of-center Die Welt of Berlin asserted (8/13): "If an accommodation with Libya is now within reach...we could be tempted to speak in a cynical way of a deal where a criminal buys himself the freedom of prosecution.  But as a matter of fact, Libya has cut or considerably reduced its links to terror thanks to international sanctions.  Training camps were closed, Islamic militants extradited to Egypt and Jordan, and the Palestinian Abu Nidal terrorist group was deported to Iraq.  Following 9/11, Libya's intelligence service even cooperated with the U.S.  Muammar Qadhafi remains a dictator, and blood sticks to his hands.  But he has, unlike Saddam Hussein, recognized the signs of the time.  And they are not favorable for rogue states."


ITALY: "Qadhafi’s Conversion With Dollars"


In a front-page, lengthy editorial Sandro Viola commented in left-leaning, influential La Repubblica (8/19):  “Qadhafi is putting himself back within the rules with all western powers...and recognizes ‘his agents’ responsibility’ in the Lockerbie case....  In other words, Qadhafi is about to go back with all rights into the international community.  And in order to be readmitted, he does not count the dollars, especially to the Americans....  Qadhafi wants to open up his country to the world, as is happening in neighboring Tunisia.  He wants to open up the beautiful beaches and the desert to the tourists.”


Qadhafi Comes Back Into The World Looking At Europe"


Igor Man opined in centrist, influential La Stampa (8/17): “ The ‘Lockerbie case’ has been settled.  Tripoli recognized it was guilty.  Why did Qadhafi...decide to declare he was guilty today?  After 15 years of problems... Qadhafi has finally realized that in order to overcome the tough sanctions imposed on Libya by the international community 11 years ago, he had to admit he was guilty....  But his admission coincides with the Italian EU Presidency.  Those who know not rule out the possibility that he decided to do it now that Europe is becoming stronger...ready to become the third world superpower, between the East and The West, between what remains of the former Soviet Empire and the U.S., which is carrying out its ‘crusade’ against terrorism.  Indeed, it is also true that the U.S. renewed its distance from Qadhafi...but we should not forget that during all these many years of embargo, the only foreigners who were free to go to Libya without a visa were, and are, the Americans.  Politics is one thing.  Business is another matter.”


BULGARIA: "The Deep-rooted Plan"  


Mass-circulation Trud expressed (8/20): "Why did Bulgaria, along with Great Britain, draft the UN resolution on waiving the sanctions against Libya?  Probably because the U.S. is feeling uncomfortable doing this by itself.  Official Washington regards Libya as a rogue state, part of the "axis of evil."   On the other hand, the American companies are looking forward to the opening of the Libyan market and the utilization of the Libyan oil....  That's why the U.S. has left the initiative with two of its most loyal allies at the UN Security Council--Great Britain and Bulgaria."


CROATIA: "A Double Life"


Privately owned Zagreb Jutarnji List stated (8/12): "As is known, Libya is one of 'those countries' marked by international-community criticisms for an undemocratic authority, links to terrorism, and sanctions, as well as one of the countries that are regularly mentioned when concealed international-business patterns are brought to light.  Since the wrapping-up of the trial of the perpetrators of the brutal terrorist attack on an airplane over the Scottish city of Lockerbie, whom Libya extradited, the situation in connection with that country has been improving.  European airplanes fly to Libya regularly, and Qadhafi has been receiving European businessmen for several years already.  Nevertheless, the international community is cautious in the transparency of its relations with Libya, because that country is still under U.S. sanctions and on U.S. lists of sponsors of terrorism.  In truth, the situation with Libya should not be regarded as essentially different from the situation with Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Iran, or any of the Near-Eastern countries that lead a double life due to Western political divisions: On one hand, they cooperate seriously with Western democracies in business operations worth billions of dollars, and, on the political plane, they strive to open up, modernize, and democratize; on the other, they have a lot of trouble with unpredictable reports by Western intelligence and counterterrorism services and the accusations contained in them."


HUNGARY: “A New Lesson of Lockerbie”


Pro-government left wing Nepszava asserted (8/16): “My intention with the article I wrote some months ago was to remind...that the PanAm bombing in 1988 had been a forerunner of the terrorist attacks against the twin towers in New York.  No military retaliation against Libya followed for Lockerbie that time.  Muammar Qadhafi was not liquidated, although the culprits had been identified and called to go before an international court.  Qadhafi probably, is now going to try to bargain [with the Americans], also in the belief that Libya’s oil is an important ‘card’ [in his hands] at the talks.  Today one has to see that the sequence [of acts] was wrong.  First the sting should have been taken out of [the Libyan regime].  Then, once the old regime [of Qadhafi had paid for bombing the PanAm, a new regime could have paid [a compensation] to the victims.  Had Qadhafi been retaliated for the death of 270 people, the history of the Middle-East terrorism could have, maybe, developed differently too.   Whether September 11 would have happened, we don't know either.  And perhaps even the war in Iraq would have not happened, had Lockerbie not been left without a response that time.”


NORWAY: “Libya’s Responsibility And Terrorism”


The newspaper-of-record Aftenposten commented (8/18): “Libya has now, after 15 years and a long-lasting international process, formally taken responsibility for the bomb that shattered a PanAm plane over Lockerbie in Scotland right before Christmas in 1988....  Brigadier Muammar Qadhafi must have concluded that terrorism is not a good political tool as relations in the world are now.  We can’t disregard that the Libyan will of cooperation has been strengthened by the U.S.’ Iraq invasion.  But at the same time is it worth noting that Libya was moving on this long before Iraq was the hottest international issue.  Both Qadhafi the U.S. and other countries should learn that there are alternatives to war to solve international problems, however complex and unsolvable they might seem”.


POLAND: Qadhafi To Pay For Sins”


Liberal Gazeta Wyborcza asserted (8/18): “Parting with terrorism is not another of Qadhafi’s whims, but the result of sheer human fear for life, and cold calculation.  The Libyan Colonel has calculated that without American oil money he will never drag his country out of poverty, while the 3 billion dollars in compensation will soon be paid back when the Americans start buying Libyan oil.”


“The French Blackmail”


Grzegorz Dobiecki wrote in centrist Rzeczpospolita (8/18): “The crisis in Paris’ relations with Washington and London over the Iraqi intervention is not yet gone for good, and it appears that a new one is approaching.  France demands that Libya pay the families of victims of the UTA airplane bombing…the same compensation it offered to the families of the PanAm bombing.  If Tripoli does not pay, Paris will not agree to lift UN sanctions on Libya....  And this is the worst-case scenario.  An offended Libya remains on the margins, and also on the list of countries supporting terrorism; France gains nothing, the U.S. and Great Britain ultimately lose trust in their former ally, and the Security Council proves once again to be a body incapable of making crucial decisions.  Unlike the Iraqi crisis, France cannot teach anyone lessons of moral behavior, because it is fighting not for principles, but for others’ money it envied.”




ISRAEL:  "The Libyan Model"


Conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized (8/19): "On December 21, 1988, 270 people were murdered when a bomb felled Pan Am Flight 103 near the town of Lockerbie, Scotland.  Now, following Libya's admission of responsibility for the attack and agreement to pay USD 2.7 billion in compensation to the victims' families, the UN is set to lift sanctions on Libya.  Should this be considered a victory or a surrender in the war against terrorism?....  Perhaps the chastening of Libya will prove to be short-lived and a poor substitute for regime change.  The more immediate question, however, is why the Libyan model is not being applied to the most active, unchastened sponsors of terrorism today: Iran and Syria....  In the case of Iran, the Libyan model may not be sufficient to either prevent Teheran's rapid nuclearization or trigger regime change, but massive international sanctions are a minimal step in the right direction.  Syrian behavior as well begs for serious sanctions that give meaning to the platitudes of unacceptability of support for terrorism.  It is understandable that nations resist supporting military invasions and taking over countries, as was finally necessary in Iraq.  The alternative is not to do nothing, but rather to ban flights, recall advisers, freeze assets, and downgrade relations as was done successfully against Libya."


SAUDI ARABIA: "Mercenary Irritation"


English-language Arab News commented (8/20): "Paris' irritation is mercenary, albeit understandable.  It dresses up its objections in high moral terms, accusing Washington and London of ignoring the UTA victims, who included Americans and Britons, but this is all about money.  France is annoyed that the U.S. has gotten a better deal than the one it hammered out with Libya last year....  If they got it wrong--as they clearly did--that is their fault.  The French government does not want to admit to its public that it miscalculated."


"An International Tribal Peace"


London's influential Al-Sharq al-Awsat remarked (8/18): "The Libyan letter admitting responsibility for the death of the American civil airliner passengers deserves a solemn celebration of the occasion.  The Arabs have succeeded, for the first time, in imposing their conditions on the international community and in bringing the concepts of tribal peace and blood money to the international community, and specifically to the United Nations, for the first time in its history....  But the France tribe is apparently not happy with this tribal peace and is demanding the payment of a large sum of money for the death of several members of the French tribe in a similar incident in which the France tribe accused the Libyan one of responsibility for it.  There is therefore no responsibility, no economic sanctions, and no principles in international politics.  Anyone can commit any stupidity, admit it, and then pay for it....  By God, we do not wish to harm Libya or its people.   By God, we are not inciting against Libya.   But we ask, with deep sorrow, about the tragedy of committing stupidities, helping terrorists, killing civilians, and then admitting this publicly under the pressure of threats and paying a terrific sum of money from the ordinary Libyan's funds to the families of the victims of the Lockerbie plane without all this contravening the pan-Arab concepts, the resonant slogans, and the green and yellow books and without moving a single hair of any of those carrying the pan-Arabism slogans and the "pure Arabism" stars on the Arab revolutionary satellite channels."


"Lockerbie Compensations: A Lesson To Libya"


London-based, independent Al-Quds al-Arabi commented (8/16):  "Libya is in an extremely embarrassing situation because of this.   Since the Libyan authorities have agreed to give larger sums of money in reimbursements to the US victims, then it has to expect this French demand of equal treatment.  The Libyan cow that is being milked has already signed; this is why there were many French, British, and US knives ready to attack.  It is unfortunate that Libya, who is paying the price of its pro-Arab positions, is standing alone today facing these blackmail attempts without any Arab support....  The blood of Libyan and the Egyptian passengers on this plane who were martyred is not cheaper than the blood of the Americans, British, and French." 


"The Agreement Does Not Include an Admission of Responsibility for the Incident"


Influential London-based Al-Sharq al-Awsat opined (8/14): "Abd-al-Basit al-Miqrahi has criticized the way the Arab media has dealt with the publicized settlement agreement between Libya and the U.S. and the suggestion that the agreement includes an admission of responsibility for the Lockerbie incident, which is inaccurate.  Al-Miqrahi, who is currently serving a life sentence in Barlinnie jail (Scotland), said that 'Libya's acceptance of the trial and the ruling issued by the court which looked into the case does not mean that it accepts responsibility.  It does mean however the acceptance of the court ruling and the respect of international law.'"


JORDAN: "Lockerbie Costs 2.7 Billion Dollars"


Pro-government, influential Al-Rai stated (8/14): "There is no reason not to believe the Tripoli Government when it accepted moral and financial responsibility for the downing of a Pan Am flight over Lockerbie....  Following years of harm and an embargo inflicted on the Libyan people Colonel Qadhafi might naturally feel that he "fooled" the U.S. and Britain and bought their tragedy with some Libyan money....  The Lockerbie case and its ending bring us back once again to the heartbreak from revolutionists, dictators, and militants."


LEBANON: “The Lockerbie Ambush After the Road Map’s Ambush”


Conservative, pro-Sunni Al-Liwaa argued (8/19): “The first impression one gets while reading between the lines of the settlement between Libya and the American administration is that ‘Bushism’ has managed to draw ‘Qadhafism’ to an ambush and that it had bad intentions from doing so....  What happened with Libya is the same thing that happened to the Palestinians regarding the Road Map.  The Bush administration drew the Palestinians into the ‘Map Ambush’....  Just as the Palestinians carried out what was asked of them--most importantly the naming of a Cabinet whose Prime Minister was accepted by the Americans and Sharon--the manipulation started and the American voices along with the Sharonian voices started calling ‘it was not enough’....  In our assessment, the many parties that advised Colonel Qadhafi to end the Lockerbie problem and that exerted efforts to convince the Palestinians into responding to the American demands now feel annoyed and tricked by the Bush administration....  And in light of the Lockerbie Ambush and the Map Ambush it is better for many Arab parties to look into the American friend’s games attentively.  A friend from whose friendship not much can be expected until the opposite is proven.”




THAILAND:  "An Old Terrorist Dodges Justice"


The lead editorial in top-circulation, moderately conservative, English language Bangkok Post held (8/19):  “The cash deal that Libya made through the UNSC last week will bring a sliver of justice to the 270 innocent victims aboard Pan Am flight 103 and on the ground in 1988....  The Libyan dictator himself continues to escape justice over the bombing of both Pan Am 103 and an equally horrendous bombing of a French UTA airliner over Africa in 1989.  Time may heal some wounds, but dictators like Colonel Qadhafi hardly deserve to walk away from terrible crimes....  The UN is now poised to remove the sanctions against Libya, and agree to drop all claims to future legal proceedings.  In other words, Col. Qadhafi makes a plea bargain, pays a huge fine and the Libyan walks.  It is said by many that sanctions do not work.  But sometimes they do.  Libya is proof of that.  A worldwide, UN-endorsed system of sanctions has forced Col. Qadhafi to admit responsibility for two of the most atrocious terrorist attacks in history,  and provide restitution to the families of his victims.  It is a step forward.  But it cannot be a substitute for making terrorists and their sponsors face justice and pay properly for their crimes.”


VIETNAM: "Once the Veto Is Used "


Ho Chi Minh City 's Communist Youth Party Tuoi Tre commented (8/20) "Libya finally bows to pressure from the US to pay 2.7 billion U.S. dollars as compensation to 270 victims who died in the 1988 Lockerbie airplane bombing in exchange for a resolution lifting UN sanctions.  The French Foreign Minister said that France will use its veto to prevent the resolution.  This could be one in a series of recent conflicts between the U.S. and France since World War II, especially after the U.S. bypassed the UN to attack Iraq.  However, this reminds people to think about the future of the UN Security Council and the international environment. The war against Iraq proved that the UN Security Council does not have power to control one nation.  In the case of Libya, there poses a threat that the UN Security Council can become a stage for powerful countries to perform their political games."




BURKINA FASO: "Libya-United States: Blackmail, Cash, Leadership"


Privately owned, pro-opposition Ouagadougou Le Pays asserted (8/14): Muammar Qadhafi has, apparently, decided to raise high the image of his country in international relations.  He has been doing everything in his power for the past couple of months to get rid of the burden hanging over the country....  But, this obvious situation covers up strategic interests, and each party seems keen to take maximum advantage of it....  Suddenly, Libya, which for a long time has been dragged in the mud by the western powers, has become a star, irrespective of the tag put on it.  The fact still remains that it is gradually becoming a courted actor and thus respected by the great powers.  Muammar al-Qadhafi is thus breathing a sigh of relief, and this will, probably, enable him to regain his position among nations and in international relations.  By their acceptance of dealing with Libya, the U.S. and Great Britain have indicated that they understand they can do business with Muammar al-Qadhafi.  The leader of the Libyan revolution rules a very rich country, which is a well-known fact.   Given that the Bush administration has its well-defined political and economic interests, it is only natural that it is trying to patch up the pieces....  In a nutshell, if the embargo on Libya is lifted after the compensation of the families of the victims, Muammar al-Qadhafi will, inevitably, enter the ranks of the great."




CANADA: "Libya Pays For Terror"


The liberal Toronto Star editorialized (8/19): "It has taken 15 years, but Libyan leader Muammar Qadhafi's pariah regime is finally being forced to shell out some compensation for bombing a Pan Am airliner over Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988, killing 270 people....  Over the years, UN sanctions and isolation have cost Libya a breathtaking $50 billion in lost oil sales and other costs.  That loss will never be recovered.  The UN squeezed Libya hard in 1992....  The Security Council deserves credit for keeping the pressure on.  Qadhafi's offer of compensation now has France pressing for hefty reparations in the similar 1989 mid-air bombing by Libyans of a French aircraft with 170 aboard. Payments cannot bring back the victims. But Qadhafi's regime has at least been held to account for a hideous crime. And that is some comfort. It puts others on notice that the world is resolved to exact a price from those who practice terror."  




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