Jeffrey LewisThe whole story about Libya

Paul Kerr notes that Newsweek (October 11, 2004) has the other shoe dropping on Administration claims about its role in disarming Libya:

“We convinced Libya to disarm,” Bush said. But in fact the British played the lead role in the negotiations. And the talks succeeded only after the British managed to sideline the Bush administration/’s top arms-control official, John Bolton, NEWSWEEK has learned. Under Secretary of State Bolton, a hard-liner, pursued Bush/’s basic approach of “not rewarding bad behavior” by refusing to lift sanctions against Libya. But after a tense session in London, the British complained that Bolton was obstructing talks. Washington agreed to keep Bolton at home. The assurances that Libya sought were quietly given. Bush lifted sanctions.

This was also mentioned in by Flynt Leverett, a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution and Bush Administration National Security Council staffer, in an op-ed for the New York Times (January 23, 2004), “”Why Libya Gave Up on the Bomb.” Leverett claimed the Administration policy “was able to take a more constructive course with Libya was that the White House, uncharacteristically, sidelined the administration/’s neoconservative wing.”

On a related note, the Middle East Journal 58:4 (Summer 2003) has an intriguing article (which I have not read) by Ronald Bruce St John, entitled “Libya Is Not Iraq: Preemptive Strikes, WMD and Diplomacy,” on the subject.


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