http://www.arutzsheva.com/article.php3?id=3156 Can Anyone Trust Gaddafi? byJo-ana D'Balcazar Jan 01, '04 / 7 Tevet 5764 Politically, Libyas unexpected announcement that it will dismantle its program of weapons of mass destruction was the topping on the cake, strengthening President George W. Bushs foreign policy. Libyas announcement is support for President Bushs decision to deal with Iraq and its weapons of mass destruction. It is no secret that Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi sensed President Bush is a straight-forward leader who keeps his word. Therefore, Gaddafi just weighed the pros and cons and opted for a wiser decision, to avoid being sent into early retirement. However, can the world ignore Gaddafis human rights abuses and support of terrorism only because he promised to dismantle his weapons of mass destruction program? Does it mean that Libya is becoming a friendly state with its disarmament? No. It is most likely that Libyas decision is a result of external pressure and not from a true reformed leader wanting to set the path for a free democratic state. Clearly, the capture of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein played a role in Gaddafis decision. U.S. policymakers should be careful and verify each move. Has Gaddafi denounced publicly support for terrorists? No. Instead, he challenged the Arab world by saying that he would withdraw his countrys membership in the Arab League for their inaction to stop foreign forces from invading Arab homes. This was in reference to the Iraqi case. Disarmament does not mean that Libya will stop supporting terrorist groups. Let us not forget Gaddafis words during the Iraqi war. Gaddafi stated, according to Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, a Saudi newspaper, that "the only option available to Iraqis is the resistance: to kill or be killed." Hence, now, Ronald Reagan's historical words are the best advice: "Trust, but verify." In Gaddafi's case, perhaps it would be even better to: "Verify, and then trust." Gaddafi remembers he barely escaped when attacked by Reagan, so now he figured out his best, and perhaps, only move was to declare a dismantling. On the one hand, an indirect effect of Gaddafis sudden change of heart is that it presents the opportunity for the return of U.S. oil companies that left Libya in 1986, when President Ronald Reagan imposed sanctions, as the U.S. is expected to lift part of the Iran and Libya sanctions. On the other hand, it is critical for the U.S. and any other democratic country to stand firm by the ideals of freedom, liberty, respect for human rights and democracy. Unfortunately, Libya has one of the worst records of human rights abuse. Moreover, to add insult to injury, the UN rewards Gaddafi by sitting Libya as head of the UN Human Rights Commission. What a farce! Just as Saddam Hussein and Yasser Arafat, Gaddafi must be accountable for his crimes and for supporting terrorism. There is no other way out. Libya cannot be considered a friendly nation, yet (or never, while Gaddafi remains in power). It would be contradictory. What the world is seeing is the process of the New World order after September 11. Sure, President Bush praised Libyas actions and said it was a "path to better relations with the United States and other free nations." Gaddafi is no dummy. He calculates his moves. And by announcing the dismantling, he is securing his authoritarian leadership. Consequently, all the fuzz about Gaddafi becoming a friend of free nations is only smoke and mirrors. Simply, it will be like dealing with Palestinian Authority leader Yasser Arafat. The U.S. must keep a consistent foreign policy and not deal with dictators who support terrorism. In the war against terrorism, there is no room for dictators masquerading as fighters against terrorism. The memory of Arafat before the U.N. General Assembly on November 13, 1974, asking the world to decide between "an olive branch or a freedom fighter's gun," still shows its bloody results: no democracy, no freedom, no olives and no peace, just fools strapped with explosive belts. Does Libya's offer represent the same deal? The fact that Libya finally agreed to pay over $2 billion to the families of the victim of the Pan Am 103 bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland, does not erase the fact that it is still supporting terrorism. In the Lockerbie episode alone, 259 died aboard the plane and 11 on the ground. But what about the disappearance of hundreds of Libyans, the Lebanese Shiite cleric Moussa Sadr, and Gaddafi's abuse of human rights, including the whereabouts of Libyan human rights activist Mansour Kikhya? In other words, Libyas intentions should be considered only a partial success. The complete success will be when Libya stops supporting terrorist groups, as well as pursuing weapons of mass destruction. Nevertheless, the year 2003 ended positively for President George W. Bushs foreign policy with the capture of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, and with Libyas intention to dismantle its weapons of mass destruction. Will 2004 see the capture of Osama Bin Laden, the discovery of Iraqs weapons of mass destruction, and the solution of the Arab-Israeli conflict? That will be a real and powerful achievement for President Bushs foreign policy, and might transform him into one of the most effective presidents the U.S. ever had. Meanwhile, what do you think, can anyone ever trust Gaddafi?