When President Ronald Reagan passed away in 2004, newsmax.comreported the following story:
Moammar Gadhafi expressed regret Sunday that President Ronald Reagan died before standing trial for 1986 American air strikes that killed the Libyan leader’s adopted daughter [some say his sister] and 36 other people.
Reagan ordered the April 15, 1986, air raid in response to a discotheque bombing in Berlin allegedly ordered by Gadhafi that killed two U.S. soldiers and a Turkish woman and injured 229 people.
“I express my deep regret because Reagan died before facing justice for his ugly crime that he committed in 1986 against the Libyan children,” Libya’s official JANA news agency quoted Gadhafi as saying.
JANA, in reporting Reagan’s death Saturday at age 93, described former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher as a partner in the strikes because some of the warplanes took off from the United Kingdom.
“Ronald Reagan, Thatcher’s partner in the failed American-Atlantic aggression against the house of the brother leader of the revolution, in Tripoli and Benghazi in 1986, died,” JANA reported.
The United States branded Libya a rogue state in the 1980s, alleging state-sponsored support of terrorism and imposing trade sanctions on the country in 1986.
Only in the last year have relations warmed substantially, with Libya meeting U.S. demands stemming from the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988. A Libyan agent was convicted of involvement in the bombing and Libya agreed to pay compensation to the families of the 270 victims.
Gadhafi agreed in December to dismantle Libya’s biological, chemical and nuclear weapons programs, and in February, Washington lifted a ban on use of American passports to travel to Libya. In April, President Bush took steps toward restoring trade and investment ties with Libya, allowing the resumption of oil imports and most commercial and financial activities.
But the United States continues to list Libya as a state sponsor of terrorism, which prohibits U.S. aid or arms sales to the country, and hundreds of millions of dollars of Libyan assets remain frozen in American banks. These restrictions are seen as an inducement for Libya to resolve its remaining differences with Washington.
On 3/7/11, msn.com reported:
A former top CIA official who helped oversee the agency’s investigation into the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, tells NBC News there is “no doubt” that Moammar Gadhafi personally approved the bombing.
“There are two things that you can take to the bank,” said Frank Anderson, who served as the agency’s Near East affairs chief between 1991 and his retirement in 1995. “The first one is, Pan Am 103 was perpetrated by agents of the Libyan government. And the second thing is, that could not have happened without Moammar Gadhafi’s knowledge and consent.
“There is no question in my mind that Moammar Gadhafi authorized the bombing of Pan Am 103.”
The Libyan Madman’s life ended yesterday:
Moammar Gadhafi, Libya’s dictator for 42 years until he was ousted in an uprising-turned-civil war, was killed Thursday as revolutionary fighters overwhelmed his hometown of Sirte and captured the last major bastion of resistance two months after his regime fell.
The 69-year-old Gadhafi is the first leader to be killed in the Arab Spring wave of popular uprisings that swept the Middle East, demanding the end of autocratic rulers and the establishment of greater democracy.
“We have been waiting for this moment for a long time. Moammar Gadhafi has been killed,” Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril told a news conference in the capital of Tripoli.
There were conflicting accounts about Gadhafi’s final hours, with the interim government saying he was captured unharmed and later mortally wounded in the crossfire from both sides. A second account described how he was already wounded in the chest when he was seized and later sustained the other wounds.
Of course, President Barack Hussein Obama came on television yesterday morning, to take a verbal victory lap:
President Barack Obama hailed the lifting of the “dark tyranny” over Libya after the new government confirmed Muammar Gaddafi had been killed, issuing a warning to other dictators in the Middle East – and particularly Syria – that they could be next.
Although Obama did not name Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, it was he Obama had in mind when he said the rule of the iron fist in the Middle East is inevitably coming to an end. Those leaders that try to deny the push for democracy will not succeed, he predicted.
Obama was speaking in the White House Rose Garden after footage was shown worldwide of what appeared to be Gaddafi’s bloody corpse. “One of the world’s longest-serving dictators is no more,” the president said.
The Libyans had won their revolution and “the dark shadow of tyranny has been lifted,” Obama said.
Given the number of false claims in recent weeks that Gaddafi had been killed or captured, Obama was careful not to say categorically that he was dead.
Instead, he confined himself to a carefully chosen formula: “We can definitively say the Gaddafi regime has come to an end.”
He promised US help for Libya in establishing an interim government and in the holding of fair and free elections, but anticipated “difficult days ahead”.
Bin Laden, Awlaki, and now Gadhafi. For a Nobel Peace Prize winner, Obama sure has been involved in a bunch of killings, hasn’t he?
Not that any those guys didn’t deserve it…
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton chimed in later on Thursday:
“We came, we saw, he died,” she joked when told of news reports of Qaddafi’s death by an aide in between formal interviews.
Clinton was in Tripoli earlier this week for talks with leaders of Libya’s National Transitional Council (NTC).
The reporter asked if Qaddafi’s death had anything to do with her surprise visit to show support for the Libyan people.
“No,” she replied, before rolling her eyes and saying “I’m sure it did” with a chuckle.
There was a reason President Reagan didn’t finish off the late, unlamented Colonel Gadhafi. He didn’t need to. Gadhafi may have been crazy, but he wasn’t stupid: he kept his mouth shut and behaved himself for the next 20 years after his house was bombed.
So, what happens in Libya now that the Rebels are in charge?
On March 25th of this year, Paul Cruickshank and Tim Lister speculated:
Dr. Abdulmonem Hresha knows first hand how Moammar Gadhafi’s regime works. He says the seeds of his opposition were sown when he was age 10.
He and classmates were taken to witness the public execution of a political opponent of Gadhafi.
“They hung him up in front of thousands of small kids,” Hresha said. “He did that to scare people.”
Hresha, who taught physics at Tripoli University, later fled to Canada.
The prominent member of the Muslim Brotherhood now lives in London, and anticipates the group could become an important player in a post-Gadhafi environment.
As in Egypt and Tunisia, the Brotherhood in Libya has been energized by the sudden upheaval sweeping the Arab world.
It says it has no organizational links with the Brotherhood elsewhere, but shares the philosophy of the pan-Arab Islamist movement founded in Egypt in the 1920s.
Largely drawn from the devout educated middle classes and university campuses in Tripoli and Benghazi, the Libyan Muslim Brotherhood was founded in the mid-1950s.
Islamist opposition to the Libyan regime gathered force in the late 1980s, as part of a wider Islamic awakening or “Sahwa” in the region and in reaction to what many saw as an attempt by Gadhafi to hijack and interpret Islam for his own purposes.
While jihadists launched a brief but unsuccessful campaign to overthrow Gadhafi in the 1990s, the Brotherhood focused much of its efforts on clandestine preaching and social welfare efforts in Libya.
In 1998, Gadhafi’s security services launched a crackdown against the group that saw more than 200 members imprisoned and hundreds more forced into exile, including Hresha.
Despite years of repression, Hresha claims the Brotherhood still has thousands of members scattered across Libya, with chapters in almost every single town, including Sirte, Gadhafi’s birthplace on the coast west of Tripoli.
In 2006, its leaders were released after reconciling with the Libyan regime. But now the Brotherhood is siding with the rebellion…
We all know how well the involvement of the Muslim Brotherhood is working out for the Egyptians, especially the Coptic Christians, don’t we?
And the “Arab Spring” continues…