December 20, 2003

Libyan WMD: Libya's effect on the US

Could it be that the Bush administration's attitude toward the UN's weapons inspection infrastrucutere was substantially altered by the Libyan secret negotiations on its own WMD? Imagine for a moment that you are George Bush. You know that Libya has WMD programs because the Libyans are telling you so. No doubt, you make sure that somebody makes an analysis of exactly how Libya has been fooling the UN inspection system and how worthless that system is to actually protecting your national security through the NPT and the chem/bio disarmament convention. You've come up with the conclusion that any of two dozen nations could be in violation of these treaties and the enforcement groups would never know it.

What do you do? Who do you trust?

I think that Libya has certainly influenced US policy on Iran. US and UK attitudes toward Iranian WMD policy have been markedly different than the rest of the world and evidence that Libya has got clean away with having a program (much as Romania did under Ceausescu) means that the enforcers have learned nothing sufficient to stop an unending series of replays of the scary case of Romania who was successful at making weapons grade nuclear material in small quantities. If there was anything that the old communist system was good at, it was super sizing industrial processes to gargantuan quantities.

Fortunately, Romania had a revolution and the new government was willing to trade bomb capability for a power-plant complex (Cernavoda 1-4). Thanks Canada! Likely Libya is negotiating a similar deal. Is it rational for a country to assume that fortune will always smile on the side of civilization?

Posted by TMLutas at December 20, 2003 11:01 AM