Somehow America’s most prominent chest-beating war-hawks feel legitimate in fear-mongering about Gaddafi’s most recent charades, real or percieved, in a desperate attempt to retroactively justify U.S.-NATO intervention. First, as Dan Larison reported upon, we have Lindsey Graham chiming in with this little number:
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) warned on Tuesday that Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi is “serious” about attacking European cities in order to pressure European officials to cease their airstrikes against Libya.
“He actually means it,” Graham said of Gadhafi. “Hitler meant it. He means it.”
Aside from the Hitler reference making him a terrible fool, Graham is emphasizing a security threat that is a result of the intervention. And still further, the suggestion that all of Europe – with their superior militaries and military alliances – is at any considerable risk from Gaddafi strikes me as a bit of fantasy.
But it doesn’t end there. Marc Thiessen of the American Enterprise Institute may recognize the stupid futility of directly comparing Gaddafi to Hitler, so he instead paints this threat to Europe as a virtual operational alliance with al Qaeda, in the Mad Dog’s triumphant return to terrorism:
Last week, Gary Schmitt posted a disturbing report that Libyan government arms might be flowing to al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). He noted that, while to date the worry has been that elements of al Qaeda were infiltrating the ranks of the Libyan rebel forces, “if the above intelligence is correct, the greater worry may be a Gaddafi willing to strike back at the United States and its NATO allies by supplying weapons to terrorists.”
Well no sooner had Gary posted his concerns, than Gaddafi issued exactly such a threat.
Interesting how he phrased that: “the worry has been that elements of al Qaeda were infiltrating” rebel forces. Another way to say it is the way that Libyan rebel commanders as well as top U.S. officials have said it, that the Libyan rebels have had some ties to al Qaeda from the very beginning. This doesn’t register in the neo-con mind, though; it’s too contradictory, too cynical. This is how it strikes most people until they realize that just about every post-9/11 war has emboldened al Qaeda to some extent.
Thiessen of course has to go over the rap sheet:
This no idle threat, coming from the man who blew up Pan Am 103 over Scotland, killing 270 people; destroyed a French passenger jet over Niger, killing 171 people; bombed the La Belle discotheque in West Berlin, killing two U.S. soldiers and injuring more than 50 American servicemen; established terrorist training camps on Libyan soil; provided terrorists with arms and safe haven; and plotted to kill leaders in Saudi Arabia, Chad, Egypt, Sudan, Tunisia, and Zaire.
First of all, if these are such unforgivable crimes portending future terrorism from the Gaddafi regime, why in the world were these same neo-con scoundrels shaking hands with Gaddafi and making deals about supporting him militarily just a few years ago? Secondly, Thiessen apparently forgot to mention that the United States government is guilty of all of those types of terrorist crimes to a degree which leaves Gaddafi looking like a dime store thief.