August 19, 2003
LIBYA: PAYMENTS AN ATTEMPT TO 'BUY BACK'
"admission of guilt" is a "big step" in his bid for
calculation" of political and economic interests, not remorse, motivated
** "Libyan model"
validates the efficacy of sanctions aimed at "hemming in" rogue
"predicament" over the UTA bombing could lead to a "new Franco-American
'Qadhafi is firmly determined to free himself from the pariah
image'-- Commentators worldwide
contended that Tripoli's "change of heart" indicates a desire to
return to the international community "at any price." Echoing a common sentiment, Germany's
left-leaning weekly Der Spiegel commented that Qadhafi has bought
"absolution from past sins."
Even though no sum can replace the lives lost, said Thailand's
moderately conservative Bangkok Post, payments will bring a "sliver
of justice" to the Lockerbie victims.
German and Saudi outlets expressed dismay that "anyone can commit
any stupidity, admit it, and then pay for it."
'Strategic interests' drove the decision to 'open up' Libya-- Although this is not his first effort at
"rehabilitation," Qadhafi "recognized the signs of the
time" after the Iraq war. After
years of U.S. and UN trade embargoes, Qadhafi wants to attract tourism and
investment to his "oil rich" nation.
Skeptics doubted Tripoli's "genuine remorse," citing Qadhafi's
funding of rogue regimes in Africa and pursuit of WMD. Britain's independent Economist warned
that Qadhafi could "turn nasty again."
The settlement represents 'a modest victory for tenacious
diplomacy'-- European commentators
lauded the sanctions for inducing Tripoli to admit culpability. Many analysts expressed optimism that
"war is not the first and only strategy against terrorism." According to Britain's independent Financial
Times, Libya demonstrates that rogue governments "can be contained and
brought back into line" with international law. "Starved" of investment, Qadhafi
"has cut or considerably reduced" his links to international terror. Israel's conservative Jerusalem Post
urged the international community to apply the "Libyan model" to Iran
France 'cannot disregard the lack of equality' for UTA
victims-- Pressing for greater
compensation for the UTA bombing, French journalists cautioned that
"France's diplomacy is right to consider a [UN] veto." Facing another potential conflict with
Washington and London, right-of-center Le Figaro lamented that "in
this battle France has no allies."
Charging that "France gains nothing" from a veto, a Polish
commentator warned of an "offended Libya...on the margins" and of the
UNSC "once again" proving itself a "body incapable of making
EDITOR: Andrew Borda
EDITOR'S NOTE: This analysis is based on 34 reports from 17
countries, August 12-20, 2003. Editorial
excerpts from each country are listed from the most recent date.
BRITAIN: "Engaging Libya"
The independent Financial Times asserted
(8/15): "Libya's decision to take
responsibility for the 1988 bombing of an airliner over Lockerbie in Scotland,
and to compensate the families of the 270 victims, can be seen as a modest
victory for tenacious diplomacy. While
offering no template for dealing with rogue states, it does suggest some of
them can be contained and brought back into line with international
law.... After being hemmed in by
sanctions and starved of investment, he [Mr. Qadhafi appears to have renounced
terrorism as an instrument of policy.
British diplomats took the lead in both softening up Libya and bringing
the U.S. to the point where this week's deal was feasible. The U.S. will not be lifting its own
bilateral sanctions--which precede the UN embargo--but Mr. Qadhafi now
understands the game enough to have made part of the Lockerbie compensation
contingent on their eventually doing so and has tied another portion of the
money to Libya's removal from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism. The U.S. should consider both these changes
in its approach to Libya (which is keen to attract American oil
companies). Such a policy of cautious
engagement would show there are alternatives to an Iraq [situation] and perhaps
encourage other countries on the state terror list, such as Iran and Syria,
with the prospect of getting off it."
"Compensation But No Real Justice"
The independent weekly Economist asserted
(8/14): "For the past five years, Muammar Qadhafi has been trying to pass
himself off as a reformed character. Hitherto
one of the world's leading sponsors of terrorism, Libya’s dictator decided in
1998 to hand over for trial two Libyans accused of planting the bomb that blew
up Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988. Having previously
trained many of the guerrillas who have wrought death and destruction across
Africa and elsewhere, he switched to playing peace broker in several African
conflicts. And he condemned the
September 11th terrorist attacks on America and provided information on groups
linked to al-Qaida.... The deal signed
this week is likely to aid Mr. Qadhafi in his quest for rehabilitation.... But
such moves do not yet mean that Mr. Qadhafi is a man that America and Europe
can do business with.... Though his
behavior has improved considerably of late, the mercurial Mr. Qadhafi could
quite conceivably turn nasty again, and still has the means to wreak
FRANCE: “Victims and Deals”
Bruno Frappat wrote in Catholic La Croix (8/20): “In the
big bazaar of global cynicism everything can be bought...including impunity for
dictators.... He who deals best gets
the best deal.... The Anglo-Americans,
decidedly the geo-political couple of the year, has just obtained Qadhafi’s
acknowledgment of Libya’s responsibility if not its culpability.... With this bartering deal Libya will see the
end of the UN sanctions and re-enter the international community of
nations.... This macabre accounting has
determined that the life of Pan Am’s passengers is worth more than that of
UTA’s passengers. This discrepancy is most probably equal to the distance that
lies between justice and cynicism. Criminal dictators of the world, you can
become rich as you make up for your crimes!”
Luc de Brochez noted in right-of-center Le Figaro (8/19): “France’s diplomacy is in the hands of
Colonel Qadhafi. He alone can save the
day.... But he can also plunge Paris
into the deepest of predicaments by refusing to agree to additional payments
for the victims of the UTA DC-10 explosion.
Paris would then find itself in the difficult situation of having to
choose between vetoing the lifting of UN sanctions against Libya and going back
on its stand. If it chooses to go with a
veto, Paris will once again find itself in opposition to Washington and London.... If France chooses to abstain, French
diplomacy runs the risk of ridiculing itself.... In this battle France has no allies.... But it can find solace in the fact that it is
literally fighting for widows and orphans.
Nevertheless France’s dilemma remains.
The only way for France to come out unscathed would be if Colonel
Qadhafi were to make a quick financial gesture.
Otherwise France will have to go to battle, alone and with few weapons.”
“Libya: A Veto for Equality”
Right-of-center Le Figaro remarked (8/18): “Libya’s claim
that it is being blackmailed is ludicrous.
If it weren’t for the 170 victims of the UTA DC 10 aircraft, one might
be tempted to laugh. While it is
legitimate for Colonel Qadhafi to seek some sort of international legitimacy,
Libya has committed too many crimes for it not to pay the highest possible
price. Libya thought it was enough to
settle the Lockerbie issue. But Libya is
forgetting the fact that the sanctions can only be lifted by the UN and that
France is part of the UN Security Council.
France’s diplomacy is right to be considering a veto unless the families
of the UTA crash victims are treated like those of the Lockerbie crash.
Qadhafi’s cavalier conduct seems to confirm once again that the U.S. manages
world order as it pleases.... France, by
positioning itself once more in opposition to the U.S., wants to remind
everyone that reestablishing relations with Libya must be a concerted
effort.... It would be unfortunate if
France’s legitimate request were to lead to a new Franco-American crisis at the
“A Controversial Fistful of Libyan Dollars.”
Right-of-center Les Echos editorialized (8/18): “Colonel
Qadhafi has managed to divide France and the U.S. and Great Britain.... This is more a victory of Anglo-Saxon lawyers
than international justice. The
agreement reached with Libya raises a number of questions, not the least of
them whether a nation can buy back its international standing thanks to a
fistful of dollars.... France cannot
disregard the lack of equality between the agreement for the Lockerbie victims
and the promises made for the UTA victims.... France, which is threatening to
use its veto, is not alone in its opposition to a lifting of the
sanctions. The Bush administration's
hawks are not fully in favor of it and Washington may abstain at the UNSC. The U.S. is expected to maintain its
bilateral sanctions against Libya which is accused of seeking WMD. This in itself is a paradox since the payment
to the Lockerbie victims is tied to the lifting of the bilateral sanctions.”
GERMANY: "Qadhafi's Cloak"
Left-of-center Frankfurter Rundschau
stated (8/20): "The French ambassador to the UN is right when he compares
the compensation sums which Libya is willing to pay to the relatives of the
victims of the Lockerbie attack and to the victims of the French airliner for
which Libya is also responsible. An
unequal treatment of nationalities is outrageous. But this discrepancy between the U.S. and
Europe should not have be reason for France to allow the UN resolution on Libya
to fail.... We cannot get rid of the
impression that Qadhafi bought himself free....
Qadhafi, who was formerly the host of African freedom fighters and
asylum seekers, who helped European groups he considered freedom fighters, has
taken off his revolutionary cloak. That
is why the sanctions will fall. From
London to New York people have learned that Libya has taken part for years in
the fight against terrorism, extradited criminals, and issued international
arrest warrants, for instance against Usama bin Laden at a time when U.S.
intelligence service did not even know how to spell his name."
Center-right Frankfurter Allgemeine argued (8/18):
"The overall sum,
which Libya will now pay is considerable even for a state that is rich in
oil. It is a silent admission of guilt
for a terrorist past, in which it is still difficult to prove who must be
blamed for what. But more important than
words are the deeds with which the aging revolutionary leader is trying to show
that he has broken with the past....
Since we cannot expect regime change in Libya since there is no
opposition, Qadhafi will remain present for the international community for
quite some time to come. But he wants to
return to this community at any price.
This wish continues to offer the chance to exert influence [on Libya]
from the outside. For instance with
respect to human and civil rights in Libya."
Major independent left-leaning weekly Der
Spiegel expressed (Internet Version 8/17): "For two decades,
Libyan revolutionary leader Muammar Qadhafi reveled in the role of
world-ranking rogue. He instigated bomb
attacks and murders, and passengers on board fully laden airliners plunged to
their deaths at his command. Now that he
has turned 60, he prefers to pose as a reformed, moderate statesman, a partner
in the fight against Usama Bin Laden.
His present priority being to buy his absolution from past sins.... This change of heart is likely to have been
motivated less by genuine remorse than by the desert state's tangible political
and economic interests: Libya would
like the U.S. and the UN to at last lift their trade embargoes.... It remains doubtful whether Qadhafi will
manage to get the sanctions lifted: the view of the world may turn out to be
that the crimes were just too heinous."
Center-right Frankfurter Allgemeine noted (8/15): "The
establishment of a compensation fund for bereaved family members of the
Lockerbie attacks from 1988 will certainly speed up Colonel Qadhafi's
rapprochement with the rest of the world.
They know that the establishment of this fund is a Libyan admission of
guilt, but they criticize that Qadhafi is saved from a 'profound and
independent investigation' of the crime....
Will the Tripoli regime now find a way to show consideration for these
arguments? Washington and Tripoli have
tried for quite some time to improve relations.... Qadhafi wants to be deleted from the U.S.
list of those who are considered terrorists.
It may even be his dream to take part in the Steuben parade."
"Not Forgotten, Not Forgiven"
Centrist Der Tagesspiegel of Berlin remarked (8/15):
"The Usama bin Laden of the 80s returns to the bosom of the international
community. Muammar al Qadhafi the
murderer from the La Belle discotheque and Lockerbie will be deleted from the
list of those who support international terrorism...and sanctions against Libya
will be lifted. For moral purists,
including the family members of the Lockerbie crash, this looks like a
defeat.... But we need not be cynics to
welcome the compensation agreement. The
payment of money and, admittedly, the vague declaration...are clear: they are
an admission of guilt. And it is made
clear to a world that is increasingly unable to differ between historical truth
and political conspiracy that Qadhafi ordered the killing of 270 people over
Scotland. With this knowledge we can
return to the everyday agenda, i.e. return to those who are still on the
"The Lockerbie Deal"
Roland Heine argued in left-of-center Berliner Zeitung
(8/15): "It would be appropriate to consider the Lockerbie case to be
concluded after such a spectacular step of the Libyan side. But neither the expected declaration from
Tripoli to the UN Security Council nor the expected money payments will give us
certainty about the events surrounding PanAm flight 103 on December 21,
1988. It is well possible that the
Libyan leadership, in view of international pressure, only confesses what it
had planned and ordered...but so many imponderables and contradictions remain
that another hypothesis cannot be ignored.
Qadhafi is firmly determined to free himself from the pariah image. But without concessions in the Lockerbie
case, he will fail, regardless of whether or not he was the organizer of the
attack.... If the United Nations, in
return for Libya's concessions, really lifted the sanctions on Libya, which
have thus far only been suspended, then this would be an important success for
Libya's leader. If the U.S. then also
lifted its sanctions, the greatest danger for Qadhafi should be over. U.S. oil companies have been pushing
Washington anyway not to build permanent obstacles that could prevent them from
striking promising deals with Libya."
"All Is Well That Ends Well?"
Centrist Mitteldeutsche Zeitung editorialized (8/15):
"The family members of the U.S. victims have a different view and want
Qadhafi to be put on trial. In view of
their suffering, this demand is understandable, but it remains unrealistic. It is surprising enough that Qadhafi
extradited his agents to justice authorities and allowed others to force him to
publicly confess his guilt and to accept compensation payments. Saddam Hussein or Kim Jong-il would certainly
not have been willing to do this. What
remains is the insight that terrorist attacks can be atoned for and that war is
not the first and only strategy against terrorism."
"A Bit Of Satisfaction"
Right-of-center Hamburger Abendblatt contended (8/15):
"Despite the billions in compensation payments to the family members of
the victims of Lockerbie, Libya's revolutionary leader Qadhafi remains a
dictator. But the ruler in Tripoli has
recognized the signs of the time. Iraq's
example demonstrated to him that short work is made of rogue states, and this
is likely to have improved Qadhafi's willingness to pay. It is true that the family members will not
get back their next-of-kin, but maybe they feel at least a bit of
Right-of-center Die Welt of Berlin
asserted (8/13): "If an accommodation with Libya is now within reach...we
could be tempted to speak in a cynical way of a deal where a criminal buys
himself the freedom of prosecution. But
as a matter of fact, Libya has cut or considerably reduced its links to terror
thanks to international sanctions.
Training camps were closed, Islamic militants extradited to Egypt and
Jordan, and the Palestinian Abu Nidal terrorist group was deported to Iraq. Following 9/11, Libya's intelligence service
even cooperated with the U.S. Muammar
Qadhafi remains a dictator, and blood sticks to his hands. But he has, unlike Saddam Hussein, recognized
the signs of the time. And they are not
favorable for rogue states."
ITALY: "Qadhafi’s Conversion With
In a front-page, lengthy editorial Sandro Viola commented in
left-leaning, influential La Repubblica (8/19): “Qadhafi is putting himself back within the
rules with all western powers...and recognizes ‘his agents’ responsibility’ in
the Lockerbie case.... In other words, Qadhafi
is about to go back with all rights into the international community. And in order to be readmitted, he does not
count the dollars, especially to the Americans.... Qadhafi wants to open up his country to the
world, as is happening in neighboring Tunisia.
He wants to open up the beautiful beaches and the desert to the
Qadhafi Comes Back Into The World Looking At
Igor Man opined in centrist, influential La
Stampa (8/17): “ The ‘Lockerbie case’ has been settled. Tripoli recognized it was guilty. Why did Qadhafi...decide to declare he was
guilty today? After 15 years of
problems... Qadhafi has finally realized that in order to overcome the tough
sanctions imposed on Libya by the international community 11 years ago, he had
to admit he was guilty.... But his
admission coincides with the Italian EU Presidency. Those who know Qadhafi...do not rule out the
possibility that he decided to do it now that Europe is becoming
stronger...ready to become the third world superpower, between the East and The
West, between what remains of the former Soviet Empire and the U.S., which is
carrying out its ‘crusade’ against terrorism.
Indeed, it is also true that the U.S. renewed its distance from
Qadhafi...but we should not forget that during all these many years of embargo,
the only foreigners who were free to go to Libya without a visa were, and are,
the Americans. Politics is one
thing. Business is another matter.”
BULGARIA: "The Deep-rooted Plan"
Mass-circulation Trud expressed (8/20):
"Why did Bulgaria, along with Great Britain, draft the UN resolution on
waiving the sanctions against Libya?
Probably because the U.S. is feeling uncomfortable doing this by itself. Official Washington regards Libya as a rogue
state, part of the "axis of evil."
On the other hand, the American companies are looking forward to the
opening of the Libyan market and the utilization of the Libyan oil.... That's why the U.S. has left the initiative
with two of its most loyal allies at the UN Security Council--Great Britain and
CROATIA: "A Double Life"
Privately owned Zagreb Jutarnji List
stated (8/12): "As is known, Libya is one of 'those countries' marked by
international-community criticisms for an undemocratic authority, links to
terrorism, and sanctions, as well as one of the countries that are regularly
mentioned when concealed international-business patterns are brought to
light. Since the wrapping-up of the
trial of the perpetrators of the brutal terrorist attack on an airplane over
the Scottish city of Lockerbie, whom Libya extradited, the situation in
connection with that country has been improving. European airplanes fly to Libya regularly,
and Qadhafi has been receiving European businessmen for several years
already. Nevertheless, the international
community is cautious in the transparency of its relations with Libya, because that
country is still under U.S. sanctions and on U.S. lists of sponsors of
terrorism. In truth, the situation with
Libya should not be regarded as essentially different from the situation with
Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Iran, or any of the Near-Eastern countries that lead a
double life due to Western political divisions: On one hand, they cooperate
seriously with Western democracies in business operations worth billions of
dollars, and, on the political plane, they strive to open up, modernize, and
democratize; on the other, they have a lot of trouble with unpredictable
reports by Western intelligence and counterterrorism services and the
accusations contained in them."
HUNGARY: “A New Lesson of Lockerbie”
Pro-government left wing Nepszava asserted (8/16): “My
intention with the article I wrote some months ago was to remind...that the
PanAm bombing in 1988 had been a forerunner of the terrorist attacks against
the twin towers in New York. No military
retaliation against Libya followed for Lockerbie that time. Muammar Qadhafi was not liquidated, although
the culprits had been identified and called to go before an international
court. Qadhafi probably, is now going to
try to bargain [with the Americans], also in the belief that Libya’s oil is an
important ‘card’ [in his hands] at the talks.
Today one has to see that the sequence [of acts] was wrong. First the sting should have been taken out of
[the Libyan regime]. Then, once the old
regime [of Qadhafi had paid for bombing the PanAm, a new regime could have paid
[a compensation] to the victims. Had
Qadhafi been retaliated for the death of 270 people, the history of the
Middle-East terrorism could have, maybe, developed differently too. Whether September 11 would have happened, we
don't know either. And perhaps even the
war in Iraq would have not happened, had Lockerbie not been left without a
response that time.”
NORWAY: “Libya’s Responsibility And Terrorism”
The newspaper-of-record Aftenposten commented (8/18):
“Libya has now, after 15 years and a long-lasting international process,
formally taken responsibility for the bomb that shattered a PanAm plane over
Lockerbie in Scotland right before Christmas in 1988.... Brigadier Muammar Qadhafi must have concluded
that terrorism is not a good political tool as relations in the world are
now. We can’t disregard that the Libyan
will of cooperation has been strengthened by the U.S.’ Iraq invasion. But at the same time is it worth noting that
Libya was moving on this long before Iraq was the hottest international
issue. Both Qadhafi the U.S. and other
countries should learn that there are alternatives to war to solve
international problems, however complex and unsolvable they might seem”.
POLAND: Qadhafi To Pay For Sins”
Liberal Gazeta Wyborcza asserted (8/18):
“Parting with terrorism is not another of Qadhafi’s whims, but the result of
sheer human fear for life, and cold calculation. The Libyan Colonel has calculated that
without American oil money he will never drag his country out of poverty, while
the 3 billion dollars in compensation will soon be paid back when the Americans
start buying Libyan oil.”
“The French Blackmail”
Grzegorz Dobiecki wrote in centrist Rzeczpospolita (8/18):
“The crisis in Paris’ relations with Washington and London over the Iraqi
intervention is not yet gone for good, and it appears that a new one is
approaching. France demands that Libya
pay the families of victims of the UTA airplane bombing…the same compensation
it offered to the families of the PanAm bombing. If Tripoli does not pay, Paris will not agree
to lift UN sanctions on Libya.... And
this is the worst-case scenario. An
offended Libya remains on the margins, and also on the list of countries
supporting terrorism; France gains nothing, the U.S. and Great Britain ultimately
lose trust in their former ally, and the Security Council proves once again to
be a body incapable of making crucial decisions. Unlike the Iraqi crisis, France cannot teach
anyone lessons of moral behavior, because it is fighting not for principles,
but for others’ money it envied.”
"The Libyan Model"
Conservative, independent Jerusalem Post
editorialized (8/19): "On December 21, 1988, 270 people were murdered when
a bomb felled Pan Am Flight 103 near the town of Lockerbie, Scotland. Now, following Libya's admission of
responsibility for the attack and agreement to pay USD 2.7 billion in compensation
to the victims' families, the UN is set to lift sanctions on Libya. Should this be considered a victory or a
surrender in the war against terrorism?....
Perhaps the chastening of Libya will prove to be short-lived and a poor
substitute for regime change. The more
immediate question, however, is why the Libyan model is not being applied to
the most active, unchastened sponsors of terrorism today: Iran and
Syria.... In the case of Iran, the
Libyan model may not be sufficient to either prevent Teheran's rapid
nuclearization or trigger regime change, but massive international sanctions
are a minimal step in the right direction.
Syrian behavior as well begs for serious sanctions that give meaning to
the platitudes of unacceptability of support for terrorism. It is understandable that nations resist
supporting military invasions and taking over countries, as was finally
necessary in Iraq. The alternative is
not to do nothing, but rather to ban flights, recall advisers, freeze assets,
and downgrade relations as was done successfully against Libya."
SAUDI ARABIA: "Mercenary Irritation"
English-language Arab News commented
(8/20): "Paris' irritation is mercenary, albeit understandable. It dresses up its objections in high moral
terms, accusing Washington and London of ignoring the UTA victims, who included
Americans and Britons, but this is all about money. France is annoyed that the U.S. has gotten a
better deal than the one it hammered out with Libya last year.... If they got it wrong--as they clearly
did--that is their fault. The French
government does not want to admit to its public that it miscalculated."
"An International Tribal Peace"
London's influential Al-Sharq al-Awsat
remarked (8/18): "The Libyan letter admitting responsibility for the death
of the American civil airliner passengers deserves a solemn celebration of the
occasion. The Arabs have succeeded, for
the first time, in imposing their conditions on the international community and
in bringing the concepts of tribal peace and blood money to the international
community, and specifically to the United Nations, for the first time in its
history.... But the France tribe is
apparently not happy with this tribal peace and is demanding the payment of a
large sum of money for the death of several members of the French tribe in a
similar incident in which the France tribe accused the Libyan one of
responsibility for it. There is
therefore no responsibility, no economic sanctions, and no principles in
international politics. Anyone can commit
any stupidity, admit it, and then pay for it.... By God, we do not wish to harm Libya or its
people. By God, we are not inciting
against Libya. But we ask, with deep
sorrow, about the tragedy of committing stupidities, helping terrorists, killing
civilians, and then admitting this publicly under the pressure of threats and
paying a terrific sum of money from the ordinary Libyan's funds to the families
of the victims of the Lockerbie plane without all this contravening the
pan-Arab concepts, the resonant slogans, and the green and yellow books and
without moving a single hair of any of those carrying the pan-Arabism slogans
and the "pure Arabism" stars on the Arab revolutionary satellite
"Lockerbie Compensations: A Lesson To
London-based, independent Al-Quds al-Arabi
commented (8/16): "Libya is in an
extremely embarrassing situation because of this. Since the Libyan authorities have agreed to
give larger sums of money in reimbursements to the US victims, then it has to
expect this French demand of equal treatment.
The Libyan cow that is being milked has already signed; this is why
there were many French, British, and US knives ready to attack. It is unfortunate that Libya, who is paying
the price of its pro-Arab positions, is standing alone today facing these
blackmail attempts without any Arab support....
The blood of Libyan and the Egyptian passengers on this plane who were
martyred is not cheaper than the blood of the Americans, British, and
"The Agreement Does Not Include an
Admission of Responsibility for the Incident"
Influential London-based Al-Sharq al-Awsat
opined (8/14): "Abd-al-Basit al-Miqrahi has criticized the way the Arab
media has dealt with the publicized settlement agreement between Libya and the
U.S. and the suggestion that the agreement includes an admission of
responsibility for the Lockerbie incident, which is inaccurate. Al-Miqrahi, who is currently serving a life
sentence in Barlinnie jail (Scotland), said that 'Libya's acceptance of the
trial and the ruling issued by the court which looked into the case does not
mean that it accepts responsibility. It
does mean however the acceptance of the court ruling and the respect of
JORDAN: "Lockerbie Costs 2.7 Billion
Pro-government, influential Al-Rai stated
(8/14): "There is no reason not to believe the Tripoli Government when it
accepted moral and financial responsibility for the downing of a Pan Am flight
over Lockerbie.... Following years of harm
and an embargo inflicted on the Libyan people Colonel Qadhafi might naturally
feel that he "fooled" the U.S. and Britain and bought their tragedy
with some Libyan money.... The Lockerbie
case and its ending bring us back once again to the heartbreak from
revolutionists, dictators, and militants."
LEBANON: “The Lockerbie Ambush After the Road
Conservative, pro-Sunni Al-Liwaa argued
(8/19): “The first impression one gets while reading between the lines of the
settlement between Libya and the American administration is that ‘Bushism’ has
managed to draw ‘Qadhafism’ to an ambush and that it had bad intentions from
doing so.... What happened with Libya is
the same thing that happened to the Palestinians regarding the Road Map. The Bush administration drew the Palestinians
into the ‘Map Ambush’.... Just as the
Palestinians carried out what was asked of them--most importantly the naming of
a Cabinet whose Prime Minister was accepted by the Americans and Sharon--the
manipulation started and the American voices along with the Sharonian voices
started calling ‘it was not enough’....
In our assessment, the many parties that advised Colonel Qadhafi to end
the Lockerbie problem and that exerted efforts to convince the Palestinians
into responding to the American demands now feel annoyed and tricked by the
Bush administration.... And in light of
the Lockerbie Ambush and the Map Ambush it is better for many Arab parties to
look into the American friend’s games attentively. A friend from whose friendship not much can
be expected until the opposite is proven.”
"An Old Terrorist Dodges Justice"
The lead editorial in top-circulation, moderately conservative,
English language Bangkok Post held (8/19): “The cash deal that Libya made through the
UNSC last week will bring a sliver of justice to the 270 innocent victims
aboard Pan Am flight 103 and on the ground in 1988.... The Libyan dictator himself continues to escape
justice over the bombing of both Pan Am 103 and an equally horrendous bombing
of a French UTA airliner over Africa in 1989.
Time may heal some wounds, but dictators like Colonel Qadhafi hardly
deserve to walk away from terrible crimes....
The UN is now poised to remove the sanctions against Libya, and agree to
drop all claims to future legal proceedings.
In other words, Col. Qadhafi makes a plea bargain, pays a huge fine and
the Libyan walks. It is said by many that
sanctions do not work. But sometimes
they do. Libya is proof of that. A worldwide, UN-endorsed system of sanctions
has forced Col. Qadhafi to admit responsibility for two of the most atrocious
terrorist attacks in history, and
provide restitution to the families of his victims. It is a step forward. But it cannot be a substitute for making
terrorists and their sponsors face justice and pay properly for their crimes.”
VIETNAM: "Once the Veto Is Used "
Ho Chi Minh City 's Communist Youth Party Tuoi Tre
commented (8/20) "Libya finally bows to pressure from the US to pay 2.7
billion U.S. dollars as compensation to 270 victims who died in the 1988
Lockerbie airplane bombing in exchange for a resolution lifting UN
sanctions. The French Foreign Minister
said that France will use its veto to prevent the resolution. This could be one in a series of recent
conflicts between the U.S. and France since World War II, especially after the
U.S. bypassed the UN to attack Iraq.
However, this reminds people to think about the future of the UN Security
Council and the international environment. The war against Iraq proved that the
UN Security Council does not have power to control one nation. In the case of Libya, there poses a threat
that the UN Security Council can become a stage for powerful countries to
perform their political games."
BURKINA FASO: "Libya-United States: Blackmail, Cash,
Privately owned, pro-opposition Ouagadougou Le Pays
asserted (8/14): Muammar Qadhafi has, apparently, decided to raise high the
image of his country in international relations. He has been doing everything in his power for
the past couple of months to get rid of the burden hanging over the
country.... But, this obvious situation
covers up strategic interests, and each party seems keen to take maximum
advantage of it.... Suddenly, Libya,
which for a long time has been dragged in the mud by the western powers, has
become a star, irrespective of the tag put on it. The fact still remains that it is gradually
becoming a courted actor and thus respected by the great powers. Muammar al-Qadhafi is thus breathing a sigh
of relief, and this will, probably, enable him to regain his position among
nations and in international relations.
By their acceptance of dealing with Libya, the U.S. and Great Britain
have indicated that they understand they can do business with Muammar
al-Qadhafi. The leader of the Libyan
revolution rules a very rich country, which is a well-known fact. Given that the Bush administration has its
well-defined political and economic interests, it is only natural that it is
trying to patch up the pieces.... In a
nutshell, if the embargo on Libya is lifted after the compensation of the
families of the victims, Muammar al-Qadhafi will, inevitably, enter the ranks
of the great."
CANADA: "Libya Pays For Terror"
The liberal Toronto Star editorialized
(8/19): "It has taken 15 years, but Libyan leader Muammar Qadhafi's pariah
regime is finally being forced to shell out some compensation for bombing a Pan
Am airliner over Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988, killing 270 people.... Over the years, UN sanctions and isolation
have cost Libya a breathtaking $50 billion in lost oil sales and other
costs. That loss will never be
recovered. The UN squeezed Libya hard in
1992.... The Security Council deserves
credit for keeping the pressure on.
Qadhafi's offer of compensation now has France pressing for hefty
reparations in the similar 1989 mid-air bombing by Libyans of a French aircraft
with 170 aboard. Payments cannot bring back the victims. But Qadhafi's regime
has at least been held to account for a hideous crime. And that is some
comfort. It puts others on notice that the world is resolved to exact a price
from those who practice terror."