Skip to comments.US Congressional delegation begins visit to Libya
Posted on 02/13/2004 10:24:07 PM PST by yonif
A US Congressional delegation arrived in Libya Friday on a one-day visit to meet with leader Moammar Gadhafi and other officials, a government official said.
The delegation of six members of the House of Representatives, invited by Libyan government officials, arrived in the coastal city of Sirte earlier Friday.
The group first met Al-Zanati Mohammed Al-Zanati, speaker of the People's Congress. Details of their talks were not available.
They are expected to meet with Gadhafi before their departure Friday evening.
In January, another congressional delegation and a separate trip by Representative Tom Lantos marked the first visits to Libya by any members of the US Congress in more than 30 years.
The United States imposed sanctions in 1986, accusing Libya of supporting terrorist groups. UN sanctions were imposed on Libya for its role in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, that killed 270 people. The sanctions were suspended in 1999 when Libya handed over two suspects for trial, one of whom was convicted.
The handover was part of increased efforts by Gadhafi to end his international isolation. He has also admitted he had tried to develop weapons of mass destruction - including a nuclear bomb - and invited UN, American and British inspectors to inspect his weapons programs and dismantle them.
The Congress members are Jane Harman, a Californian Democrat; Dutch Ruppersberger, a Maryland Democrat; Sherwood Boehlert, a New York Republican; Peter Hoekstra, a Michigan Republican; Jim Gibbons, a Nevadan Republican; and John Sweeney, a New York Republican. All but Sweeney serve on the House Intelligence Committee.
Although Libya expelled the Abu Nidal organization and distanced itself from the Palestinian rejectionists in 1999, it continued to have contact with groups that use violence to oppose the Middle East Peace Process, including the Palestine Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command.
What kinds of terrorists has Libya supported? Qaddafi has provided training, weapons, funding, safe haven, or other support to several Palestinian terrorist organizations and to the Irish Republican Army, the Basque separatist group ETA, and Sierra Leones Revolutionary United Front, experts say. In 1999, Libya helped negotiate the release of a group of international hostages held by the Abu Sayyaf Group, a Philippine terrorist group with ties to Osama bin Ladens al-Qaeda network. Libya said it was being helpful, but the State Department warned that letting Abu Sayyaf receive ransom for hostages served only to encourage further terrorism.
If the US is to stick to its doctrine on terrorism, adopted after 9/11, terrorism should not be rewarded. The great good demands that we do not give levy to terrorists and their supporters. Only by sticking to our principles will we be able to defeat terrorism, its harborers around the world, and militant Islam.
I see no benefit by "cooperating" with a terrorist dictator who practices militant Islam and funds terror groups working to murder us.
This gives us excellent leverage in dealing with other rogue nations.
Rogue nations will see this as a weakness, and therefore will try to make it look like they want to "cooperate" with the US too, to get pressure off their backs.
We cannot forcibly remove each and every dictator. We would have allowed Saddam to leave. We are working on diplomatic efforts with North Korea. The list goes on...Syria, Lebanon, Iran.
I agree we cannot forcibly remove each and every terrorist dictator. But it doesn't mean we can't treat every terrorist dictator the same - that is, no diplomatic relations, no recognition, etc. until they change their terrorist ways and until the dictators step down. Sure we are working on North Korea, Syria, Iran, but we are treating them all the same, as terrorists, who should have no international recognition, but isolation.
Just what is it that you think we should do with Libya and how that is better than what is happening?
Treat them as a terrorist state in terms of making them isolated, diplomatically weak, and financialy unstable, just like we treat the terrorist states of North Korea, Syria and Iran.
I'm sorry yonif, but I think you may be thinking emotionally and not realistically about this one.
I appreciate your opinion. All I am saying that the US needs to stick to its principles and doctrine regarding the new war on terrorism it launched on 9/11/2001. He who supports, incites, harbors, or funds terrorists is a terrorist himself. Qaddafi fits that description accurately. Moving away from these principles make us weak and makes us look like we aren't serious.
Sure, Qaddafi could be giving up his WMD, which I don't believe, but it does not matter in terms of the big picture of who the US is targetting. With or without weapons, Qaddafi remains a militant Islamic terrorist leader who should not be dealt with, and kept isolated.
The armies are militant as long as the leadership leading them is militant and the society itself follows the militant Islamic doctrine and viewpoint of the world.
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