Hit & Run

Words to Disarm By

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Did nearly two decades of sanctions and isolation finally force Moammar Gaddafi to submit to WMD inspections? Doubtless they did. Yet even this analysis from The Washington Post, written to celebrate the fruits of multilateralism, cites officials to observe that, "Whether by coincidence or fear that Libya might be targeted, Gaddafi's envoys approached Britain on the eve of the Iraq war to discuss a deal."

In that context, it may be worth recalling this story from earlier this year. It appeared in Britain's Telegraph on April 9 (which, according to the reported timeline, is shortly after Gaddafi approached Britain) and quotes an Italian official on the Libyan leader's response to the Iraq war.

"A spokesman for Mr Berlusconi said the prime minister had been telephoned recently by Col Gaddafi of Libya, who said: 'I will do whatever the Americans want, because I saw what happened in Iraq, and I was afraid.'"