An unprecedented step in America's War on Terror was taken on Monday, as the Secretary of State issued a statement revealing that the US will restore full diplomatic relations with Libya. This move serves both as a historic triumph over past US-Libyan tensions and as another example of the Bush administration's enigmatic foreign policy.
What is surprising is that this decision was made despite the fact that Muammar al-Quadhafi remains the country's leader. It was under his despotic government that the US broke ties with Libya in 1980 after Quadhafi ordered hit squads to eliminate Libyan dissidents who had fled the country and were living abroad. Soon after, in 1986, a bomb exploded in a Berlin nightclub killing 3 and wounding 200, an act widely attributed to Libyan-sponsored terrorism. In response, Reagan bombed the town of Libyan Benghazi and several military outposts.
The conundrum exists not in America's decision to get friendly with Libya once again, but that the decision clearly violates the administration's policy of dealing with known terrorist states. And just when they were convinced Quadhafi had changed, he gave this statement during an interview on al-Jazeera TV on April 10:
"We have fifty million Muslims in Europe. There are signs that Allah will grant Islam victory in Europe - without swords, without guns, without conquests. The fifty million Muslims of Europe will turn it into a Muslim continent within a few decades. Europe is in a predicament, and so is America. They should agree to become Islamic in the course of time, or else declare war on the Muslims." (interview on Al-Jazeera TV. Qatar - April 10, 2006)"