Qaddafi wins 495

Charles Krauthammer calls the release of al-Megrahi (see our two posts below) ‘decadence masquerading as compassion’.  Brilliantly right-on!

Abe Greenwald writes at Commentary’s ‘contentions’ website:

Qaddafi is due in New York next month to address the United Nations. In preparation for his first-ever trip to the U.S., the arms supplier for everyone from Idi Amin to Charles Taylor has requested that he be allowed to set up his Bedouin-style tent somewhere on U.S. soil and reside in it when not at the General Assembly lectern. Whether Qaddafi ends up on Central Park’s Great Lawn or at the New York Palace, the Libyan leader, who himself is believed to have played a crucial role in the Lockerbie bombing, will be hosted in the U.S. It kind of takes the sting off the moralistic denunciations which emanated from Washington yesterday.

The American State Department and the UN are hardly alone in pretending that Qaddafi has become a reliable Western ally. He was an honored guest at last month’s G8 meeting in Italy, where he met personally with England’s prime minister, Gordon Brown. Moreover, British Petroleum is launching its biggest exploration project in oil-rich Libya. Needless to say, the Russians are also interested in Libya’s oil and natural-gas reserves, but so far Qaddafi seems partial to Western countries whose technologies hold the most promise for full production.

Yesterday, Hillary Clinton condemned Megrahi’s release. But on what grounds can Secretary Clinton denounce the actions of Scotland’s authorities? She is on the record as a fan of Qaddafi’s “rehabilitation.” So too is President Obama. In all likelihood, the thriving, jet-setting Qaddafi played a more important role in the killing of 189 Americans in the 1988 midair bombing than did the dying Megrahi.

Not incidentally, it is Qaddafi, and not Megrahi, who presides over a government that is a human-rights abomination. A still active law passed in 1972 states that Libyans who “exercise their rights to freedom of expression and association may face the death penalty.” There are no independent human-rights NGOs in Libya, there is no asylum law, and foreign nationals are tortured and sometimes executed without recourse.

As the U.S.—the indispensable guardian of justice and human rights—continues to buddy up to individuals like Qaddafi (and Kim Jong-il and Manuel Zelaya and Gen.Than Shwe and Hosni Mubarak et al.), Americans should not be surprised if other governments ease up on similar and lesser monsters. And our statespeople will sound ever more hypocritical in their condemnations of the moral laxity and bad judgment demonstrated by our allies.