Libya was one of a small number of nations in the world that had refused to sign the treaty banning chemical weapons. In its war with Chad, Libya became one of a very few states to use such weapons in 1987. They were mustard gas bombs, supplied by Iran. Intelligence agents have said that Kadafi once tried to recruit South African scientists to assist him in developing biological weapons. American intelligence officials concluded earlier this year that a senior scientist who once led Iraq's germ weapons program had tried to emigrate to Libya in the mid-1990s.
If Kadafi follows through on his promises, the Bush administration (along with its equally steadfast partner, British Prime Minister Tony Blair) can rightly claim success for the proper use of force, power and resolve against those whose sole "weapon" is diplomacy, aided by the feckless United Nations. The only thing a bully understands is a fist in the face instead of a shake of the hand and meaningless signatures on documents recording promises they never intend to honor.
After the fall of Saddam Hussein, some of the leading Democratic presidential candidates continued to say that while they are grateful Saddam is gone, they would have done it differently. Now that another of the world's terrorists may have been neutered by the powerful American and British weapon of joint resolve, will Democrats who want to be president say they would have followed another path? Not unless they want to go against the repentant New York Times.