Moammar Qaddafi’s rule might be crumbling, but the colonel refuses to quit. On the evening of August 23, Qaddafi loyalists launched Scuds at the rebel-run town of Misrata. The missile strikes will be a footnote to the last days of the Transitional National Council’s struggle to unseat Qaddafi, but Western policymakers should not ignore them, for reasons that have less to do with Libya and far more with the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Both Pres. George W. Bush and Pres. Barack Obama declared that they would not allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons. “The free world cannot allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon,” Bush declared on CBS’s Face the Nation in 2006. Obama, for his part, told the Associated Press in 2009 that he’s “not reconciled” with Iran’s theoretical possession of nuclear weapons during his presidency. Bush left office with his policy in tatters. Obama sought renewed diplomacy, but this too has failed.
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