Moammar Gadhafi is the man that killed those Americans over Lockerbie, Scotland. Moammar Gadhafi is also the man that bombed that cafe in Berlin and killed those Marines. And you want to know why Moammar Gadhafi started cooperating on his nuclear program? Because we got rid of Saddam Hussein. And so he got scared that he would be next, and that's why he started cooperating.
I have nothing but contempt for Gadhafi. I'm not a Gadhafi supporter in any way. However, it's not clear to me that it's a vital and compelling national security objective of the United States that we ought to use military force to remove him from power. He's not the only unpleasant and unsavory dictator in the world.
I visited Libya in September 1996 for the 27th anniversary of the 'revolution' - a military coup that a 27-year-old Gadhafi led to topple the monarchy and since which he has ruled. Some were optimistic that Gadhafi's 'revolution' could herald a new Libya, but it didn't take long for his brutality to stamp out any such hopes.
We need to learn from history. These same leaders - [Barack] Obama,[Hillary] Clinton, and far too many Republicans - want to topple [Bashar] Assad. Assad is a bad man. Gadhafi was a bad man. Mubarak had a terrible human rights record. But they were assisting us - at least [Muammar]Gadhafi and[Hosni] Mubarak - in fighting radical Islamic terrorists.
At the time, we were mad at Moammar Gadhafi, which resulted in us bombing all over Libya and killing a bunch of people, but not him. Then Ronald Reagan gets up and says we're not trying to kill him, we're just dropping bombs. You can kill all the Libyans you want, but legally you can't try to kill the leader.
Well, this is an unfortunate part of the UN institution. It's the - the theater of the absurd. It doesn't only cast Israel as the villain; it often casts real villains in leading roles: Gadhafi's Libya chaired the UN Commission on Human Rights; Saddam's Iraq headed the UN Committee on Disarmament.
What is the value of having millions of people in Iraq not having a repressive regime? What is the value of having the Iraqi regime not shooting at UK and US aircraft almost every day? What is the value of the Iraqis having a free press? What is the value of the foreign minister of Iraq going to Paris, calling for an end of the Gadhafi regime and citing Iraq as a model, as an example, that in fact a freer political system can exist in that part of the world?