Iraq and Libya Revisited

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This argument hasn’t come up in awhile, but way back in the day, Iraq war-supporters used to argue that it was the invasion and ouster of Saddam Hussein that convinced Libya’s Muammar Qaddafi to give up his own burgeoning nuclear program. Way back in 2004, I discussed some evidence that this wasn’t the case: the relevant policy towards Libya had been put in motion long, long ago, and it took a lot of old-fashioned diplomacy by this administration—so much so that the people negotiating had to sideline John Bolton from the talks—to get Libya to give up the bomb.

Anyway, Arms and Influence links to a new analysis by Dafna Hochmann which says much the same thing: the invasion of Iraq had at most a marginal effect on Libya’s decision. Robert Farley also has some good comments on the paper.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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