Deja vu - Judith Apter Klinghoffer
Dr. Judith Apter Klinghoffer taught history and International relations at Rowan University, Rutgers University, the Foreign Affairs College in Beijing as well as at Aarhus University in Denmark where she was a senior Fulbright professor. She is an affiliate professor at Haifa University. Her books include Israel and the Soviet Union, Vietnam, Jews and the Middle East: Unintended Consequences and , International Citizens' Tribunals: Mobilizing Public Opinion to Advance Human Rights
RUSSIAN EXPERT: QADDAFI IS "PRAYING TO BE KILLED "
(Suslikova) Medvedev has not currently ruled out the possibility of the war transitioning to a ground phase. Do you believe that the Western leaders are discussing this possibility with Russia; are they consulting with Medvedev on such an important issue?
(Pavlovskiy) The Western leaders' behavior is so egoistic and incompetent that their explanations are of no value. They cannot be believed. Having driven themselves into a trap through their extremely hard-line position with respect to the Libyan leader, they are now compelled to urgently try to save face. I would not rule out adventures involving a ground operation either.
Removing Al-Qadhafi is a reasonable objective, but let them not confuse anybody by talking about a"humanitarian operation." It is an act of liquidation of a dangerous well-armed madman. Which does not justify the bombing of Libyan cities.
(Suslikova) Does Russia still have a chance of subsequently building good relations with the new Libyan authorities too? What is the likelihood that previously concluded contracts will remain in force?
(Pavlovskiy) The very term" contract" is ridiculous when combined with the concept of"Libya!" Libya has never paid its debts. And, in particular, Al-Qadhafi has been contemptuous of our"good relations." The Soviet Union supplied Libya with weapons worth billions of dollars -- pre-inflation, expensive dollars! -- and received nothing in return. In 1991 Al-Qadhafi, who was awash with petro-billions, did not lift a finger in response to Moscow's demeaning requests not even for aid but for a loan. What a good ally! Gorbachev asked the FRG and even Saudi Arabia for loans. We had always regarded the latter as our enemy, but it granted Moscow a loan.
So the Russian Communists -- Al-Qadhafi's friends -- should not forget that Libya is a treacherous country. And contracts with Libya will happen in the future one way or another, because Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi will soon be killed. He is literally praying to be killed as a hero, and at the end of the day the old man deserves it.
Is Assad fils next?