Wednesday, 13 April 2011
When Will William Hague Understand Not Every Country Wants War
William Hague is making a spectacular hash of his ministerial remit as Foreign Secretary, although he's not quite in the league of Nick Clegg or David Cameron - yet.
Last week it was reported Moussa Koussa had been interviewed, with his agreement, by Scottish police investigating the Lockerbie bombing because prosecutors believe he has information on the 1988 terrorist attack. It is understood he was the chief of Libyan intelligence at the time. Is there a possibility that Koussa has given enough information to reopen the case? Probably not.
At the time of Koussa's defection William Hague insisted Koussa hadn't chosen Britain on the back of any plea bargain and he 'is not being offered immunity from British or international justice'.
What we do know is that Koussa isn't a pleasant person and he will have weighed up the likely outcomes prior to making his momentous decision to escape the Gaddafi regime. Either he is convinced that Gaddafi will lose the civil war or he believes he is in a position to cut some kind of deal.
British foreign policy is remarkably adept at overlooking the misdeeds of prominent politicians where there is reason to do so. That's how come Valentine Strasser, former head of the National Provisional Ruling Council in Sierra Leone, was allowed to study law at Warwick University and how a Spanish request for the extradition of General Pinochet was rejected on medical grounds, leaving the mass murdered free to return to Chile.
Koussa is now in Quatar where he is expected to meet with Libyan opposition representatives. Mr Haig saw the trip as an opportunity for Koussa to deepen his ties with the Libyan rebel opposition umbrella group, the transitional or interim National Council which is based in Benghazi.
Mr Haig is also in Quatar complaining that NATO countries aren't pulling their weight in the implementation of the no-fly zone over Libya. He doesn't yet understand that many countries have no desire to be pulled into another war.
Why Haig is pandering to Koussa is anyone's guess but I would agree with this Lockerbie victim's relative. Haig may well find that Koussa is a great deal smarter than himself. Anyone who can survive 30 years within the close confines of Gaddafi's court could only be described as Machiavellian.
If Koussa was looking for a country where pragmatism generally overrules all other considerations, his private jet undoubtedly landed in the right place - with William Haig's full agreement.
Richard isn't happy either.