]]]]]]   AFTER LIBYA, U.S. SHOULD LOOK AFTER NO.1...   [[[[[[[[[ 
                     By Patrick J. Buchanan           (1/8/1989)
  From Gannett Westchester Newspapers, 7 January 1989, p. A8:3

          [Kindly uploaded by Freeman 10602PANC]

   Within  hours of  that  dogfight in  the  Med, where  two F-14
Tomcats took down  two of Col. Gadhafi's  MiGs, Washington was on
the receiving end of the customary caustic commentary.
   ``If the Americans were  trying to carry out  a raid on Libya,
then  that   is  unacceptable,''  sniffed   British  Labor  Party
spokesman Gerald Kaufman.  ``Whatever the Libyans may be doing in
terms  of chemical  warfare you  cannot attack  another sovereign
country, acting as a  kind of Lone Ranger  deciding how the world
should be run.''
   Worried an  attack on  Gadhafi's chemical  weapons plant would
``cause  an  international  uproar,''  President  Reagan  (as  of
Thursday)  was  said  to have  decided  against  military action.
(Even Maggie Thatcher is said to be opposed.)
   Let's review the bidding here.
   In constructing his CW plant,  Gadhafi apparently had the help
of  West  Germans.    Now,  using  boosters   strapped  onto  his
Soviet-supplied Scud  B rockets, Gadhafi  will be  able, when his
plant is  producing, to launch  nerve and mustard  gas attacks on
Egypt, Israel, Chad, Italy, Sudan,  Tunisia and Morocco, with all
of whom he has had  bloody quarrels.  Yet, Israel alone excepted,
none of these nations, none of  our NATO allies, seems willing to
support U.S. military action to  destroy this terrorist threat to
the Mediterranean basin.
   Question.  Why should U.S. pilots  risk their lives taking out
a  poison  gas factory,  which  could not  have  been constructed
without technical assistance from our own allies?
   Other questions.   While Gadhafi's record  as an Yankee-hating
terrorist is  established --  he has  approved of  acts of terror
against Americans, given sanctuary to Abu Nidal -- Damascus, too,
has  had a  hand in  bombing airliners,  and giving  sanctuary to
Palestinians who specialize in air  terror.  Why has the U.S. not
threatened Syria?  Is it because  Syria is an impressive military
power, with the capacity to  strike back?  Are we hitting Gadhafi
because Libya is a free throw?
   What about Iraq?  Which of our heroic allies helped Iraq build
the chemical weapons plant that  produced the bombs which brought
horrible death  to 5,000  Kurdish men,  women and  children?  Why
does  that atrocity  not  merit the  kind  of sanctions  the U.S.
imposes  on  South Africa,  which  has never  struck  at American
interests, never perpetrated that kind  of barbaric act against a
city of civilians?
   If  there  is  evidence  Gadhafi had  a  hand  in  the  Pan Am
massacre, or is giving sanctuary to those who did, the U.S. would
be within its right to cripple  his military and kill his regime.
Nor need we wait  for this terrorist to  complete his gas factory
and use its weapons before taking it out.  But why is Gadhafi our
problem alone?
   And  why  are  U.S.  presidents  so  deferential  to  European
opinion?
   During  the  years  U.S. soldiers  were  fighting  in Vietnam,
British ships were routinely putting  in at Haiphong.  Was London
deferential to our opinions?  When Mr. Nixon launched his airlift
to save Israel in the Yom Kippur war, NATO, with the exception of
Portugal, denied us the  use of allied bases  which we had helped
to build.
   When Mr. Reagan struck Libya in retaliation for the bombing of
the Berlin discotheque, Paris  refused us overflight rights.  Two
U.S. pilots died as a consequence  of having to fly to Gibraltar,
then the length of the Mediterranean, before launching their nigh
attack.
   The United  States is  forever being  admonished that  we must
``consult'' our  allies, that  we must  ``not act unilaterally,''
when our interests are threatened, and our citizens are attacked.
But  consultation  has become  a  synonym for  inaction;  and not
acting unilaterally always seems to  mean not acting at all.  Why
surrender  our  freedom of  action  to ``allies,''  none  of whom
consults  us before  shoveling credits  in  the direction  of our
common enemy?
   It is time  the U.S. started  looking out for  No. 1, starting
delivering lectures to ``allies,'' instead of simply listening to
them.
   What brought this home was an episode last month.
   The OPEC cartel agreed to  cut production, to force oil prices
up from  $12 to $18  a barrel.   Given the 2  billion barrels the
U.S. imports  yearly, that  $6 price  hike translates  into a $12
billion to  $16 billion price  gouging of  the American consumer.
Yet, no sooner had OPEC agreed  to stick it to the Americans than
the IMF  arrived in  Nigeria, an OPEC  member, to  fork over $650
million  in  loans  to  ease   the  pain  of  Nigeria's  cuts  in
production.  That $650 million  will trigger another $500 million
from  the  World  Bank.   Since  those  loans  are  guaranteed by
American taxpayers, the United States is directly subsidizing the
shafting of the American consumer by the OPEC cartel.  Topping it
off, my fellow columnists are saying  the way to ``get tough with
OPEC'' is to impose  a gasoline tax of  anywhere from 10 cents to
80 cents per gallon on American motorists.
   Can nobody out there play hard ball?
   Libya, too,  is an  OPEC member.   Why doesn't  the U.S. block
every  dime  in  U.S.-guaranteed  loans  to  any  and  every OPEC
country, from whatever  source, to force  those regimes either to
pump  oil for  their foreign  exchange,  or get  their guaranteed
loans from Saudi Arabia?
   When is the  U.S. going to  chuck this World Bank-U.N.-foreign
aid-IMF-Globaloney  and  start  looking  out  for  No.  1  -- the
American people, and  the United States?   Let somebody else play
international fish for a while.

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