I swear to Isis–just when you thought life in BushCo Bizarro World couldn’t possibly get weirder, it up and does. From the Beeb:
The US is to renew full diplomatic relations with Libya after deciding to remove it from its list of countries that support terrorism.
The US has not had normal relations with Libya since 1980, and blamed it for the 1988 Lockerbie bombing.
It lifted many economic sanctions and restored some ties in 2004 after Libya renounced weapons of mass destruction.
The US secretary of state said Libya had since shown a “continued commitment to its renunciation of terrorism”.
Announcing the move to renew diplomatic ties, Condoleezza Rice praised Libya for its “excellent co-operation” in the US-led war on terror.
Washington will upgrade its liaison office in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, to a full embassy.
Monday’s decision was the result of successful diplomacy and came after a careful review of Libya’s behaviour since 1993, a senior state department official said.
David Welch, US Assistant Secretary of State said it showed that when a state “adhered to international norms [it] will reap concrete benefits”.
Wow. Way to go, Moammar. Now, could someone please explain to me why they’re bothering to do this to Chavecito?
The US is to impose a ban on arms sales to Venezuela, US state department officials have said.
Spokeswoman Darla Jordan said the decision was taken because of lack of support by Venezuela’s government for counter-terrorism efforts.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez later responded that the ban “doesn’t matter to us at all”.
Relations between the US and Venezuela are severely strained on a number of issues, including oil prices and trade.
The left-wing Mr Chavez has described his US counterpart George W Bush a “terrorist”, denouncing Washington’s Middle East policies.
The ban comes after repeated warnings by the US that Mr Chavez’s government has failed to stop Colombia’s two guerrilla groups – the Farc and the NLA – using Venezuelan territory.
It means that Washington prohibits US sales and license for the export of defence articles and services to Venezuela, Ms Jordan was quoted as saying by the Associated Press news agency.
Any re-sales of US arms and technology from other nations would also be prohibited.
The ban comes despite the fact that Venezuela is a major supplier of oil the US.
This ban is essentially meaningless, since the US has already nixed the sale of Spanish and Brazilian planes containing US-made parts to Venezuela. Plus, Chavez has been buying rifles from Russia, not the US.
In the long run, this trade ban will only end up hurting the US. It’s now selling more military hardware to itself than anyone else. Why do you think the war-toy manufacturers’ stock shot up in value when Gulf War II was declared? Oh well…as long as the trough is full, the pigs won’t complain. No doubt they think Venezuela is small potatoes, even as the Washington propaganda machine goes into full roar over the purported threat that Evil Dictator Chavez represents.
Meanwhile, the importation to the US of Venezuelan and Libyan oil goes on unabated, while the effort to secure Iraqi oil for the US founders. And it’s clear that even if the cockamamie plan to open ANWR to oil development goes ahead, the US will never be able to meet its own oil demands, never mind becoming a net exporter ever again. And most of all, the price of oil is still way up high, with no signs of coming down anytime soon…enabling all kinds of interesting social-welfare developments, particularly in evil, wicked Venezuela.
It’s kind of hard not to picture the Libyan and Venezuelan leaders–both OPEC members–chuckling up their sleeves over this. So much for Ronnie Ray-Gun’s vow to “break OPEC”, eh?
UPDATE: CNN just announced that Chavecito is going to pay a courtesy call…in LIBYA. Do you suppose he and Moammar are just going to swap recipes for falafel and arepas?