Could Libya's Qaddafi Become a U.S. Ally?

"They look at Iraq and say, 'We could be next,' " said el-Kikihia. "And this scares the dickens out of them."

But ABCNEWS' George Stephanopoulos, who traveled to Tripoli to meet with Qaddafi, found the Libyan dictator still thinks America is to blame for strengthening al Qaeda and making Osama bin Laden "a prophet" in the Arab world.

To read excerpts from Stephanopoulos' interview with Qaddafi, click here.

"Col. Qaddafi clearly wants to reach out the West and get those sanctions lifted," said Stephanopoulos. "But he is also clearly angry at America for what they did to him in the past and what they're doing in the Middle East today."

Although Stephanopoulos asked Qaddafi several times about Lockerbie, Qaddafi evaded acknowledging responsibility.

Time to Switch From the Stick to the Carrot?

Whether Qaddafi broaches that divide remains to be seen.

"The ball is clearly in Libya's court," says Sullivan.

If Qaddafi were to issue a statement admitting responsibility for Lockerbie, Sullivan said, the United States would begin a dialogue with Libya that could lead to its removal from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism, and the lifting of U.S. sanctions against the North African nation.

If that apology were to come, Mack said it would be wise for the United States to lift sanctions and establish a diplomatic dialogue.

"Libya can be an important ally in the war against terrorism," he said.

Deeb concurred. "If we continue using only the stick and never using the carrot, our stick then loses its power to change the behavior of states," she said.

El-Kikhia cautioned that while Qaddafi seems to build ties, that doesn't mean he's completely reformed.

"He has been in a box since 1986 and he is desperately trying to get out of this box," said el-Kikhia. "The Lockerbie [issue] is a shackle, and if the U.S. removes that shackle, it sets free a wiser monster."

Page
  • 1
  • |
  • 2
Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...
See It, Share It
PHOTO: Firefighters rescue a woman who got stuck in a chimney in Thousand Oaks, Calif.
Ventura County Fire Department
PHOTO: Up in Ash: Mount Sinabung Erupting
Tibt Nangin/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
PHOTO: Apple Pay is demonstrated at Apple headquarters on Oct. 16, 2014 in Cupertino, Calif.
Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP Photo
PHOTO: Defendant Jodi Arias testifies about killing Travis Alexander in 2008 during her murder trial in Phoenix, Feb. 20, 2013.
Charlie Leight/The Arizona Republic/AP Photo
PHOTO: Kim Kardashian, Kanye West, their daughter North West and Delphine Arnault attend the Givenchy show as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Spring/Summer 2015, Sept. 28, 2014 in Paris.
Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/French Select/Getty Images