Libya and the weapons of mass destruction
Colonel Gaddafi may have had his own, Libyan, reasons for taking his surprise decision. But he must also have been aware that it would remind his fellow-Arabs of their collective weakness in the face of an assertive American superpower.
After all, the Libyan leader had seized power in 1969 as a champion of a radical form of Arab nationalism. He'd seen himself as the political heir of the Egyptian president, Gamal Abdel-Nasser, who'd captured Arab hearts with his defiance of the West and his calls for Arab unity. But those heady days are long gone. Now each Arab state is left pursuing its own self-interest.