Rob Lyons on the release of Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi, the sole convicted culprit of the Lockerbie bombing, international justice, and politics :
(...) from a political point of view, the release of al-Megrahi in this
way seems the best option. The US and UK governments avoid any awkward
revelations at an appeal hearing. The Scottish government gets to
assert itself as an independent force in world politics, even though it
has no foreign policy authority as such, while appearing to be
principled and humane. The Libyan government is presenting the release
of al-Megrahi as a diplomatic triumph, as yesterday’s welcome party for
The driving force behind every episode in this case has been the interests of governments, particularly the major Western powers, not the lives of the people unfortunate enough to get caught up in their machinations. Sadly, justice has got nothing to do with it.
I'm only wondering whether al-Megrahi would have been released if Libya was still viewed as a sponsor of international terrorism and if it wasn't an oil-rich nation. I don't think he would have no matter how sick he was.Unfortunately, the lesson of this case is that la raison d'état always prevails over much everything else especially when economical interests are at stake. It is hard not to be impressed over the way Qadaffi has been able to buy himself a new image.What does it say about our world if it is possible to buy respectability without ever fulling atoning or even acknowledging the mistakes of the past?