The French Clearinghouse
Some journalists and opinion makers are scandalized by Muammar al-Gaddafi’s visit to France and subsequent handshaking with Nicolas Sarkozy. For instance: “Sarkozy accueille sans complexe le tyran de Libye”, Libération, December 10 2007. It’s true that it’s annoying that Sarkozy is so keen on making friends with dictators and with any sort of fascist scum all over the world. But in the same issue of Libération, François Sergent mentions Lockerbie in an editorial titled “Indignité”. The problem is that, as convincingly shown by Hugh Miles in an LRB piece titled “Inconvenient Truth” (London Review of Books, June 21 2007), the Libyan were not behind the blowing up of Pan Am Flight 103 on 21 December 1988 (Lockerbie is the small Scottish town where the fuselage of the plane, a Boeing 747, fell). Everybody knows it. Well, everybody working closely on the case only. Not the rest of everybody — perhaps in part because journalists fail from thinking through this grave information. Maybe it would be useful if journalists considered that, Libya having paid (tongue-in-cheek) monetary compensation for the Lockerbie deaths, what the British and everybody interested in amending the situation may be looking for is a device to compensate the transaction — a clearinghouse. This does not sound so unreasonable. Maybe France can deliver this service. Well, not France alone. France and Sarkozy’s friends in Qatar (for an examination of banking services through Qatar in the France-Libya deal, see also “Infirmières: les dessous du coup des Sarkozy”, Libération, July 25 2007). Someone should verify if the compensation (tongue-in-cheek) that Libya is supposed to get for the infamous case of the Bulgarian nurses (yes, they are getting some) matches the Lockerbie compensation figures. And if not, what should offset the accounts. Who would have thought that clearing and settlement would be at the center of the geopolitics of international violence? And that Sarkozy and his friends would seize the business of intermediation in such type of honorable industry? Just an hypothesis, though. A little wild, yes. But maybe these people at the parliamentarian commission for the investigation of the conditions in which Sarkozy handled the Libyan deal should have a look at it.