If there had not been a schedule delay that Christmas season, Pan American Flight 102 would have vanished somewhere off the Irish coast and into the depths of the Atlantic Ocean. And the whole world might have never known terrorists had killed 270 human beings until the terrorist press release claimed responsibility.
But because that Boeing 747 exploded over the sleepy Scottish town of Lockerbie, the world did learn it was a terrorist attack. And investigators had all the physical clues they needed to run down the fact the bomb was disguised as luggage loaded in the front hold and had originated with a passenger who was a no show. During a time when Christians were celebrating the birth of the Saviour who would deliver them from death; an agent of Shaitan delivered death to 270 people, shattering whole families and whole worlds.
Due to brilliant detective work and astute intelligence operations, the culprits of this horrifying attack were identified. They were agents of the oil rich terror supporting nation of Libya. It took strong actions by the West to get Libya to surrender the suspects for trial. With due process the likes of al-Megrahy were sentenced to imprisonment in 2001. With further inducements implemented by the leadership of President George W. Bush, ie Operation Iraqi Freedom, Col. Qaddafi came clean least he find himself swinging from the gallows just like Saddam. So the world found out about Libya's secret nuclear weapons program via the Khan network and Col. Qaddafi was soon elevated back to being that comic opera dictator with the all female bodyguard detachment.
Now I have to wonder who is laughing last. Its not Prime Minister Gordon Brown nor President Obama, of that I am reasonably certain as they both wipe the lumpy porridge of public horror off their faces. The last laugh has to go to Col. Qaddafi who played to one of the liberal West's cultural weaknesses, the sob story. With reports al-Maghery was about to keel over due to prostate cancer as he languished in a posh, by Libyan prison standards, jail cell, Libya meet with the United Kingdom to see about the release of al-Maghery on compassionate grounds. So with mush between the ears passing for cognitive thinking at the Home Office and no strong protest from the Obama administration, al-Maghery was packed aboard a commercial airliner - oh the irony if somehow that plane had gone down - and ferried back to Libya. And once in Libya, the now smartly dressed al-Maghery was treated as a returning hero by none other than Qaddafi's own son with throngs of people to witness the triumphant return.
I sincerely hope this is a teachable moment for the British and American administrations and they learn from it. The pessimist in me is going, no they won't learn anything from being played a fool until someone rubs their noses in the blood and carnage of another terrorist attack. As Machiavelli said those centuries ago, it is better to be feared than liked. And say what you will of Reagan and George W. Bush, both were feared by terrorists and their supporters because both presidents would come after those jackals to protect American lives and interests.
Compassion for the devil just gets you a better ticket on the trip to hell.