World Watch

STEFAN ROUSSEAU/PA

FRIENDS: With a reserved but historic handshake, Blair ended Gaddafi's decades as a pariah

Strange Tentfellows
Muammar Gaddafi was the Saddam Hussein of his day; America's Public Enemy No. 1. Ronald Reagan sent jets to bomb his compound in 1986 after Libyan agents blew up a Berlin disco popular with U.S. soldiers. Gaddafi's regime sold arms to the I.R.A., brought down Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie in 1988, killed an unarmed policewoman with a blast of machine gun fire from its London embassy, and still supports Robert Mugabe's despotism in Zimbabwe. So seeing Tony Blair shake Gaddafi's hand last week in a ceremonial tent near Tripoli was a head-snapping diplomatic moment....

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!