Diplomacy Washing Libya Out of Their Hair

Suspicion and loathing in the South Pacific

The tropical islands of the South Pacific may be half a world away from the desert sands of Libya, but distance has not deterred Libyan Leader Muammar Gaddafi from making a number of peculiar Pacific overtures. In the past year Gaddafi's agents have offered arms and cash to rebels in Papua New Guinea, encouraged an aboriginal separatist movement in Australia, shipped weapons to dissidents in New Caledonia and tried to open an office in the island republic of Vanuatu.

One important Pacific power last week decided to do something about the growing Libyan presence. In an unusually blunt announcement, Australian Prime...