Earlier this year while I was lecturing a student asked me this very same question…..she said that since Libya and Iraq had massive oil money they could afford the trip….
I told her that Iraq had tried to build a nuke facility and the Israelis destroyed it….
Then she asked …so then is Israel the force to worry about?
Yes and no…..no they are not a power in the region….only in their own minds….and yes they are a force because the West is deathly afraid if being criticized for not supporting Israel…..you would be surprised the weight that a call of antisemitism can be…..
The more I thought about it I decided that it is an excellent question that needs an answer……
I recall reading an article recently that asked this question and gave an excellent explanation…..
Imagine if Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi had nuclear weapons in 2003. The invasion of Iraq may not have been possible, and states would have been much more reluctant to bomb Libya in 2011. The Middle East would be a very different place today. As it happens, both leaders had sought nuclear weapons for decades, but neither got the bomb. Why?
In fact, Iraq came close to the nuclear weapons threshold. If Saddam hadn’t invaded Kuwait in the summer of 1990, Iraq would most likely have acquired nuclear weapons during the mid-1990s. In contrast, Libya’s program failed, over and over again, for three decades before the Gaddafi regime ultimately abandoned the program in late 2003.