Friday, August 28, 2009
Qaddafi to Qaddafodil to Qaddafi Again
During my teen years (late 70’s) thru my early twenties (early 80’s) it seemed that the Colonel (Qaddafi) was on TV almost as much as the other Colonel (Sanders). Qaddafi was almost always described as a Libyan “Strongman”, “Leader”, or “Colonel”. I asked one of my friends why he was just a colonel. My friend said, “So he could relate better with the average foot-soldier terrorist scumbag.”
Because The Great Ronald Wilson Reagan (my description) was in office, the press bathed Qadaffi in a romantically sympathetic light. NBC’s Saturday Night Live did a commercial called The Qaddafi Look as a spoof of The Jordache Look for Jordache Jeans. There was also a SNL news skit How Do You Spell Qaddafi? with lots of variant spellings. I thought Steven Bauer (the 80’s Josh Hartnett) should portray Qaddafi in a Showtime original movie. After the U.S. intercepted telex messages from Libya’s East Berlin embassy suggesting Libyan involvement in the April 5, 1986 bombing of West Berlin’s La Belle discotheque, The Great Reagan ordered bombings of Tripoli and Benghazi, Libya on Tax Day. How did we miss him? He had the biggest tent!
Had we gotten him perhaps Pan Am Flight 103 would have been spared in 1988.
During the 90’s and early 21st century he kind of disappeared because an even crazier Iraqi got our attention. Then it was Al Qaida and the Taliban. Then it was Saddam, Uday, and Qusay again. After Coalition Forces sent Uday and Qusay to see their 144 virgins and capture Saddam in his rat hole in 2003, Qaddafi announced that Libya had an active weapons of mass destruction program, but was willing to allow international inspectors into Libya to observe and dismantle them. He figured he was next. Better to cover his ass.
Fast forward to August 20, 2009: The Scottish Government releases Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi, a former Libyan intelligence officer and only man convicted of the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 because he has terminal prostate cancer under the banner of “compassion”. He was responsible for the deaths of 270 people. He served eleven days for each one of those deaths. Giving Megrahi drugs for the pain, extra pillows and blankets, or a cable TV with Cinemax in his cell would be plenty compassionate. But to release him was unconscionable. Megrahi returned to a hero’s welcome in his native Libya. President Obama called Megrahi’s release a “mistake”. Way to show outrage, Chief! Besides golf, logarithms, bagpipe music, and Sean Connery, what has Scotland contributed to the free world? The Scots are proof that Western Europe will need to be saved from their own stupidity by Eastern Europe in the years to come.
Now Qaddafi is back in the news again. What’s old is what’s new. Instead of his old military uniform, the Colonel dresses in civilian garb with a fez. He’s coming back to New York for the UN General Assembly in September. His people are trying to find a place for him to stay. He was planning to pitch a tent in the yard of a New Jersey residence owned by the Libyan goverrnment, but the locals got pissed. Wherever he ends up staying, I'm sure the media will have it as its lead story. Perhaps he can show up on SNL and yell, “Live from New York, It’s Saturday Night…!”