Qaddafi's first ever visit to the US

Discussion in 'Politics' started by ang_99, Aug 25, 2009.

  1. UN building resides in NYC, so technically US is obligated to provide Visas for certain individuals to come to UN (ahmadenijad, chavez fall into that category)

    UN building does not have to be in NYC, it is a great privilige.
  2. Thats wonderful.

    This is the fist time he will visit the US.
  3. I'm sure you must be very proud. We welcome a collection of third world scum to come here, attack us, violate our laws, all paid for by the US taxpayer.

    US out of the UN, UN out of the US.
  4. You are a crude moron. US needs UN and the symbolism of UN building being located in NYC is something that Washington elites covet.

    Even degenerate W went to UN for a resolution against Iraq.
  5. TGregg


    You are not being sarcastic, BTW. The left is very, very proud of the UN. Dictators can butcher innocents one day, then show up and say the US is the scum of the Earth in front of TV cameras and the entire world, and everybody hangs on their every word. It's a liberal's wet dream!

    The DNC should use his address as a fund raiser. Donate a grand, get to hear him speak. Cough up 20 large, get invited to the meet and greet (where he doesn't show). Cough up 100 large and get invited to the private cocktail party where you can listen to this terrorist talk about how evil the US is and how all Americans should be killed.

    I bet they could raise some serious coin.


    When those gaudy and infuriating scenes at Libya's Tripoli airport played out last week -- the convicted Lockerbie bomber waving to the chanting crowd, kissing the hand of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi -- the British government had one thing to say: Scotland did it.

    The decision to release Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, convicted in the 1988 bombing of Pan American Flight 103, to his native Libya rested solely with Scotland's Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill, British officials insisted. There wasn't any pressure from London.

    You couldn't blame the Brits for doing their best to distance themselves from this international outrage. Al-Megrahi had served only eight years of a life sentence for murdering 270 people, 189 of them Americans.

    Over the weekend, FBI Director Robert Mueller condemned the release, calling it "as inexplicable as it is detrimental to the cause of justice. Indeed your action makes a mockery of the rule of law." The White House called it "outrageous" and "disgusting."

    There's talk of a boycott against Scottish products.

    Scotland faced the brunt of the outrage ... until Gaddafi spoke. He didn't just thank Scotland. He publicly praised his "friend," British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, along with Queen Elizabeth and Prince Andrew, for "encouraging the Scottish government" to release the bomber.

    Gaddafi's son Seif was quoted by a Libyan television station as saying that "in all commercial contacts for oil and gas with Britain," the release of al-Megrahi "was always on the negotiating table."

    Then came revelations that Brown, who often speaks about business opportunities with Libya, had discussed the possible release of al-Megrahi weeks ago with Gaddafi, at the G-8 summit. At that time and even on the day of the release, Brown urged Gaddafi to restrain the festivities to spare the relatives of Lockerbie victims fresh pain. MacAskill said Gaddafi had agreed to that and then ... broke the deal. What a shock!

    Apparently the British Foreign Office also got involved, offering an opinion that there was no legal barrier to granting Libya's request to return al-Megrahi, albeit under an agreement that would have transferred him as a prisoner.

    Add to this brew reports that while the negotiations were proceeding, Libya awarded Britain a major oil contract -- a $900 million deal -- and dangled the prospect of others.

    So what's going on here? Is this all just a cavalcade of coincidences and honest interconnections between two countries that do business?

    Or is there a hint here of an oil-for-terrorist deal?

    British officials scoffed at the speculation, suggesting that Gaddafi was doing what he does best: Creating international mischief. "Does anybody seriously believe that Gaddafi or any of his people have any influence with the queen?" an anonymous British official told The New York Times.

    Hmm. Prince Andrew has visited the country several times in his role as a British trade ambassador. On Monday, the prince canceled a trip to Libya that was planned for next month.

    Brown, who has made no public comments about the release, is facing mounting pressure to speak.

    Right now, there's no proof of any quid pro quo. But there's a lot of talk, and it is ugly.

    When Hannibal met Heidi

    Last week was a good one for Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. He not only succeeded in bringing home to a hero's welcome a terrorist who killed 270 innocent people over Lockerbie, Scotland, he also brought the world's least belligerent nation to its knees.

    It is a tale of national capitulation to thuggery and strong arm diplomacy. On July 15, 2008, Swiss authorities arrested Gaddafi's son Hannibal and his wife at a Geneva hotel for beating their two domestic employees. Hannibal has a rich criminal record in several European countries, including reckless driving, illegal possession of a firearm and alcohol abuse. In 2005, he was sentenced in France for causing bodily harm to his pregnant girlfriend, whom he later married.

    Beating one's employees may be acceptable in Libya but for the law-abiding Swiss, Hannibal's actions were intolerable. Daddy Muammar was furious, demanding that Swiss authorities drop the charges and apologize. The Swiss eventually dropped the charges and allowed Hannibal to leave the country but refused to apologize. Thus began the "Hannibal's war," as diplomats call it, an economic and diplomatic jihad against Switzerland. First, Gaddafi cut his oil supply to Switzerland (Libya supplies some 20 percent of Switzerland's oil) and called upon all other OPEC nations to do the same. Then, Libya pulled billions of dollars in deposits from Swiss banks, severed air links with Switzerland and forced several Swiss companies operating in Libya to terminate their businesses. In addition, Gaddafi arrested two Swiss businessmen and kept them as hostages. Most recently, the Libyan prime minister refused to meet the new Swiss charge d'affaires in Tripoli.

    "Honor must be saved," Gadaffi explained, while Hannibal punctuated at a reception in Tripoli for Arab diplomats: "If I had an atomic bomb I would wipe Switzerland off the map."

    It worked. The Swiss couldn't take the pressure and hoisted the white flag. Last week, Swiss President Hans-Rudolf Merz, the same man who in April allowed Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to be the only head of state to speak at the Durban Review Conference on racism in Geneva, traveled to Tripoli where he asked the Libyans for forgiveness and issued a public apology for the "unjust arrest of Libyan diplomats by Geneva police."

    In describing the arrest as unjust, Merz has not only tarnished his country's honor but also gave a kick in the face to the Geneva police, whose only "wrongdoing" was law enforcement.

    What part of the Swiss DNA causes this Alpine nation to be so easily coerced is something for anthropologists to explore but for the (hopefully) more resilient us, there are some important lessons to learn from the affair.

    First, never underestimate the power of honor in Muslim culture. Time and again Arab leaders -- Gamal Abdel Nasser, Yasser Arafat, Saddam Hussein, Hassan Nassrallah to name a few -- have demonstrated their willingness to go to extreme measures to defend their people's honor. The defiant response of Afghanistan's ruling Taliban to President George W. Bush's "hand over terrorists or share in their fate" ultimatum after Sept. 11, 2001, condemned the regime to destruction, but honor was saved. This fixation with honor is worth remembering for the next faceoff between a Western nation and a Muslim regime.

    Second, 36 years after the Arab oil embargo, the oil weapon is still alive. Many Western analysts claim OPEC countries were the main casualties of the embargo and are therefore not likely to repeat their mistake. This claim ignores that astounding record of Arab regimes acting against their own self-interest and the repeated implicit as well as explicit threats of using the oil weapon by petroleum exporters from Saddam to Ahmadinejad.

    Third, Merz's trip to Tripoli comes with the backdrop of London's mute response to the premature release of the Lockerbie terrorist Abdel Baset al-Megrahi. Both Swiss and British authorities have promised that it was compassion that brought their recent decisions. But we should know better. Gaddafi's 2004 decision to abandon his weapons-of-mass-destruction program has opened the gate to endless business opportunities in Libya's energy sector.

    Last year Libya exported some $46 billion worth of oil. Its light sweet oil is the most desired of all crudes as it is easily refined. With its own reserves in the North Sea dwindling and eager to reduce its dependence on Russia's oil and gas, Europe is becoming increasingly addicted to Libya's energy. And addicts are willing to do much more for their pushers than commit what the FBI's head called a "mockery of justice."

    Gal Luft is executive director of the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security.