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Claude Cartaginese

Muammar Qadhafi, the Not-So-Gracious Guest

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Posted on June 12 2009 10:14 am
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Libyan president Muammar Qadhafi, one of the longest-reigning despots in the Arab world, is currently in Italy for his first official visit to that country. Dressed in full military attire, he arrived with an entourage of three planes, 300 delegates, and 40 female bodyguards. The Italians had invited Qadhafi to talk about oil investments, immigration, and the possibility of moving beyond the past tumultuous relationship between the two countries (Libya having been a former Italian colony).

Despite the best efforts of the Italian government to keep the meeting respectful, Qadhafi lost no time in offending his hosts: Prominently pinned to his chest, amongst dozens of self-awarded medals and ribbons, was a 1931 archival photo of Italian troops arresting Omar Mukhtar, the leader of the resistance to the Italian colonization of Libya.

Before long, Qadhafi turned his attention to the United States, asserting that America wants to ”colonize the globe,” is uninterested in people’s freedom, and is ever-ready to fight against anyone who “[gets] in its way”.

Qadhafi then went on to justify al Qaida’s 9/11 terror attack, claiming that “the reason [behind it] is linked to the colonialism of the Islamic world by countries who profess Christianity.” Terrorism, he explained, is merely a  ”reaction” to that.

Qadhafi knows a little about terrorism himself. It was his agents, after all, who planted the bomb that destroyed Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbee, Scotland in 1988, killing 270 people. It was Qadahfi who gave the order to plant the bomb that blew up flight UTA 772 over the Sahara the following year, killing 170. It was Qadhafi who funneled money to Abu Sayyaf terrorists in the Philippines, swelling the group’s ranks and increasing the frequency and lethality of its attacks. In fact, some 30 insurgent and terrorist groups worldwide have received Libyan training, weapons, money and other forms of support.

Such is the history of the man now lecturing the U.S. about its alleged transgressions, while enjoying the hospitality of the Italians.

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