Saturday, September 06, 2008

Moammar Gadhafi on Condi: "I love Leezza"

This must be awkward... or proof that Condi Rice is a really good diplomat.

Rice meets Gadhafi on historic visit to Libya
TRIPOLI, Libya - The United States and Libya sealed a historic turnaround after decades of terrorist killings, American retaliation, suspicions and insults with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's peacemaking visit Friday with Moammar Gadhafi, Libya's mercurial strongman.

"The relationship has been moving in a good direction for a number of years now and I think tonight does mark a new phase," Rice said following a traditional Muslim dinner — the evening meal that breaks the day's fast observed during the holy month of Ramadan — at Gadhafi's official Bab el-Azizia residence. It is the same compound hit by U.S. airstrikes in 1986 in retaliation for a deadly Libyan-linked terrorist attack in Germany. The attack killed Gadhafi's baby daughter.

"We did talk about learning from the lessons of the past," Rice said. "We talked about the importance of moving forward. The United States, I've said many times, doesn't have any permanent enemies."


In an interview with Al-Jazeera television last year, Gadhafi spoke of Rice in most unusual terms, calling her "Leezza" and suggesting that she actually runs the Arab world with which he has had severe differences in the past.

"I support my darling black African woman," he said. "I admire and am very proud of the way she leans back and gives orders to the Arab leaders. ... Leezza, Leezza, Leezza. ... I love her very much. I admire her, and I'm proud of her, because she's a black woman of African origin."

Rice is the first secretary of state to visit Libya since John Foster Dulles in 1953 and the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit since then-Vice President Richard Nixon in 1957. [...]

Gadafi is such an odd guy. Read the whole article for details. Read the history of relations between Libya and the US since Gadafi has been in power. Yikes. For the longest time we officially considered him a dangerous terrorist. So why are we dealing with him now, at all? Take a guess:

[...] Rice's visit comes amid a surge in interest from U.S. companies, particularly in the energy sector, to do business in Libya, where European companies have had much greater access in recent years. Libya's proven oil reserves are the ninth largest in the world, close to 39 billion barrels, and vast areas remain unexplored for new deposits. [...]

Yet another reason to drill more at home, and work on developing alternative energy sources. I mean, I guess, Libya isn't now, among the worst nations we have to deal with. If we only ever dealt with people we thought were perfect, we'd have to stay at home. So Gadafi isn't the terrorist he once was, he's reformed? Ok, if he's not trying to kill us anymore, that is a good thing. But how long will that last? How long will HE last?

The less Middle Eastern oil we depend on, the better.


1 comment:

Jonathan Guyer said...

Too bad nobody bothered to report on the rest of Condi's trip to North Africa...