Dear Muammar: Sorry About Calling That Crazy Speech Crazy

|

Edward James Olmos has a great broach collection

The blogosphere is in a lather after the White House's rebuke of the Israeli government (see here and here, for a general idea of what the two sides are arguing). But while alternately praised and reviled for "standing up" to the Netanyahu government, the Obama administration, in a little commented upon bout of grovelling in the Maghreb, offered a shameful volte face for supposedly insulting Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi. Asked to respond to Qaddafi's call for "jihad" against Switzerland, Assistant Secretary of State Philip J. Crowley commented, "I saw that report and it just brought me back to a day in September, one of the more memorable sessions of the UN General Assembly that I can recall. Lots of words and lots of papers flying all over the place, not necessarily a lot of sense."

If you cannot spare the 100 minutes required to watch, Qaddafi's paranoid rant, which would have embarrassed Alex Jones, is an exegesis of Israeli responsibility for the JFK assassination, the swine flu conspiracy, and the ravages of Western colonialism. In other words, Crowley was rather understating matters. But after complaints from Tripoli, the Obama administration forced Crowley to apologize for his hurtful words.

Pathetic.

Western governments, desperate for "normalized relations" with the oil-rich Jamahiriya, have forbidden their representatives from saying anything that might hurt the feelings of the Qaddafi family or its captive population. So when police in Switzerland arrested the Libyan dictator's son Hannibal (for abusing the hired help), Swiss President Hans-Rudolf Merz flew to Tripoli, did a little soft shoe for the regime, and apologized for distress caused. Or, in a related case, when a Saudi lawyer, representing 97,000 relatives of a long-dead "prophet," demanded an apology from the Danish daily Politiken for reprinting the Mohammad cartoons, the newspaper's editor capitulated, offering a front page retraction.

Now that the mealy-mouthed, weak-kneed, striped-pant brigade in Foggy Bottom has clarified, has told Qaddafi that there was nothing insane or "offensive" (to use the favorite new word of Islamic theocrats) about his speech defending the Taliban and accusing the CIA of killing Martin Luther King, perhaps they can inquire about Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi, the convicted Lockerbie bomber once described as "terminally ill," but now, after being released into Libyan custody, feeling rather sprightly, having recently found a five year life extension after relocating from Scotland.

I wrote about my recent trip to Libya here.

Advertisement

NEXT: We Are So Totally Out of Money

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Reminder to self,

    If I ever become a crazy dictator I need to get good fashion advice, the whole 1970’s South American Generalissimo look is totally out

    1. If I ever perform Gilbert & Sullivan’s Modern Major General, that’s the outfit I want.

      1. The way I hear it, diplomacy is all about saying “Nice doggie…!” while looking for a big rock to throw.

        I got the “Nice doggie…!” part covered, but where the hell is that big rock supposed to be?

    2. You’ve got to admit about the Nazis: they were evil, but they did get good fashion advice.

      1. That’s part of what made them so evil. How could you disagree with people dressed so well!

  2. Michael Jackson meets Edward James Olmos (yes, saw the alt-text)?

    1. There seems to be a vague resemblance to this pic. Is it too early to nominate Qaddafi for 2011?

  3. Let’s see…embarrassing and berating allies while never missing an opportunity to suck up to adversaries…the Obama administration is the govt. version of the man who beats his wife because he’s been rendered ineffectual outside the home.

    1. Chavez is a democrat, unlike those awful Hondurans. Just ask Sean Penn.

      1. I would ask him, but he’s currently using Chavez’s copious buttocks as earmuffs, so I doubt he’d hear the question.

        1. Chavez is a fucking hero, you douchebags! I oughta punch every one of your goddamned faces! None of you are fit to swallow a Hugo load!

          1. I feel the same way about Castro. And I do swallow his loads.

            1. I don’t care if Keynes is dead… I’ll STILL suck his dick!

              1. Go away, you annoying little toady. You’re not fit to write a footnote to my boundless brilliance.

                1. I still get to suck your dick, right?

  4. Or, in a related case, when a Saudi lawyer, representing 97,000 relatives of a long-dead “prophet,” demanded an apology from the Danish daily Politiken for reprinting the Mohammad cartoons, the newspaper’s editor […]

    Was the ending of this paragraph offensive to Muslims?

    1. If I ever get a pet pig, I’m naming it Muhammad.

  5. Ah back to the days when diplomacy requires everyone not to mention the colonalisimo is batshit insane… I ask, What’s wrong with saying something like, “we’re not likely to bomb them into the stone age but seriously Qaddafi-shut the fuck up!”

  6. plus he should be careful what he says to the Swiss… They won’t give him his wallet back

  7. It’s the Fox Force 5 that completes the look though.

    http://lallalydia.blogspot.com…..dafis.html

    No one looks bad surrounded by the Fox Force 5. I mean, if you were constantly surrounded by the Fox Force 5, wouldn’t you want to look like their military commander?

    1. I mean, if I’m Vladamir Putin, I’m goin’ back to my political adviser and I’m askin’ if there any way I could get away with having my own Fox Force 5, ’cause that is so cool…

      I mean, after you’ve seen that, what’s the point of being a vicious dictator if you can’t have one too?

  8. Is it really that hard to strike a foreign policy posture somewhere between “macho asshole” and “complete fucking pussy”?

    1. Yes.

    2. Yes.

    3. Yes.

    4. Yes

    5. No.

      1. You did cause a depression in the USA by the swift move of embargoing both sides of the Napoleanic Wars.

        1. You complete, fucking pussy!!!

          1. Interrupting free trade–what a pussy move!

    6. Yes.

  9. Muammar has always been my favorite despot. I prefer the Muammar from the 80’s when he tried to emulate Michael Jackson

    1. He could do a great service to the people of Libya, and the entire world, by emulating Michael Jackson today.

      -jcr

      1. I would prefer to see him in a reenactment of William Wallace on August 23, 1305.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W….._execution

  10. Why does he have a snapshot of “The Specials” on his jacket?

  11. Language addressing any audience above the age of six and incorporating the term hurtful is hurtful.

  12. Yes.

  13. We have too much respect for the autocratic Muslim world. Yes, they’ve got oil… but, Jesus Christ, like they wouldn’t sell it to America anyway.

  14. Do the Chinese kowtow like this to get their oil?

  15. I have a feeling the Swiss would pot his ass the moment he peaked over the Alps. Bring it on Muammar.

  16. Crowley is a pussy. I would’ve refused to apologize, as there was nothing to apologize FOR.

  17. I know why America needs Israel (to get Jewish votes). I don’t understand why America needs Libya. The sucking up to Libya didn’t start with Obama – it goes back to W. One day Libya was evil and the next day they were cool. Go figure.

  18. If what you value in a foreign policy is not offending touchy nationalities, you are going to be kowtowing to a lot of dictators with tenuous grasps on reality.

    This is what you get when preventing “blowback” is your highest priority. This is what Obama voters wanted.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.