Libyan leader Muammar Gadaffi: weird, weirder, weirdest
Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's days are numbered. As his reign is apparently coming to an end, it's time to look back at one of the weirdest leadership styles in the world.
Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's days are numbered, as rebel forces are making substantial gains on the ground, Reuters reports. Rebels have gained on the ground over the last weeks putting Gaddafi in peril. The Libyan dictator loves the international spotlight, and has done some weird things to claim it over the years, and as his rule seems destined to be coming to an end, it's interesting to consider his leadership style.
A 1981 Newsweek story called him the most "dangerous man in the world" but today he might also be called the strangest. Let's review some of his stranger moments.
1. Pills in Nescafe, Control Your Children:
Last February Gaddafi claimed that anti-government protesters had been drugged by Al-Qaeda who laced their coffee with hallucinogenic drugs.
"They give them pills at night," Gaddafi said, "they put hallucinatory pills in their drinks, their milk, their coffee, their Nescafe."
Gaddafi had called the state television station to say this was why Libya was in a state of breakdown. Two days before, in a rant addressed toward the people of Zawiyah, Gaddafi said, "Shame on you, people of Zawiyah, control your children." Source: Yahoo
2. "How can the Security Council issue resolutions based on reports from news agencies?"
Source: Ghaddafi speech on March 02 2011
3. "We put our fingers in the eyes of those who doubt that Libya is ruled by anyone other than its people." Source: Ghaddafi speech March 2011
4. "Democarcy Means Permanent Rule"
5. Just six months after the Lockerbie bombing, Gaddafi dons a white glove to avoid touching the “blood-stained hands” of fellow Arab leaders at a conference in Algiers in June 1988. Elsewhere at the conference, he pulls a white sheet over his body as a screen while Jordan’s King Hussein speaks; refuses to shake the hand of Moroccan King Hassan II; tans and sips coffee instead of listening to speeches one afternoon; delivers a speech railing against his colleagues as “imperialist lackeys;” and skips a summit dinner without even bothering to offer an excuse.
6. Gaddafi gives bizarre answer to BBC in March 2011:
7. Lastly, but not leastly: when convicted Lockerbie bomber Abdelbasset al-Megrahi is released from a Scottish prison in August 2009 on “compassionate grounds,” given his advanced cancer, there is widespread anger at the decision. British officials ask Gaddafi to make any welcome-home celebration low-key; Megrahi is met at the airport by a crowd of Libyans waving Libyan and—most gallingly—Scottish flags. Gaddafi’s son, Saif al-Islam, explains in a New York Times op-ed that they certainly could have had a larger celebration. The incident becomes a major political scandal in Britain, with allegations that the release was really a ploy to help BP gain a foothold in the Libyan oil industry.
However the Libyan struggle is resolved, one thing's certain: Gaddafi will be weird until the end.