Being a fashionable traveling tyrant isn’t all it’s cut out to be.
Amid pressure from New Jersey political leaders, the Libyan government has canceled plans for its nation’s president, Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, to stay in New Jersey during his visit to the United States next month.
Colonel Qaddafi’s change of plan was confirmed on Friday night by Representative Steven R. Rothman, a New Jersey Democrat, and by the State Department, according to The Associated Press.
In an interview, Mr. Rothman said Colonel Qaddafi and his delegation had decided instead to stay in New York City. He said he spoke to a top lobbyist for the Libyan government on Friday afternoon “who informed me that a final decision had been made to the effect that Muammar el-Qaddafiwould be confining his stay to Manhattan.” It was unclear precisely where the Libyans intend to stay, he said.
Ah, don’t you ever wonder what would we do without “top lobbyists for the Libyan government”?
Unlike Seville, Rome and Paris, where Muammar had pitched his tent before, the tent wasn’t welcome in Englewood,
Colonel Qaddafi, who is to address the United Nations during his visit, had planned to erect a Bedouin-style tent on a Libyan-owned estate that sits next to a yeshiva in Englewood, a New Jersey suburb with a sizable Orthodox Jewish community.
That announcement ignited an uproar, prompting city officials to seek an injunction to stop renovations on the property and leading local leaders to schedule a rally near the estate over the weekend.
Many residents were bothered by the Libyan leader’s past sponsorship of terrorists, and were particularly angered by his warm reception of Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi, convicted of the 1988 bombing of a jetliner over Lockerbie, Scotland, who was released from prison last week.
Working with the State Department and the White House, Mr. Rothman — a former mayor of Englewood — pushed for Colonel Qaddafi to be restricted to Manhattan.
Considering how Qaddafi has already managed to insult Obama, should we expect a warm welcome from the administration?
Who looks worse, Qaddafi/Gadafy/Kadhafi, Keith Richards, or Gene Simmons?