Under the Black Flag

Oiling Up the Wheels of Justice

He is the clown prince in a continent whose rulers boast of more clowns among them than all the circuses of the world combined.  He uses more black shoe polish on his hair than a company of Rumanian hussars use on their thigh-high boots, and plasters more makeup on his face than Norma Desmond.  He is, of course, Muammar Qaddafi, the Michael Jackson of pan-Arabism, and the man who just humiliated the American President, the British prime minister, and the bereaved relatives of the 270 victims of Pan Am Flight 103.  Once called a “mad dog” by Ronald Reagan, he is now received as a proper head of state by cowardly lions such as the French president and the Italian prime minister and is fawned over by G-8 bureaucrooks as he swans around surrounded by 40 female bodyguards (handpicked by the chief clown) “whose otherwise generous terms of employment include a solemn vow of chastity,” as the Telegraph’s William Langley puts it.

The lure of detonating people came home to roost for Qaddafi when his four-year-old daughter was killed in an American air raid back in 1986.  Two years later came Lockerbie.  It was obvious that the Mad Dog had learned nothing except that the West was weak.  In 1984 Libyan so-called diplomats had shot dead a female police officer, WPC Yvonne Fletcher, as she performed her duties in St. James’s Square, outside the Libyan embassy.  The thugs were allowed to leave...

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