Seriously, why are you guys even directing this rage at Qaddafi to begin with? He's just a gentle old man who smiles and waves to people and drinks tea and wears white gloves to protect his delicate hands and hosts foreign dignitaries and unleashes mercenary death squads on his people and takes leisurely strolls through floral gardens.
David Ignatius remembers what an "unstable and menacing person" Qaddafi has always been:
In the early 1980s, I traveled to Tripoli with several other journalists hoping to interview Gaddafi. When the appointed date arrived, we were taken to a large hall, frisked several times and then made to wait for the "mercurial" leader, the euphemism reporters used in those days to describe the Libyan strongman.
First, Gaddafi's bodyguard blew into the room brandishing his automatic weapon. He was barefoot and had wild, unkempt hair and was genuinely scary-looking, even by Middle East-bodyguard standards.
Then came Gaddafi.
He marched straight toward me (was it the fact that I worked in those days for the Wall Street Journal?), stopped about a foot from my face and stared at me with bulging, bloodshot eyes. Then he shouted something in Arabic to his aides and bolted from the room, never to return. Sorry, no interview, his terrified aides told us.
It was one of the oddest encounters I've had as a journalist. Honestly, I thought at the time that Gaddafi was high on drugs. Those eyes were popping with unnatural intensity. And he had a self-dramatizing manner that was unusual, even for a Third World dictator.
(Image via Twitter user Noura)
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.