Why didn't President Obama mention Muammar Qaddafi in his speech condemning the violence against protesters in Libya Wednesday night? Maybe it was out of concern for American diplomats and their families who are still trapped in Tripoli after high winds kept their ferry from leaving, as The New York Times reports. Or maybe it's because Obama is really best buddies wth Qaddafi. Guess who's pushing that theory?
Drudge is linking to an article from April 2010 by YNet's Roee Nahmias, who reports that Qaddafi called Obama a "friend" in a speech marking the 24th anniversary of an American strike on Libya. Qaddafi is quoted as saying:
America tested Libya, and the Libyan people resisted the large country, but today, thank God, the difference is great. ... "Now, ruling America is a black man from our continent, an African from Arab descent, from Muslim descent, and this is something we never imagined – that from Reagan we would get to Barakeh Obama. .. Obama is a man who opposes wars that previous American presidents were entangled in; he has declared that he will withdraw from Afghanistan and Iraq – something which has never been proposed before.
And that's not all! WorldNetdaily's Aaron Klein reports that Qaddafi has ties to Jeremiah Wright, the Chicago preacher whose church Obama attended before denouncing during the 2008 presidential campaign. Wright visited Qaddafi in 1984 with Louis Farrakhan, Klein says. The headline: "Obama's mystery links to Ghadafi uncovered." (And where was Obama in 1984? Working for the decidedly non-Marxist Business International Corporation.) Breitbart does his part with a clip of Wright praising the Libyan government.
The meme is not just a web phenomenon: On Thursday's Fox & Friends, Gretchen Carlson was in top form at making ugly insinuations: "I've got a question this morning, and maybe the viewers can help me out with this: Why? Why is the president of the United States not saying and calling out Qaddafi, but he did Mubarak?"
What's so great about this meme is how neatly it ties all of the fringe right's attacks on Obama together: that he is a socialist African-born Muslim with a crazy Christian preacher trying to undermine America abroad out of liberal white guilt. It checks every box of the conservative fantasy version of Obama.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.