26 October, 2020

A Desert Fox In Tripoli

Bluster framed with cunning, Col Gaddafi is not Reagan's 'mad dog'

Reuters (From Outlook, March 14, 2011)
A Desert Fox In Tripoli

For a man who is supposed to be worth millions, you wouldn’t know it by his boots. He is one of the hardest people to meet in the world. So I expected to be taken to a secret location or perhaps a grand pavilion in the desert. Instead, our rendezvous was a seaside restaurant in downtown Tripoli. The sun was starting to slip over the horizon when I realised all the traffic had suddenly disappeared. Then there was a row of cars, lights flashing as they hurtled along the road. One pulled up and from it emerged Col Muammar Gaddafi, the world’s longest serving leader. His eyes were hidden behind a pair of gold Cartier sunglasses. His flowing brown robes gave off the light scent of sandalwood. A team of securitymen followed in his wake but there was nothing ceremonial about these guys. The famed female bodyguards were nowhere to be seen. He took his seat and spoke for more than an hour. “I don’t like money,” he said, “I have a tent.” His black leather cowboy boots tended to suggest he was telling the truth....



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