The weird and wacky Gaddafi

2011-08-27 08:06

From his demands to set up a tent on state visits to his group of virgin, female bodyguards, Muammar Gaddafi has been know for his eccentric ways throughout his 42-year reign.

Only this week, Libyan rebels who took control of Gaddafi’s compound discovered a photo album with pictures of former US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice.

When speaking about her in an Al Jazeera interview in 2007, Gaddafi said: “I support my darling black African woman. I admire and am very proud of the way she leans back and gives orders to the Arab leaders.

Leezza, Leezza, Leezza ... I love her very much. I admire her, and I’m proud of her, because she’s a black woman of African origin.”

More of Gaddafi’s stranger moments:

» When the revolt against Gaddafi began in February, he blamed it on Osama bin Laden. He claimed that the protesters were fuelled by cow’s milk and Nescafé spiked with hallucinogenic drugs.

“They give them pills at night, they put hallucinatory pills in their drinks, their milk, their coffee, their Nescafé,” said Gaddafi.

“Bin Laden ... this is the enemy who is manipulating people,” Gaddafi said, adding: “Do not be swayed by Bin Laden.”

» In June 1988, six months after the Lockerbie bombing, Gaddafi wore a white glove so that he could avoid touching the “blood-stained hands” of fellow Arab leaders at a conference in Algiers.

He pulled a white sheet over his body while Jordan’s King Hussein spoke and he refused to shake the hand of Moroccan King Hassan II. He went on to deliver a speech calling his colleagues “imperialist lackeys”.

»
In the early 2000s, Gaddafi began travelling with an entourage of female bodyguards. The guards, clad in blue camouflage uniforms, were trained killers. According to some reports, there were strict guidelines and all bodyguards had to pledge to remain virgins.

» In 2006, Gaddafi warned that soccer addiction was dangerous. According to him, it caused “psychological and nervous sicknesses leading to angina pectois (sic), strokes, diabetics, blood pressure and early senility”.

» A day after US President Barack Obama was inaugurated in 2009, Gaddafi wrote an editorial in The New York Times suggesting that Israel and Palestine should be merged into a single state called “Isratine”. Previously, he had called both Palestinians and Israelis “stupid”.

»
On a visit to the US in 2009, Gaddafi asked for permission to pitch his Bedouin tent in Central Park. His request was denied, but Gaddafi would not give up easily.

He tried to pitch it at a house owned by the Libyan Embassy in Englewood but eventually withdrew his request after widespread opposition.

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