Qaddafi and Friends

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on February 24, 2011

The increasingly bizarre Libyan dictator is now trying to convince his people–and the rest of us–that whatever the problems in his country, he can do little to ameliorate the situation, since his power is supposedly much like that of Queen Elizabeth II.

Yeah. Really. Qaddafi made that argument.

Of course, as despicable as Qaddafi is, some people are willing to stick by him:

It may surprise some that this includes several governments in the Western Hemisphere, led by Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega, the one-time petty dictator who posed as a born-again democrat to capture his country’s presidency in 2006 (only to revert to his autocratic ways).

To great fanfare, Ortega pronounced, “I have been speaking with Qaddafi on the telephone … he is again fighting a great battle, how many battles has Qaddafi had to fight. In these circumstances they are looking for a way to have a dialogue, but defend the unity of the nation, so the country does not disintegrate, so there will not be anarchy in the country.”

It bears noting that the last time Daniel Ortega was heard from on a global scale was in 2008. Nicaragua was the only country to recognize the independence of the South Ossetia and Abkhazia regions of Georgia following the brutal Russian invasion.

Also displaying solidarity with the murderous Qaddafi regime is Ortega’s guiding light, Fidel Castro, who gamely tried to change the subject by telling the world that, “The government of the United States is not concerned at all about peace in Libya and it will not hesitate to give NATO the order to invade that rich country, perhaps in a question of hours or very short days.”

It’s as though all of the enemies of Ronald Reagan suddenly decided to get together and prove he was right about them. To be fair, one guy has learned to shut up:

For his part, the loquacious [Hugo] Chavez has been unusually silent on the Libyan situation. That is quite different from September 2009, when Chavez hosted Qaddafi in Caracas, exclaiming, “What Simon Bolivar is to the Venezuelan people, Qaddafi is to the Libyan people.” He also awarded him Venezuela’s highest civilian decoration, saying, “We share the same destiny, the same battle in the same trench against a common enemy, and we will conquer.”

Chavez critics are currently giving him his comeuppance, “Our garrulous president is keeping a thunderous silence,” wrote Teodoro Petkoff in the newspaper Tal Cual. “Now that the democratic rebellion has reached Libya, Chavez is looking the other way and even abandoning his disgraced ‘brother.’”

How bad is Muammar Qaddafi? Bad enough to render Hugo Chavez temporarily mute.

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