It would have been funny weren’t it for the turmoil in Libya, which I hope is at the end of its tethers.
David R Arnott writes:
The ransacking of Moammar Gadhafi’s compound is turning up some bizarre loot. Following on from the Libyan leader’s eccentric fashion accessories and his daughter’s golden mermaid couch, the latest discovery is a photo album filled with page after page of pictures of Condoleezza Rice.
Rebels examine a photo album of former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, which was found in Moammar Gadhafi’s Bab al-Aziziya compound in Tripoli, Libya, on August 24.
The former U.S. Secretary of State paid a visit to Tripoli in 2008 during a brief interlude that saw Gadhafi begin to be welcomed back into the international fold. As Jason Ukman of the Washington Post wrote on Wednesday, “it was only three short years ago that Rice shared a late-night dinner with Gaddafi to break the Ramadan fast, three short years ago that the United States and Libya were celebrating what was to be a new chapter in their relations.”
In a 2007 interview with al-Jazeera television, Gadhafi spoke of Rice in glowing terms. “I support my darling black African woman,” he said. “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.”
Moammar Gadhafi poses with Condoleezza Rice prior to a meeting in Tripoli on September 5, 2008. Rice’s was the first such visit in more than half a century, marking a new chapter in Washington’s reconciliation with the former enemy state.
AP photographer Sergey Ponomarev was with the rebels as they flicked through the album in the Bab al-Aziziya complex on Wednesday. “There were lots of rebels celebrating their victory,” Ponomarev said. “It was still unsafe – loyalists were shelling the compound from time to time – but rebels were celebrating the seizure of the Gadhafi compound. They believe the victory is in their hands. Some of them even brought their children to the scene.”