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Colonel Qaddafi is coming!!!

Colonel Qaddafi is coming to the U.S.!!! Run for your lives!

When I was a kid in the 80s, Qaddafi was the boogie man! He was like the bin-Laden or the Saddam Hussien of my early childhood. I've got his name and his leering face so indelibly stamped in my mind as an omnipresent threat to my life, that I simply cannot wrap my mind around the fact we're accepting him into this country.

I mean, when I was a kid I prayed to got at night to keep me safe from the Libyans. I dreamed up ways that we could send Rambo and Arnold Schwartzenegger (circa Commando) over there to destroy the whole country and assasinate Qaddafi. I drew comic strips of a Qaddafi vs. Reagan steel cage match! When we played "guns" outside in the yard, we fought against Qaddafi and the Libyans! For god's sake, I'm not the only was in Back to the Future!

It's as if they dug this guy up from some 80s Bad Guy Time Capsule. I mean, what's next? Bi-Lateral talks with Skeletor at Castle Grey Skull? A "Beer Summit" with the C.O.B.R.A. Commander?? A workout session with Ivan Drago???

Still, as with all Bad Guys, there was always something dangerously fascinating about Colonel Qaddafi...that smug and aloof apearance; that uniform bedecked with tons of military medals; those tinted Aviator sunglass hiding the wily glance; his crack team of Amazon body gaurds; his impossible rankling of the entire civilized world from what amounts to a forgotten patch of desert the size of Alaska.

Yes, I have to say I am more than a little intrigued.

Naturally I've heard all about how Libya has made a somewhat grudging march back into the fold of the world community, about how Qaddafi has pledged his support to help fight Al-Qaeda, and about his role in the African Union movement, etc. And I think that's all great. I really do. Joining the world community sounds to me like a step in the right direction for a country that doesn't have a lot else going for it but some few patches of oil, a really imposing solid-green flag, and an iconic leader with cool shades. But, when and if it comes to "Us vs. Them," you don't have to be Political Science professor to know where Libya will probably line up. Hopefully, however, it won't come to that.

Meantime, I think Libya remains an interesting story. I'm not 100% sure of the chapter and verse, but I think they pretty narrowly escaped having their country bombed to rubble. Had Qaddafi rattled his sabre in the 90s, or the 2000s, that very thing might just have happened, and for the past seven years we would've been talking about The War in Libya instead of The War in Iraq. But Qaddafi seems to have snatched a kind of victory out of the jaws of defeat. Perhaps he wised up, on some level?

However, as far as I know, Libya still is not a democracy and doesn't have anything close to what we could call a "government" in the modern sense. I belive there is some kind of "council" that makes all the decisions, and that a sort of Socialism exists there. I'm going to research it further, you can count on it. So save the critical E-mails for after my next post entitled: Everything I Ever Learned About Libya I Found on Wikipedia.

Net-net, I'm still not sure how I feel about the "New Libya" and Qaddafi's attempts to modernize it. John F. Kennedy had a great saying, "Sincerity is subject to proof." I think Libya's turnaround is still subject to proof. But on some level it's still good to see that progress seems to be being made, and that it's not unthinkable that a country that was once our sworn enemy has now at least earned a seat at the table.

It's also about time that I dislodge myself from the idea that Qaddafi is a comic book character.


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