Tuesday, March 22, 2011

He's So Prolific! Muammar Gaddafi: Fashionista, Financier of Farrakhan, Friend of the El Rukns, and Connoisseur of Women

I spent my weekend at the C2e2 convention here in Chicago. It was a good time. My talk went extremely well (I always try to bring it; thus why I go last on a panel whenever possible). I saw some great costumes, got an autograph from Bill Willingham of Fables fame, and made some preliminary forays into collaborating on a book project. C2e2 also reminded me of my early socialization into the lifestyle that is ghetto nerdness.

I have many fond teenage and childhood memories of going to comic book, Star Trek and science fiction conventions, often held in dingy, dilapidated hotels before the mainstream embraced Comic-Con and other such gatherings. In those same years, my interest in military affairs began to develop. As a child of the Cold War, G.I. Joe, Rambo, Ronald Reagan's America, and the Cold War, we ghetto nerds of the hip hop generation couldn't help but have some interest in things that go boom and which cost billions of dollars in the name of "national defense."

There were interventions aplenty during Reagan and Bush the Elder's reign--much to the delight of a young hawk and militarist in training. I vividly remember Iran-Contra and the Right's defense of Oliver North as an American "patriot." While the fiasco invasion of Grenada was a vague memory, the bombing of Libya was my proverbial baptism by fire: I remember staying up all night watching ABC News, learning about F-111 and A-6 strike aircraft, and getting drunk on a bit of TV news war porn as the "experts" scrambled to come up with compelling angles.

Top Gun would come next. The rest is history. And of course, we black and brown ghetto nerds had to invent an on screen character during our reenactments in order to feel included in the Hollywood military industrial complex homo-social fantasy that was Top Gun.

Thus, my fascination with Muammar Gaddafi has percolated and aged, like a fine wine, over these many years. Like Kim Jong-il, he is one part James Bond villain, and two parts thorn in the behind of American power. By comparison Saddam Hussein always seemed horrifically terrifying. To my eyes, Gaddafi was always more of a character, a guy who would throw a great party and later regale you with stories of his exploits both real and imagined.

As a policy matter, I am of two minds on the intervention in Libya. I believe that Obama, if he were to go down this road, should have acted earlier when Gaddafi's forces were on the run, as opposed to now when the lines are more settled. I am also not a fan of a decades-long mission where our pilots will be performing a series of perpetual left or right hand turns, flying in circles over a foreign country for little appreciable gain. Nor, do I think the American people understand that there have been boots on the ground for weeks--commandos, combat air controllers, parajumpers and others who are doing the requisite targeting and recon work for the air assault. But alas, an intervention of indeterminate length and possessing a vague goal has begun. Let us send well-wishes to our warriors such that they return home safely.

As an avid Gaddafi watcher, here are some fun and random stories about our intrepid dictator to complement the mainstream media's coverage of Operation Odyssey Dawn:

1. He is so prolific! Muammar Gaddafi invented a rocket shaped car designed to revitalize the Libyan auto industry by producing a vehicle that would provide unprecedented protection to passengers in the event of a collision.

2. He is quite a ladies man. From being cared for by a buxom Ukrainian nurse, to personal bodyguards who are so compelling their habitus and sexuality alone would distract potential assassins, Gaddafi is that dude. In fact, Muammar has so much game that he invited 500 models to an Italian villa for an evening confab. While any other man would have enjoyed an evening of decadent and lascivious delights that would have shamed Caligula, the leader of Libya instead chose to give said women a lecture on morality and the virtues of Islam. Talk about game and self-control. There is no better way to make a woman want you, especially a goddess, than to ignore her charms. Trust for I know it be true, he who has bedded beautiful Sikh sisters as well as sexy Tamil queens...all in the same day.

3. Know your history. Muammar's connections to Chicago are deep. In fact, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan's line of personal health products were started with some 5 million dollars in seed money from the good dictator.

4. But be careful. Connections to Gaddafi were apparently used as a pretext in order to trip up the local Chicago community organization and street gang the El Rukns. Their leader Jeff Fort along with other El Rukns are serving decades-long prison sentences for a range of "terrorist" activities including a purported plot to blow up the (then) Sear's Tower, assassinate Americans, and commit other subversive deeds.

5. Gaddafi is mighty dapper. Make careful note of his range of clothes and how he can innovate for any occasion. For my dollar, Gaddafi is so fashion savvy he should have his own show on the Style Network or perhaps a guest appearance on Mad Men.

6. Judge him by his enemies. Gaddafi was the target of a CIA disinformation campaign in the 198s0s. The men in black circulated all manner of lies and half-truths on Gaddafi's mischief making around the world. They also hit Gaddafi below the proverbial belt, suggesting that he was impotent, a cross-dresser, and insane. Now that is just unkind!

So my friends and fellow travelers, do you have any other Gaddafi factoids to add to the list? What are your thoughts on President Obama's Barbary coast (mis)adventure?


Plane Ideas said...

I have a problem with America invading Africa but not during the aparthied era or the Riwanda holocaust..

I have a problem with Libya using Black Africans as mercenaries..

I have a problem with wars on innocents

I recall the MSM spreading stories about the cannibal from Uganda..

I recall the MSM spreading tells about Mugabe

I recall the MSM ignoring the plight of Mandlea..

I don't have any tales about Gman you never now when they will fashion into propaganda...

Anonymous said...

I often ask people (both Black and White), when they express support for our recent military actions, whether or not they are willing (or are willing for their families) to die in support of said actions.

When we mosey on over to the middle east and indiscriminately drop bombs on civilians (women and children included), why do we expect that there will be no blow-back?

Then again, you might be the kind of people who believe that our super intelligent smart bombs always hit their military targets without fail.

I'm always fascinated by folks who claim that our actions have nothing to do with the radicalization of young middle eastern men and women. That "they're all terrorists anyway, so we're just killing them before they kill us".

Eventually, the blood money that we've been paying after we turn peoples families into hamburger meat is going to stop being an effective deterrent to the formation of future "terrorists".

Remember, the next time some person tries to build a bomb to kill as many Americans as he or she can, that will be a prime example of your hard-earned tax dollars at work.

Lady Zora, Chauncey DeVega, and Gordon Gartrelle said...

@Thrasher. You are always ready for battle brother. To be commended.

@Anon. Wow. More boilerplate. Read this site then comment. Trust, I believe in blowback and am a deep critic of U.S. foreign policy when necessary. Don't fall into the trap the Right sets for those who disagree with them.


keke said...

Funny this is, before all the recent action began in Libya, there was a cracked article listing Gaddafi as one of the craziest dictators (#4 http://www.cracked.com/article_18850_7-modern-dictators-way-crazier-than-you-thought-possible.html). Why are the crazies always in plain sight but no one does anything to stop them?

Anyway, I still can't quite wrap my head around the damned -that-he-didn't and then damned that he did situation that Barack is in on his decision to become militarily involved in Libya. I don't see this turning into Afghanistan or Iraq but I am curious to know if we'll stay until there's "stability" (cough- aka when there's a Libya leader in power who the US can use as a puppet).