Despotic Chic: Qaddafi At The UN And Beyond

Swine flu, Jack Ruby and jet lag. Libyan leader Col. Muammar Qaddafi’s meandering 90-minute address to the United Nations General Assembly covered an array of topics and tested the stamina of his translators. Sept. 23, 2009.

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Protesters demonstrate against Qaddafi outside the United Nations headquarters. In his address, Qaddafi recommended that President Obama be “president for life,” and called him “our son,” referring to the African Union.

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In a departure from his usual ostentatious displays of fashion, Qaddafi shows up to the UN in subdued black the day before his speech.

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Qaddafi — who is afraid of elevators — tried to pitch his tent on Donald Trump’s 213-acre estate in Bedford, N.Y., which is being rented by tenants from the United Arab Emirates. The tenants were given a stop-work order, kicking Qaddafi out.

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Qaddafi originally wanted to set up his Bedouin-style tent in Central Park and then, on property owned by his government in Englewood, N.J. Public uproar, stoked by the “hero’s welcome” in Libya of convicted Pan Am Flight 103 bomber Mohmed al Megrahi, stopped Qaddafi from setting up his tent in either location. He eventually bunked at the Libyan mission in New York City.

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Qaddafi at the opening of the first conference of the Forum of African Kings, Sultans, Princes, Sheikhs and Chiefs, on Sept. 10, 2009 in Tripoli.


Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Russian President Dmitriy Medvedev, President Obama, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, Qaddafi and Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos on the last working day of the G8 Summit in L’Aquila, Italy on July 10, 2009.

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In L’Aquila.

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Pres. Obama and Qaddafi before a dinner at the G8 summit.


Qaddafi was greeted by Premier Berlusconi upon his arrival in Rome for the G8. Qaddafi had better luck with accommodations in Italy, setting up his tent in Rome’s Villa Pamphili, where he stayed during his three-day official visit.


At the closing ceremony at an African Union summit on July 1, 2008, in Egypt.

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Qaddafi lands in Burkina Faso and is greeted by President Blaise Compaore on Jan. 16, 2008.

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Qaddafi admires the Versailles Castle in France on Dec. 14, 2007.

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Qaddafi ‘s security guards outside the Hotel Marigny, a state residence in Paris where the leader pitched his tent for a five-day stay in December 2007.

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Qaddafi responds to cheers at the National Stadium in Sierra Leone, with President Tejan Kabbah in June 2007.

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The early years: Qaddafi, pictured in 1972 in London.