September 29th, 2009 22:09 EST
Libyan President Gaddafi's Plan to "Abolish Switzerland"
I sometimes have my doubts about which category to place my latest contribution in, but if anyone belongs in "Crazy World", it must surely be dear Muammar.
We live in a world where the trend is towards countries breaking apart, often on a linguistic and cultural basis. The Soviet Union became fifteen independent nations. The Czechs and Slovaks had a fairly painless divorce. Yugoslavia broke up into a number of countries and entities. East Timor left Indonesia. Eritrea left Ethiopia. Countless groups, from the Basques in Europe to the Kurds in the Middle East to the Karen in Southeast Asia, ad infinitum, seek to break away and establish their own country (or at least, achieve significant autonomy).
One leader who has tried to promote unity over division has been President Moammar "Have Tent, Will Travel" Khaddafi of Libya. Qaddafi, whose name is spelled/transliterated just about every way imaginable, has proposed a configuration of the Palestinians and Israelis in a single state, overcoming centuries of prejudice, differences in language, culture, and religion, insisting that these erstwhile enemies can unite for peace.
In Africa, he has called for a formation of a kind of United States of Africa, bringing together 40 or so diverse countries, Sarah Palin notwithstanding, each made up of diverse populations. Bringing together Muslims, Animists, Christians, and others. Bringing together everyone from Arabs to Zulus. Overcoming infinite challenges in the name of pan-African unity.
His latest attempt at unity is a kind of southern-NATO with Venezuelan President and kindred spirit Hugo Chavez among others. Southern NATO? It would have to be SATO, I guess. Still, he posits Catholic South and Central America together with Muslim North Africa. The man is many things but he seems to be a "uniter, not a divider".
Except, he wants to break up the country of Switzerland. He even proposed it to the UN. A country that has managed to keep to itself as surrounding countries were convulsed in war. A country with four official languages. At a time when even stable and developed nations like Canada and Belgium are considering break-ups on linguistic lines, Switzerland is fighting the tides.
Gaddafi proposes to give the Italian, French, and German speaking sections to their neighbors. After all, he claims, Switzerland is "a world mafia and not a state." I`m sure his son`s arrest in Geneva for beating two servants at a local hotel has nothing to do with this vendetta.
It`s tempting to laugh off Muammar latest tirades as ridiculous, as they surely are, but we need to remember that he is a man who has supported terrorism in the past, does not recognize Switzerland`s right to exist, and is prone to the most unpredictable behavior. If I were Swiss, I would be keeping my eyes peeled.
You have to give Khaddafi credit for one thing, though. For a minor league dictator from a distraction of a nation, he manages to keep himself in the news a lot. From the Reagan administration times until today, just when you think he is gone, the world`s attention is once again back to the "shores of Tripoli."