He certainly has real-life guests to rival the fictional villains assembled by Dr. Evil in the “Austin Powers” movies.
Where Dr. Evil has No. 2 and Frau Farbissina, the Libyan dictator has president-by-terror Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe and president-by-genocide Omar al-Bashir of Sudan, who is under indictment for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur.
To top it off, the guest list at the celebration of Khadafy’s 40th year in power includes the man known in Somalia as “the father of piracy,” Mohammed Abdi Afweyne.
In attending the four-day extravaganza, Afweyne reportedly took a break from exacting ransom for a ship held hostage off the Somali coast.
In May, the supposedly reformed Khadafy said that such piracy is not piracy at all, but “self-defense” against “greedy Western nations.”
“It is defending the Somalia children’s food,” Khadafy said.
Among the ships that Afweyne’s pirates hijacked was a World Food Program freighter carrying 850 tons of rice bound for the starving in Somalia.
As this week’s 40th anniversary celebration in Libya neared, Prince Andrew had originally RSVP’d in the affirmative. He bowed out following the furor over the hero’s welcome given to freed Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi.
Otherwise, the prince might have found himself sitting with a thug, a genocidal psychopath and a pirate kingpin while huge screens flashed photos of a bomber convicted of murdering 270 innocents.
The big photos of Libya’s new national hero accompanied a performance by a New Zealand bagpipe band, complete with kilts. The bomber was freed by the Scottish justice secretary.
“The freeing of al-Megrahi was a highlight of the colonel’s time in office and he wanted to honor Scotland for it,” a Libyan official said.
Further outdoing anything Dr. Evil may have contemplated, the gala featured a mock mass hanging where performers pretended to dangle from their necks in a ghastly green light.
The hangings were supposed to represent the mass execution of Libyans during colonial rule by the Italians.
Khadafy executed his own share of Libyans. The snuffing of two students prompted a protest outside the Libyan Embassy in London in 1984. Shots erupted from inside, and Police Constable Yvonne Fletcher was mortally wounded.
The fallen officer’s mother, Queenie Fletcher, has never given up hope the gunman would be brought to justice. Scotland Yard managed to identify a prime suspect and she hoped Khadafy would turn him over in exchange for the Lockerbie bomber being transferred to a Libyan prison.
“At one time I was optimistic that Yvonne’s killer might be found, but I don’t think I am anymore,” Queenie Fletcher told a Brit paper this week.
Scotland simply freed the bomber, bartering for oil apparently taking precedence over bartering for a cop killer. Maybe the gunman was among those who cheered the pictures of the bomber while the bagpipes skirled.
In added celebration, Khadafy presented himself with a “Rocket Car” made by an Italian auto designer. This futuristic, one-of-a-kind conveyance looks just like something Dr. Evil might zoom off in after meeting with his equivalent of Mugabe, Bashir and Afweyne.
The Rocket Car even has room for Mini-Mo – Moammar Khadafy’s son, Seif.
If Khadafy were to extend that pinkie, you would be sure you were in an “Austin Powers” movie, complete with bumbling Brits.
Only there is nothing even remotely funny about this figure of true evil and the too-real villains who almost got to party with Prince Andrew.