How Saif Gaddafi and Friends Fooled the Euro-Left
The flashy frauds had a naive left believing a "progressive" Muslim world was coming.
August 31, 2011 - 10:48 am
They laid on a dinner, a tented hotel, flights in private jets, the works.
It was hailed by environmentalists as the “world’s largest sustainable development.” Lord Foster told the attendees about the project:
This is one of the most beautiful and little-known landscapes on Earth. We’ve been give a unique challenge: to establish a sustainable blueprint for future development which will be sensitive to the history of the Green Mountain and to its conservation.
The heart of the environmentally sustainable complex was to be a series of exclusive hotels.
The attendees at the environmental gala seemed oblivious that while they partied in excess, 40% of Libya’s people lived below the poverty line. And half of Libya’s young are unemployed. This for a nation with the largest oil reserves in Africa.
Saif wasn’t the only Gaddafi sibling to deceive the West and to receive plaudits for work on behalf of humanity. Until the Arab Spring erupted, his sister Aisha Gaddafi had been an official goodwill ambassador for the UN Development Program. Aisha and her brothers Muhammed and Hannibal were the ones who surfaced in Algeria on Monday.
Hannibal was the bad boy in the family. He was nicknamed “Hannibal the Cannibal” because of his repeated acts of violence and ruthlessness against his staff and his model wife. Still, he remained a big hit throughout Europe, throwing parties with such stars as Beyonce, Mariah Carey, and Usher. He was best-known for driving his Ferrari 90 mph the wrong way on the Champs-Elysees in Paris. As with other problems with the authorities, he invoked diplomatic immunity.
Then there are the wives and daughters of Arab leaders. A month after Vogue profiled Syria’s first lady in a glowing article, Asma Assad proclaimed Syria the “safest country” in the Middle East. As my colleague Claudia Rosett wrote earlier this week in PJMedia: “It’s just six months since the first lady of Syria, Asma al-Assad, was on a roll as the plushly accessorized human face of Syria’s Assad regime.” Asma, the wife of Syria’s Bashar Assad, has disappeared from the society circuit since her husband began gunning down his own citizens. Slate cattily calls Asma ”the Marie Antionette of the Middle East.” A 2009 Huffington Post slide show also put out a puff piece on Asma titled: “Asma Al Assad: Syria’s First Lady and All-Natural Beauty.”
There is Jordan’s cosmopolitan Queen Rania al-Abdullah. She was Glamour‘s woman of the year in 2010, and named in Vanity Fair‘s Best-Dressed International Hall of Fame. As Slate’s Noreen Malone notes, Rania is unfavorably compared by Jordan’s tribes to the “unapologetically spendy Leila Trabelsi, wife of deposed Tunisian President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali and the so-called ‘Imelda Marcos of the Arab world.’”
Princess of Qatar, Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al-Missned, is one of the wives of the emir of Qatar. According to the Sunlight Foundation: “The UN recognizes Sheikha Mozah as a special envoy of its UNESCO Celebrity Advocates.” The left-wing American PR firm Fenton Communications once represented Mozah.
For decades the Eurosocialist political leadership and liberal American activists convinced themselves that by mouthing the right words and dressing right and appearing to identify with Western culture, the next generation of Arabs were moving toward reform.
Now we know many were frauds. Will it make any difference?