Qadaffi's Chicago Connection

Two belated weeks after the Libyan people rose up against a brutal dictator, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton finally stated that "Qadaffi must go." Prior to the demand for the "mad dog of the Middle East" to leave Libya, Obama issued a lackluster statement with no mention of the leader's name; only a humdrum "Let me be clear. The change that is taking place is being driven by the people."

Now almost a month later Susan Rice, ambassador to the U.N issued this statement:
We are discussing very seriously and leading efforts in the Council around a range of actions that we believe could be effective in protecting civilians.

The U.S. view is that we need to be prepared to contemplate steps that include but perhaps go beyond a no-fly zone.

Weak-willed? Indecisive? Maybe not. In this case, not to act is to act and Obama's inertia is clearly beneficial to Qaddafi. So why is the colonel getting a pass from Obama? 

Speaking in the Libyan city of Sirt last April Qaddafi praised America's ruler:

Now, ruling America is a black man from our continent, an African from Arab descent, from Muslim descent, and this is something we never imagined -- that from Reagan we would get to Barakeh Obama.

Surely Qaddafi is emboldened by a President who is the exact opposite of Ronald Reagan. After all, Reagan said this in 1986 when asked why the dictator was targeting Americans:

Well, we know that this mad dog of the Middle East has a goal of a world revolution, Moslem fundamentalist revolution, which is targeted on many of his own Arab compatriots.

Contrast Reagan's resolve with the fact that a week after Qaddafi celebrated the return of the Lockerbie bomber in September 2009, Obama's State Department authorized a $400,000 donation to Libyan non-profit organizations run by Aisha and Saif Ghadafi, the dictator's children. 

And who can forget the photo of a beaming Obama shaking hands with a starstruck Qadaffi at the G8 summit in Italy in July 2009?

Perhaps the mutual admiration has its roots in Obama's Hyde Park neighborhood replete with old friends Jeremiah Wright and Louis Farrakhan. This is the same Farrakhan who called candidate Obama the "Messiah" and who spoke numerous times at Reverend Wright's church while the Obama family listened for 20 years.

In a March 16 article hawking her timely book on the infamous civil rights/criminal/terrorist gang, El Rukns, Chicago Public Radio reporter Natalie Y. Moore spells out the relationship between Qaddafi and the Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.

Farrakhan received $5 million from Qaddafi in 1985, ostensibly to start his own "self-contained economic system." The El Rukn nation leader and Islam convert Jeff Fort apparently wanted in on some of the Libyan largesse. After an FBI sting, he ended up in federal prison where he still is today. His gang became the first Americans to be convicted of domestic terrorism.

Throughout her article Moore's sympathies are clearly not with the Reagan era Joint Terrorism Task Force and the FBI. In the end she states that Fort "got duped in the name of homeland security. In our post-9/11 world, I wouldn't be surprised if similar cases emerge."

In the book, Moore and her co-author Lance Williams reveal the interconnected factions in Southside Chicago struggling to mark their territory; not to mention Qadaffi's investment in the community:

...Word spread that Qadaffi had provided Farrakhan an interest free five-million dollar loan in 1985...Even the black almanac Jet Magazine published an article about the money.

...when criticism started to pile on Farrakhan for taking money from an international leader whom the United States considered a pariah, he defended himself:

'I appeal to our own government: Don't be angry at Brother Khadafy (sic) for helping us...I am not a terrorist.'

At a NOI (Nation of Islam) Savior's Day celebration at the General Jones Armory in Chicago, Farrakhan erected a giant screen where thousands watched as Colonel Qadaffi told them "he wanted to help black people throw off the chains of oppressions and bondage." After Qaddafi spoke, the Chicago audience "burst into feverish applause."

Earlier, in 1982, at another Savior's Day rally Farrakhan praised Fort, the gang leader, for his exceptional organizing skills. In his heyday, before being arrested several times, Fort managed to procure $1 million from a federal anti-poverty program registering his gang as a political organization. His words foreshadow Obama's own rise through the ranks:

 ...See, a man that can organize men like this on one level can organize them like that on another level...This brother is not just a Chicago man. This brother has the potential for national and international work.

Considering that Obama lived in Farrakhan's neighborhood, was a fledgling community organizer and was a congregant at Wright's Trinity United Church of Christ, he must have at least become acquainted with the man who named him the "Messiah."

Obama's reticence to act against Qaddafi may involve some old ties that bind. Like Carl Sandburg said, Chicago's a "crooked, brutal, wicked" city. The 'folks' who benefited from Libyan monies are still around.

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