Libya's latest extortion attempt

It is a basic among law enforcement: succumb to extortion once and you've proven yourself a weakling, an easy mark. Instead of buying safety you're a target for further extortion.

And Libya's dictatorial strongman Muammar al-Gadaffi knows this too well. Last year he forced Britain, with American acquiescence, to release the Libyan who placed a bomb aboard Pan Am Flight 103 and massacred 270 people, in exchange for his country's oil. This extortion worked so well Gadaffi is at it again.

Gadaffi's offer this year has a blatantly racist tone. The Scotsman reports on Gadaffi's ugly wording.

Libyan leader Colonel Muammar al-Gaddafi has ended his visit to Italy by calling on the European Union to pay his country €5 billion (£4.13bn) a year to ensure its co-operation in preventing illegal immigration from Africa, which "threatens to turn Europe black".

Italy has drawn criticism for a deal it made with Tripoli to hand over to Libya mostly African migrants it intercepts at sea, without screening them first.

Far fewer now reach Italy from Libya. European Commission figures show that in 2009 the number of people caught trying to enter Italy illegally fell to 7,300, from 32,052 in 2008.

In his farewell speech yesterday Gaddafi, 67, told his audience in Rome: "Italy needs to convince her European allies to accept this Libyan proposal - €5bn to Libya to stop illegal immigration.

"Europe runs the risk of turning black from illegal immigration, it could turn into Africa. We need support from the European Union to stop this army trying to get across from Libya, which is their entry point.

However yesterday


The European Commission dismissed on Wednesday Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's 5-billion euro ($6.3 billion) price tag to putting a halt to the flow of Europe-bound illegal migration through his country.

The Commission "recognizes that there is great scope to develop cooperation with Libya on all migration-related issues," said spokesman Matthew Newman. He added, however, that "much can be achieved jointly with far less amounts than those invoked by Colonel Gadhafi."

There was no mention of Gadaffi's racist language although some individuals are upset. Will the European Union follow President Barack Hussein Obama's (D) example and submit a report to the UN's Human Rights Council criticizing itself for its treatment of illegal immigrants? Will Libya? Will Obama condemn LIbya's racist language and the European response to black immigrants?

Oh, by the way, Libya is an honored member of the Human Rights Council.

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