Even Dictators Have Crushes

When forces invaded the Qadaffi’s Tripoli compound in August, they found a scrap book full of pictures of former secretary of state, Condoleeza Rice. In an interview with Al Jazeera in 2007, Qadhaffi expressed his admiration for Ms. Rice: “I support my darling black African woman,” he said. “I admire and am very proud of the way she leans back and gives orders to the Arab leaders … Leezza, Leezza, Leezza. … I love her very much. I admire her and I’m proud of her because she’s a black woman of African origin.”

What does “Leeza” have to say about all this? “Deeply bizarre and deeply creepy.”

The Daily Beast posted an excerpt of Ms. Rice’s new memoir, in which she recounts an encounter with the former dictator:

After several hours, we were summoned to the residence, where I greeted the Libyan leader and sat down to hundreds of camera flashes. Qaddafi said a few completely appropriate words, as did I, and the press left. We began the conversation as Amado had suggested, talking about Africa in general and Sudan in particular. Libya, he promised, would help with alternaPhoto album found at the Qadaffi compoundtive routes for humanitarian supplies to the refugees. This is going pretty well, I thought. He doesn’t seem crazy. Then, as Amado had predicted, he suddenly stopped speaking and began rolling his head back and forth. “Tell President Bush to stop talking about a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine!” he barked. “It should be one state! Israeltine!” Perhaps he didn’t like what I said next. In a sudden fit, he fired two translators in the room. Okay, I thought, this is Qaddafi.

It was Ramadan at the time of my visit, and after sundown the “Brother Leader” insisted that I join him for dinner in his private kitchen. Colby Cooper, who had overseen the arrangements for the trip, protested that this hadn’t been the plan. My security detail did as well, especially when they were told to stay outside. I thought I could take care of myself and went in. At the end of dinner, Qaddafi told me that he’d made a videotape for me. Uh oh, I thought, what is this going to be? It was a quite innocent collection of photos of me with world leaders—President Bush, Vladimir Putin, Hu Jintao, and so on—set to the music of a song called “Black Flower in the White House,” written for me by a Libyan composer. It was weird, but at least it wasn’t raunchy

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