Berlesconi and Gaddafi: made for each other
Last August, Berlusconi gave Gadhafi a hero's welcome in Rome, and the Libyan came with a surprise: Bedouin riders mounted on 30 thoroughbred horses flown in from Libya performed in what one daily quipped was a circus spectacle with Gadhafi acting as ringmaster.Surreal? I don't know the Arabic derivation for democracy, but if everyone has a seat at the conversation that sounds like democracy. Oh dear, Gadhafi makes more sense that Berlusconi?
The Libyan leader also received 500 young women — hired by a modeling agency and paid $100 each to listen to a lecture on Islam, which he said should be the religion of all of Europe.
Granted the solemn honor of lecturing at Rome University, Gadhafi caused even more controversy.
He said the word democracy derives from the Arabic for "chair," and he reached the surreal conclusion that democracy will be achieved only when all the people are seated on chairs.
Even some in government were disturbed, accusing Gadhafi of having transformed Rome into his own private Disneyland for his senile vanity. But Berlusconi had only words of praise for his guest.
"It is an advantage for everyone that relations between Italy and Libya have changed and are definitely positive," Berlusconi said. "Those who do not understand this and criticize Libya belong to the past and are prisoners of outdated ideas."
The two leaders are so close that when asked on Sunday if he had talked with his friend, Berlusconi replied, "The situation is unclear, so I won't disturb anyone."
The so-called friendship treaty between Italy and Libya requires Italy not criticize Libya.