Friday, July 10, 2009

Obama Shakes Hands with Col. Gaddafi

For the first time a U.S. President shook hands with Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. The event was greased by Libya's paying restitution for the 1998 Lockerbie, Scotland bombing. It also promised not to pursue nuclear weapons.

The Carlyle Group has its eyes on Libya, even before it announced its $500 million Middle East/North Africa fund. It sponsored a Washington, D.C. dinner for Col. Gaddafi's son. James A. Baker, III helped host the younger Gaddafi. He added legal muscle in the region to do any deals.

Libyan leaders proved a quick study, hiring a lobbying firm to foster business exchange. It paid off with a public handshake. Who knows what else?