The Libyan strongman has been erratically working toward a rapprochement with the West, including abandoning his fledgling WMD programs, cooperating on counterterrorism, and opening up his country to oil investment. Even his execrable human-rights record has improved.
It's not exactly clear whether the elder Qaddafi himself is driving this process, or whether his son Saif al-Islam -- who hangs out with the Davos crowd and talks a good game on democracy -- is the brains behind this operation.
But as Schenker points out, Muammar is his own worst enemy. He's like that unpopular kid in your high-school math class who makes everyone laugh by saying outrageous things, but still doesn't have any friends (yeah, OK, that was me). And by comparing the Security Council to al Qaeda and suggesting that swine flu was cooked up in a laboratory, he's only reinforced that image today.
There's one reason, though, that Qaddafi's bizarre remarks today won't leave him completely isolated. Anyone have a wild guess?
Photo by EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images
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