Muammar Qaddafi last March.(Mahmud Turkia/AFP/Getty Images)
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Libya’s Gain Is World’s Loss

Qaddafi mourned from the streets of Brooklyn to the shores of Tripoli

Marc Tracy
November 01, 2011
Muammar Qaddafi last March.(Mahmud Turkia/AFP/Getty Images)

Contributing editor Jeffrey Goldberg has a wicked, fun (and wicked fun) column about the copious reams of future brilliant volumes the world was denied when Muammar Qaddafi, that brilliant thinker, met The Great Sunglasses Wearing Dictator in the Sky. “In the now-legendary Green Book, Qaddafi’s summa,” notes Goldberg, “he writes: ‘Women are females and men are males. According to gynecologists, women menstruate every month or so, while men, being male, do not menstruate or suffer during the monthly period.’ ” Goldberg adds: “So true! And so sad that the world misinterpreted such profound truths, unfairly labeling them gibberish from a despot.”

But historians looking into further insights from the once and not future Brotherly Leader and Guide of the Revolution of Libya should dig into the archives of Louis Schlamowitz, an 81-year-old Brooklyn florist, who engaged in an extensive, back-and-forth written correspondence with the dictator from his 1969 ascension to 1988—the year of the Libya-sponsored Pan Am bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland, that killed nearly 300. A cursory glance at Qaddafi’s brilliant exegeses reveals such insights as, “America practices terrorism against the Palestinian people through providing Israel with the planes and weapons for attacking the Palestinian camps,” and, “If America carried out an act of aggression against us, we will become a second Vietnam.”

Then again, the person whose book I want to read might be Schlamowitz. “I felt bad about how he was slaughtered,” he told the New York Post about last month’s events. “They really gave him the one-two-three. But that’s politics.”

Marc Tracy is a staff writer at The New Republic, and was previously a staff writer at Tablet. He tweets @marcatracy.

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