When Muammar Ghadafi first arrived in New York for the UN assembly, the media reaction was blindly predictable. With news outlets repeatedly reiterating the Libyan sponsorship of the Lockerbee bombing, saying he was looked at contemptuously is putting it mildly. He almost set up a tent on Donald Trump's estate, turning eyebrows. However, calling it the height of his eccentricity is plain quibble. Any hotel Ghadafi could have visited while in the Big Apple would have probably been wired to the core with surveillance. The feds would have the pleasure of seeing Mr.Ghadafi in clothes besides the desert attire he dons everywhere if he had stayed at a proper N.Y hotel.
But what probably bought most attention besides his 96 minute speech (when he was allocated 15 mins) in which he denounced the Security Council as a 'terror council' will have to be the traveling mini-army of of 40 to 50 heavily armed all-women bodyguards sometimes called his "Amazon Guard" after the legendary Amazon women. Some of them are quite pretty and they wear lipstick, jewelry, polished nails and even high heels. In fact, a female graduate of New York University of Lebanese origin has even made a documentary on them titled ''Qaddafi's Female Bodyguards: Shadows of a Leader.''
In 2003, the women smartly outfitted in form-fitting desert camouflage uniforms and blue berets -- caused a pushing-and-shoving ruckus when Khadafy got in a shouting match with Saudi Arabians at an Arab summit. The bodyguards also formed a menacing circle around Khadafi in Rome last June after 900 Italian women unleashed a chorus of boos in response to his admonition not to drive without their husbands' permission.
However, not anybody can become his bodyguard. Ghadafi, who calls himself a pioneer of 'Islamic socialism',prides on their virginity and insist them remain so. Gaddafi says they are a symbol of his belief in female emancipation. "Women should be trained for combat, so that they do not become easy prey for their enemies," he is reported to have said.
This is the not the first time Ghadafi has been in the news for the wrong reasons. After the bombing of Libya by the U.S Air Force in 1986, Ghadafi, who has fathered 9 children allowed only female journalists to interview him. He reportedly became "amorous" during those interviews. He also called then US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice "his darling black African woman." Unbeilable, but true.
* Gaddafi in Europe (Photo Gallery)