Moammar Qadafi has won the 2011Nobel Peace Prize.
Citing his official renunciation of terrorism beyond his own country’s borders as well as his leadership during his year-long tenure as Chairman of the African Union, the Nobel Committee described Col. Qadafi as “a pivotal figure in the creation of the social and political climate which the entire North African region now enjoys.”
When asked by reporters if the National Transition Council was planning any form of celebration to mark the occasion, such as a parade in Tripoli if and when the deposed strongman ever returns from the ‘nice farm upstate’ where they have told the nation’s children they plan to send him, interim Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril tersely responded, “A parade? No. A procession, perhaps.”
It is not yet known if Col. Qadafi, who aides said could not be reached because he is currently “hiking the Appalachian Trail with his remaining bodyguards” will travel to Stockholm next month to receive his prize in person, but Faisal al-Fislammaj Amah, a longtime aide and confidante who spoke to reporters on condition of anonymity commented, “To receive such an honor personally, as well as out of respect for his hosts and his affinity for the Swedish people – particularly their women – I’m sure he will fight to the last drop of blood to be there.”
But Newton Toomey, a former State Department official and Professor of Deposed Dictatorships at Pueblo State University, finds it unlikely that Qadafi will be able to attend. Professor Toomey bases her opinion on two primary factors, namely:
- Security concerns – Qadafi only travels overseas with a contingent of at least 50 female bodyguards. He recently lost several who were ‘lured away’ by a generous offer from former IMF Chairman Dominique Strauss-Kahn, and recent events have made the recruitment of young replacements nearly impossible;
- Visa problems – According to Prof. Toomey, “An illegal Mexican immigrant on Death Row has a better chance of getting a pardon and a work permit from Rick Perry than Qadafi has of getting a visa allowing him to leave Libya.
Or, as one NATO official familiar with efforts to locate the latest Nobel Laureate concluded, “There’s a better chance of Julian Assange showing up in Sweden voluntarily.”