Op-Ed: For a man who claims he has the world’s greatest memory of any presidential candidate, Donald Trump apparently has forgotten that Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi killed 189 American passengers on a Pan Am jet. Passengers from other countries and people on the ground in Scotland also died.
Trump defended Gaddafi in Thursday night’s Republican debate. He didn’t mention Gaddafi’s terrorist acts against many countries.
Gaddafi’s agents also blew up a DC-10 operated by the former French airliner UTA over the Sahara Desert. The 170 killed included seven Americans.
His agents also killed three people, including two American soldiers, and injured many more people, in a West Berlin discotheque.
President Ronald Reagan tried unsuccessfully to kill Gaddafi.
Trump also apparently forgot during the debate that Gaddafi had pitched a tent on land owned by Trump in New York, though public pressure prevented him from ever staying in it.
Trump and other defenders of Gaddafi say he kept order in the region, and had stopped terrorist acts, and paid money to some victims.
Trump denied during the debate that he had supported the overthrow of Gaddafi, though fact checkers confirmed he had publicly claimed a role in the regime change.
BuzzFeed reported: “I can’t believe what our country is doing,” said Trump on his video blog. “Qaddafi in Libya is killing thousands of people, nobody knows how bad it is, and we’re sitting around we have soldiers all have the Middle East, and we’re not bringing them in to stop this horrible carnage and that’s what it is: It’s a carnage.
“Trump said Libya could end up one of the worst massacres in history, and it would be very easy to topple Qaddafi. “You talk about things that have happened in history; this could be one of the worst,” he said. “Now we should go in, we should stop this guy, which would be very easy and very quick. We could do it surgically, stop him from doing it, and save these lives. This is absolutely nuts.”
One implication of Trump’s remarks was that because Gaddafi had used his oil revenue to pay more than $2 billion to some of his victims he could be forgiven.
This is consistent with Trump’s attitude that deals can always be cut.
It should come as no surprise. Last November Comedy Central’s Trevor Noah had predicted Trump could become America’s Gaddafi, the nation’s “first African president…”
The writer of this blog covered the Sahara Desert crash of the UTA plane blow up by agents of Gaddafi. He was then a reporter for Associated Press based in West Africa.
IN THE TENERE REGION OF THE SAHARA (AP) First it appeared like confetti in the endless sand. Then big chunks of fuselage shattered in the crash that killed all 171 aboard, came into view.
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Worked in journalism, including on the Internet, for more than 40 years. Started as a news editor at the Colorado Daily at the University of Colorado, joined a small Montana newspaper, the Helena Independent-Record, and then United Press International.