An estate owned by Libyan strongman Moammar Khaddafy's government in an upscale northern New Jersey was vandalized Wednesday evening within hours of the leader's rambling rant at the U.N.
Englewood Mayor Michael Wildes said flammable debris was left on the driveway at the estate, The Associated Press reported. The site was where local and state officials first put the kibbosh on Khaddafy's plans to set up his signature traveling Bedouin tent for use during his first visit to the U.S.
Khaddafy has bounced around the tri-state area ahead of the United Nations meeting seeking a place to pitch the tent. Earlier Wednesday, he finally found a place to camp out -- at the podium in front of the world body's General Assembly.
Khaddafy, who was supposed to speak for five minutes and confine his remarks to nuclear arms proliferation and climate change, rambled on for nearly two hours, lashing out at the United States and vowing never to cooperate with the United Nations' charter. Khaddafy, who is 67 and came to power in his oil-rich homeland 40 years ago, said the UN is controlled by a handful of big countries that run roughshod over small nations like his.
"We are rejecting, and we shall never cooperate with the United Nations charter," Khaddafy thundered, waving the small booklet in the air and even tearing it into pieces at one point.
Often referring to a sheaf of notes, Khaddafy repeatedly called the UN impotent for failing to intervene in 65 wars since its inception in 1945. He complained about small countries being treated "like livestock," groused about the jetlag suffered by world leaders making their way to New York and said the UN's own Security Council ought to be rechristened the "terror council."
Among the subjects Khaddafy covered were an aborted investigation by President Kennedy into Israeli nukes, a theoretical attack by his nation on France and said Arabs have no animosity toward Israel.
He also called for a new investigation into the assassination of Martin Luther King, blamed modern-day piracy in Africa on western imperialism and hinted darkly that swine flu may have been intentionally created so unspecified mean people could sell vaccinations.
"They do make viruses and sometimes lose control of them," Khaddafy reasoned. "They make vaccinations and sell them. Medicines should not be sold."
Obama, who left after giving his own address, was spared the disjointed diatribe. But Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was forced to endure the entire rant.
One possible reason for Khaddafy's crankiness was his difficulty in finding accommodations in the U.S. The Libyan leader famously travels in a bedouin tent, which he hoped to pitch in Englewood, N.J. But leaders there balked and he tried to get lodging in a Manhattan hotel. When that didn't work out, he camped out behind an estate in Westchester owned by Donald Trump. But a town inspector from Bedford showed up, noted the Libyans didn't have a work permit to set up the tent, and sent them packing. Khaddafy may have wound up staying at the Libyan Mission on E. 48th St.
The anti-Khaddafy fervor was touched off last month, when the Libyan leader welcomed home Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi, who was convicted of killing 270 people by bombing Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988, was freed for what Great Britain said were compassionate reasons relating to his prostate cancer. Since then, the British press has zeroed in on a possible oil deal between Khaddafy and Great Britain as the possible real reason for the mass killer's release.