- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 3, 2003

Deadly desserts

A contusion, a concussion and three broken ribs could not stop lobbyist Edward von Kloberg III from his appointed rounds — in this case, lunch at the Metropolitan Club with a diplomat from the Indian Embassy.

Bruised and bloodied, he showed up at the club last week and refused to go to a hospital until after dessert.

“Would any other lobbyist do this much for a client?” he asked, as he explained his ordeal to Embassy Row.

Mr. von Kloberg, who has represented some of the world’s most famous dictators and democrats, is a shameless self-promoter who once said, “Shame is for sissies.”

“Oh, the lobbyist to saints, sinners, gods and generals. Will he last again?” he moaned. “Self-serving lobbyist, keep him alive.”

His troubles started when he had an attack of vertigo as he left his Northwest Washington condominium for lunch on Friday. He has suffered from Meniere’s disease for years but has never had such a severe attack that left him stumbling and dazed.

The dapper 61-year-old fell outside the entrance to his high rise and fell again at the curb, ruining one of his $5,000 tailor-made suits. The condominium manager called for help and, suddenly, Mr. von Kloberg said he saw three ambulances and four police cars.

“I told them I had to give a luncheon and sneaked away in a taxi that happened by,” he said.

Outside the Metropolitan Club, he fell again. The staff brought him towels for a cut on his forehead and a bump on the back of his head and insisted he get immediate treatment.

His luncheon guest, whom he preferred not to identify, insisted, “The show must go on,” and Mr. von Kloberg agreed.

“I said I would not leave until I had my favorite dessert, rice pudding,” he said.

Mr. von Kloberg later checked into Suburban Hospital and was released after treatment on Saturday. He was back at his Washington World Group on Monday.

“I had a contusion, a concussion and God knows what else,” he said, adding he also broke three ribs.

As he recounted his troubles, he recalled a story about the socialite Violet Trefusis, daughter of Alice Keppel, who was the most famous mistress of Britain’s King Edward VII.

At 89, she pleaded with her doctor to allow her to attend one more luncheon.

“‘One more lunch, doctor. One more lunch,’ she said, and then she died during dessert on her beautiful porcelain,” Mr. von Kloberg said.

“I think that is the way to go.”

Liberia’s war is ‘over’

John Blaney, the U.S. ambassador to Liberia, promised more U.S. aid to the West African nation founded by former American slaves and declared the long civil war is over.

“Now let there be peace and a safer, richer, new Liberia,” Mr. Blaney told reporters in the capital, Monrovia, this week. “This war is over.”

A West African peacekeeping force is enforcing an agreement signed last month between the government and two rebel forces. American troops aboard U.S. warships are positioned off shore.

Mr. Blaney warned all sides to obey the law, Agence France-Presse reported

“Murder is a crime. Looting is a crime. Rape is a crime. Stealing from government coffers is a crime. Destroying property is a crime. Criminals will be caught and punished. The days of impunity are finished,” he said.

He predicted that the exile of former President Charles Taylor, who has been indicted for war crimes, will lead to a new era for Liberia.

“As Liberia’s oldest friend, the United States believes the departure of Charles Taylor presents an opening for Liberia to make peace, strengthen democracy and justice, develop economically and create a better life for all Liberians,” he said.

Honorary consul

Singapore yesterday named a popular former U.S. ambassador as its honorary consul in Florida.

Steven Green, a 58-year-old businessman, was ambassador to the Southeast Asian city-state from 1997 to 2001 and served as a special adviser to the government after he left his diplomatic post.

While he was ambassador, Mr. Green helped improve relations between the United States and Singapore and opened negotiations that led to the signing of a free-trade agreement this year.

Call Embassy Row at 202/636-3297, fax 202/832-7278 or e-mail jmorrison@washingtontimes.com.

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