- The Washington Times - Friday, August 23, 2002

Show me the money

Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi apparently learned a valuable lesson from then-President Clinton's much-heralded visit to drought-stricken Africa: Actions speak louder than words.

The infamous $43 million taxpayer-funded trek to Africa by Mr. Clinton during his impeachment in 1998, you'll recall, consisted of a huge entourage that traveled aboard a caravan of planes and vehicles. Still, the president's journey was so disorganized that all that could be offered the throngs of villagers coming out to greet him and first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton were "deliverables."

In fact, this column reported that Mrs. Clinton pledged $2 million during a speech in Kampala, Uganda, to help child victims of rebel activity. More than two years later, we intercepted a dispatch from Kampala that Mrs. Clinton's promised cash never arrived in the African nation.

At least Col. Gadhafi, during his recent visit to the southern African country of Malawi, brought something more useful than empty words.

According to the Times of London, Col. Gadhafi, like Mr. Clinton, brought with him an impressive entourage: his own personal jet, two Boeing 707s, two transport aircraft, two heavily armed (read machine guns, assault rifles and rocket launchers) security buses, his own mobile hospital, 600 support personnel, and 70 armored vehicles for the drive across the country.

Except that one of the vehicles, the Times observed, was "stocked with $6 million American [money], much of which he [Mr. Gadhafi] tossed freely to villagers who had lined his route."

Know your commander

"The U.S. State Department would do well to remember that it answers to the president of the United States, not the European Union."

House Majority Whip Tom DeLay, Texas Republican, referring to the lack of consensus, among U.S. officials and allies, for a regime change in Iraq. Still, Mr. DeLay this week pledged President Bush unified support of the House of Representatives in undertaking a mission to oust Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.

Here it comes

Around the same time House Majority Whip Tom DeLay was delivering his major address on Iraq on Wednesday, his daughter, Dani Ferro, was delivering the congressman's first grandchild in Houston.

Brett Thomas Ferro weighed in at 7 pounds, 14 ounces, and the son of Dani and Steve Ferro measured 19.5 inches long.

We're told Mrs. Ferro announced the bouncing baby's arrival to interested parties via her wireless Blackberry from her hospital room.

Sorry, mom

Charles E. Corry, president of the Equal Justice Foundation, joins a concerned American Policy Center that observes that after "sitting in the dustbin since Jimmy Carter was president," Democrats have resurrected the U.N. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).

"It was recently passed in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and now awaits a vote by the full Senate. It must be stopped," says the APC.

Mr. Corry calls CEDAW a "thinly veiled attempt" by the U.N. to influence the policies of independent nations including America. Among its goals, he says, are to abolish Mother's Day, create quotas and affirmative action, establish government-paid global village day care, and population control and abortion.

"If ratified," says Mr. Corry, "CEDAW's panel of U.N. thugs would have the ability to scrutinize U.S. laws, and lobby for every radical liberal pipe dream you can imagine."

Gore mystique

"Why would a guy with such sterling tech credentials as inventing the Internet not want everyone to hear what he has to say?" Republican National Committee spokesman Jim Dyke asked Inside the Beltway yesterday, referring to former Vice President Al Gore.

Mr. Gore is to deliver the keynote address to next week's three-day conference in Sacramento, Calif., examining how President Bush's Department of Homeland Security will affect state and local governments.

Except that members of the press, Mr. Gore says, are not welcome.

Invitations to the event, which begins Monday, reveal the ban is "due to the nature of the material presented and requested by Mr. Gore, his keynote will be specifically closed to the press."

Some 1,000 federal, state and local government officials are expected to be on hand for the conference.

A description of Mr. Gore's speech, carried in the Sacramento Bee this week, reads: "One of the world's best-known leaders on cutting-edge issues, Al Gore shares his insight into why technology will be forever linked to a prosperous and strong U.S. economy."

What's so secretive about that?

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