Muammar Gaddafi has resorted to the oldest trick in the Arab-dictator book: distract attention from authoritarian rule at home by beating the Palestinian drum. Nothing new there. But what is noteworthy is how Reuters seems happy to march to the Libyan strongman's beat.
Reuters' article "Gaddafi tells Palestinians: revolt against Israel" [h/t Drudge], fails to note the irony of an iron-fisted dictator calling for "popular uprising" and "revolution" . . . elsewhere. Indeed, the Reuters article, authored by Ali Shuaib and Salah Sarrar, fails even to identify Gaddafi as the dictator he is, referring to him respectfully as the Libyan "leader."
And speaking of respect . . .
check out this Reuters line [emphasis added]:
"Gaddafi is respected in many parts of the Arab world for his uncompromising criticism of Israel and Arab leaders who have dealings with the Jewish state, though some people in the region dismiss his initiatives as unrealistic."
Later, Reuters offers this flattering gloss on Gaddafi:
"[H]e has for decades challenged what he describes as Western imperialism. His oil exporting country spent years under international sanctions for seeking banned weapons and sponsoring militant groups."
Not a word of Gaddafi's involvement in the bombing of Pan Am 103 or the Berlin nightclub.
Perhaps Gaddafi will consider hiring Shuaib and Sarrar as his personal flacks. Then again, they probably do him more good in their pretend role as "reporters" with Reuters.
For a realistic take on Gaddafi and the possibility of the Egyptian revolution spreading to Libya, read "Now even Mad Dog Gaddafi faces a Day of Rage" by Ian Birrell in the Daily Mail [UK].