LIBYA SHELL-SHOCKED The colonel missed the party

Each year since Colonel Muammar Gaddafi seized power in 1969, Libya has celebrated the day that he expelled U.S. military personnel from Wheelus Air Base, outside Tripoli. It was widely assumed that Gaddafi would use last week's 16th anniversary of the occasion to make his first live public appearance since U.S. warplanes attacked Tripoli and Benghazi last April. Western reporters were invited to Tripoli and advised to expect a major speech. Gaddafi never turned up. An apathetic crowd of 2,000 Libyans who gathered in Tripoli instead heard a harangue, apparently videotaped earlier, that raised doubts about how much longer the colonel...

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