Mugabe & Michel, Today's Gangsters

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Back in October of 1968, Olympic Airways passengers flying from Kennedy to Athens were surprised by an announcement that their flight had been canceled. No reason was given. People were already on board when the announcement was made, and if memory serves?I was not on that flight but a friend of mine was?there was lotsa grumbling and not a small amount of cursing the owner of the airline. The moment everyone was off, a lonely figure boarded, the doors were shut and off went the plane to Greece carrying Jackie Kennedy, soon to be Jackie Kennedy Onassis.

When the story broke, Jackie and Ari took a hell of a lot of flak. "Who does this Greek think he is, bumping people off the plane for his money-mad inamorata..." was among the kindest things said. Actually, everyone was pissed off with Jackie for forsaking Camelot for the land of feta. The plane incident was the icing on the cake, so to speak. Later we found out that it was Jackie who demanded Onassis empty the whole plane?poor Ari having suggested she only take up the first-class part of the aircraft, while the plebs remained in the rear.

Well, it all ended up in tears, as we all know. Ari lost his son in a plane accident, was about to divorce Jackie, whom he accused of being cold-hearted and after his money, and as he lay dying, the Greek government nationalized his beloved Olympic airline, which he had started from scratch 20 years before. Now Olympic is considered the worst airline in Europe, and is by far the greatest money-loser among state-owned industries in the birthplace of selective democracy. Superstitious Greeks always blamed Jackie for Onassis' problems, but I'd like to think it was simple hubris. Throwing some 200 people off an airplane for the sake of a woman?and it wasn't even Ava Gardner or Betty Grable?defies the gods, and Ari paid the price.

Hubris, alas, does not seem to work where Robert Mugabe is concerned. The Zimbabwe tyrant is not only a bloodthirsty crook who has ruined his once-beautiful country in 20 short years, he is also a menace when in the air. Last week passengers on Air Zimbabwe flight UM9726 from Harare to London discovered the Mugabe modus operandi where air travel is concerned. Immediately after take-off Mugabe ordered the Boeing 767 to divert to Madrid so he could catch a flight to Havana, where that other democrat, Fidel Castro, was waiting for him. More than 200 passengers were then kept in their seats for five hours, three in baking heat after landing on Spanish soil. Once on the ground, Mugabe and his wife Grace got off, but the rest were forced to stay inside the plane when it was discovered the Zimbabweans did not have the right currency to pay for more fuel.

This is not the first time the dictator has done this. He regularly diverts local and international flights, often forcing first-class passengers from their seats. Earlier this year, some lucky souls flying to London suddenly discovered they had landed in Libya, because Mugabe had decided to drop in on Colonel Qaddafi, yet one more democrat.

Now, there's nothing that murderous African dictators can do that will surprise me, but diverting international flights with impunity should be a crime equivalent to hijacking. Mugabe took one of the richest countries in Africa and managed to have its population facing starvation with his Marxist policies. He and his band of thieves have stolen all the wealth, murdered those who have opposed the kleptocracy, yet when he lands in Madrid, that phony opportunist Judge Garcon, who got the great Gen. Pinochet arrested, is nowhere to be heard or seen. Does that mean African dictators can murder and steal with impunity, whereas a Pinochet, who saved his country from Marxist ruin and gave up power voluntarily, is held to another standard? You bet your sweet ass it does. Those grotesque politically correct pundits who cheered when Pinochet was falsely and unfairly arrested by the hypocritical Brits turn a blind eye over the gruesome crimes of black African tin-pot dictators. Par for the course.

And speaking of grotesque people, is there anyone worse than Belgium's deputy prime minister and foreign minister, Louis Michel? I doubt it. Michel is the pig who tried to muscle in on the Austrian elections two years ago, and in the Italian one last year. Belgium, needless to say, could not wage successful war against Monte Carlo, but because of the unelected bureaucracy that rules Europe via the European Union, crooked slobs like Michel wield a lot of power. I have always suspected Michel and the Belgians of being totally corrupt?the greatest pedophile-cum-murder scandal was hushed up because members of the government were involved?but I've never been able to prove anything. Going to Belgium to investigate is above and beyond the call of duty to journalism. The food is good and the women all give it away like a frisbee, but if I had a choice I'd take Grozny over Brussels.

Last week, however, the London Spectator published a hard-hitting expose that blew the lid off the Belgian swine. The piece begins with the following line: "Never trust a person with a Belgian passport." A good start, I thought. Then it goes on to say how the artificial state of Belgium, which consists of four million Walloons (French) and six million Flemings (Dutch), is liked by no one except the Belgian royal family whose livelihood depends on it. The Walloons have dominated Belgian governments since the invention of the artificial state in 1830.

Today, the Frogs feel threatened by the growing demographic and economic power of the Flemings. In their search for allies, the Walloon leadership, which Louis Michel personifies, is bestowing Belgian citizenship on every immigrant entering and staying in the country, and that includes criminals and Muslim terrorists. Five thousand immigrants become Belgian citizens each month, and 52,000 illegals were made Belgians overnight. Worse, the government and the security services have struck a deal with Al Qaeda terrorists in Belgium that as long as Belgian targets are not attacked, the terrorists can operate with impunity on Belgian soil.

It would be a gross understatement to say that this makes Belgium a terrorist country, and that the American government should include it in its axis of evil. Nothing, of course, of the kind will take place. Bureaucrats are the same the world over, and alas, Washington is no different.

Yet The Spectator has discovered that the charismatic leader of the anti-Taliban forces, Ahmad Shah Massoud, was assassinated by a Belgian citizen and his accomplice posing as journalists. Some 20,000 Belgian passports were "stolen" during the late 90s from Belgian legations, many of which turned up in the hands of Muslim terrorists. The biggest mosque in Belgium, built with Saudi money on land donated by the late Belgian king, operates its own Islamic police, supervising certain Brussels neighborhoods with a large Muslim concentration. Ironically, one of my best and oldest friends, the great sportsman and tennis champion Philippe Washer, is a Belgian, as is another good buddy, Prince Albert Limbourg-Stirum, but both men and their brood got wise to the crooks of their government and moved to Switzerland immediately after the last world war.

Mugabe and Michel, they make Al Capone and Lucky Luciano look like Shirley Temple.

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