December 4, 2010

Top Cables

Come to think of it, trawling through your diary from when you were ten might be more interesting than some of this stuff.

“[Muammar al-Qadhafi] appears to have an intense dislike or fear of staying on upper floors, reportedly prefers not to fly over water, and seems to enjoy horse racing and flamenco dancing. …Qadhafi relies heavily on his long-time Ukrainian nurse, Galyna Kolotnytska, who has been described as a ‘voluptuous blonde.’ Of the rumored staff of four Ukrainian nurses that cater to the Leader’s health and well-being, XXXXXXXXXXX emphasized to multiple Emboffs that Qadhafi cannot travel without Kolotnytska, as she alone “knows his routine.’” 

“Kim told [Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo] that he had hoped to invite the Chinese official to share some liquor and wine, but that because of scheduling problems, he would have to defer the offer to Dai's next visit to North Korea. Kim Jong-il had a reputation among the Chinese for being ‘quite a good drinker.’” 

"[A]t 8:00 p.m. the compound was invaded by dozens of heavily armed mujahedin for the grand entrance of Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov. ... Ramzan, who danced clumsily with his gold-plated automatic stuck down in the back of his jeans (a houseguest later pointed out that the gold housing eliminated any practical use of the gun, but smirked that Ramzan probably couldn't fire it anyway). … Ramzan showered the dancing children with hundred dollar bills; the dancers probably picked upwards of USD 5000 off the cobblestones. Gadzhi told us later that Ramzan had brought the happy couple ‘a five kilo lump of gold’ as his wedding present. After the dancing and a quick tour of the premises, Ramzan and his army drove off back to Chechnya. We asked why Ramzan did not spend the night in Makhachkala, and were told, ‘Ramzan never spends the night anywhere.'"

Silvio Berlusconi is described as "feckless, vain, and ineffective as a modern European leader"; what’s more, his "frequent late nights and penchant for partying hard mean he does not get sufficient rest."
"Last Ramadan, when Erdogan got locked inside his armored car after collapsing from low blood sugar, his bodyguard Halit grabbed a sledgehammer from a nearby construction site and smashed the windshield[d] to break Erdogan out (Mercedes was apparently upset that it only took him six minutes). Despite the fiasco, made much of in the press, Halit kept his job; the PM viewed his action as one of true devotion and love for the Prime Minister."

"[Commonwealth Political Director Amitav Banerji] acknowledged that heir-apparent to the British Crown, Prince Charles, does not 'command the same respect' as the Queen."
Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai is described as "an extremely weak man who did not listen to facts but was instead easily swayed by anyone who came to report even the most bizarre stories or plots against him."

[I]n a major miscalculation in image management, Sarkozy paraded for media coverage his billionaire-life-style affair with former supermodel and current First Lady Carla Bruni-Tedeschi, whom he married within weeks of meeting her following his divorce from his second wife, Cecelia Sarkozy. The media that he had drawn in to project himself as a hyper-energetic, no-nonsense reformer dedicated to solving the problems of ordinary French people, took its vengeance, portraying Sarkozy as a vulgar, insecure celebrity-worshipper focused only on himself and his place in the limelight. The ensuing, widespread sense among the public that Sarkozy didn't really care about the problems of ordinary people sent the president's popularity plummeting.” 

Today's take out lesson:  if looking to purchase a personal armored vehicle, don't buy a Mercedes.

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