In the two years that I've enjoyed being a guest of the Colonel, I've seen various nationalities suffer from the results of international relations. The Americans got punished when some minor diplomat criticised The Leader's speech at the United Nations. The Canadians were punished for something to do with demanding a passenger list of The Leader's plane before allowing it to land for refueling (that's just 1 version of the story I've heard). The Swiss are still feeling the heat for incidents related to the arrest of one of his sons. At one point this year, all countries who are signed up to the Shengen Agreement were hit due to a tit for tat issue over visas. These diplomatic games usually affect the expats in ways related to getting news visas issued in home countries or trying to get back in to Libya with an existing visa. During the Schengen dispute, people returning from vacations were being turned back at immigration, families made up of 1 Schengen nationality and 1 non Schengen nationality were being split up. One Dutch guy had to abandon his very pregnant, non Schengen, wife in Libya and he was sent back to Amsterdam on the next flight. Meanwhile businesses have to try and function with reduced headcounts, whilst staff rotations are scuppered and visits from overseas personnel are put on hold.
The freeing of Al Megrahi last year, was a god send to us Brits, keeping us out of the firing line for the time being and putting us at the top table, on 'best pal' status. Today's Wikileaks cables shows how close we came to being in the firing line, should he have died in prison.
However, since I came here, I have joked that we're only ever 1 Daily Mail headline away from disaster: Getcher Daily Mail . Doh!
Hopefully he'll hail WikiLeaks as heroes, the US as the enemy and us plucky Brits as innocent bystanders. Or I'd better pack my bags.