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Anorak | The Day The World Shook

The Day The World Shook

by | 26th, March 2004

‘WHEN Tony Blair shook hands with Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, it was a big handshake. It was, in the Times’ opinion, the moment when democrat and dictator united against terror.

Tony makes the mistake of standing up wind

It was also a little handshake, in the more literal sense, a truth explored by the paper as it publishes the meeting of men and hands over three shots.

Having forgone the traditional Libyan greeting of a kiss on both cheeks (the way many believe Tony says a fond ‘howdy’ to George Bush), the leaders opted to press flesh.

At ease in his Bedouin tent, Gaddafi extended his right hand. Tony hesitated, then, not unlike a moving scene from the movie ET, extended his fingers and reached out.

But he almost missed the hand, managing only to gain a tentative grip on the Colonel’s fingers. Tony also looked not at the man on the other end of his arm, but at the cameras.

As handshakes go it is not much like some of the other “handshakes that shook the world”, as profiled by the Independent.

When Ronald Regan and Mikhail Gorbachev met in 1985, it was smiles and manly grips; Nelson Mandela and FW De Klerk shook each other with full palms; Winston Churchill, Joseph Stalin and Harry S Truman linked arms in 1945; and Yasser Arafat and Yitzhk Rabin had a warm Oslo Accord.

But this! If Tony is looking to write his name in history he’d better firm that wrist up and grab the pen with more vigour, lest the result be an unintelligible mess.’



Posted: 26th, March 2004 | In: Broadsheets Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink