When Muammar Gaddafi speaks to the UN

24 09 2009

Think international politics is boring? Think again. The Guardian’s Ed Pilkington reports that Muammar Gaddafi’s maiden speech to the UN was one for the ages. Living up to his reputation “for eccentricity, bloody-mindedness and extreme verbiage”, Gaddafi spoke for 100 minutes, six times longer than he was allotted. I pity the poor soul who chaired that session.

He tore up a copy of the UN charter in front of startled delegates, accused the security council of being an al-Qaida like terrorist body, called for George Bush and Tony Blair to be put on trial for the Iraq war, demanded $7.7tn in compensation for the ravages of colonialism on Africa, and wondered whether swine flu was a biological weapon created in a military laboratory. At one point, he even demanded to know who was behind the killing of JFK. All in all, a pretty ordinary 100 minutes in the life of the colonel.

The colonel looks at his notes (Photograph: Emmanuel Dunand /AFP)



3 responses

26 09 2009

It got interesting coverage here. Did you know that the translator fainted or otherwise had to quit? Funny that he asked about JFK. In between the ramblings, he made a few salient points — including a comment as to the UN charter’s which says that all countries are equal but also allows 7 permanent members of the Security Council to lead/drive everything anyway. He and his tent did have trouble finding suitable surroundings however — if we weren’t the leader of a country, he’d be a vagrant in the US (or at least a cab driver).

26 09 2009
Tom Van Hout

I remember Colonel Gaddafi as the epitome of 1980s evil. I’m talking pure evil, even before Islam became so politicized. Remarkable how he (i) has remained in power all those years and (ii) how he has identity managed himself internationally. The consensus is that he is no longer the fundamental lunatic trying to take over the world (a role now brilliantly played by ‘President’ Ahmadinejad), but a grumpy old man who feels misrecognized for his body of work.

27 09 2009

Agree on all counts. My family was on the carrier in the Med when the US jets shot down the Libyan jets. i have been involved with Persian culture for nearly the entire decade and have been following the mess in Iran. There were a number of protest marches here in DC. From what I see, Colonel Gaddafi has handed over the torch of active foolishness to the triad of Iran, N.Korea and China though, as you write, Ahmadinejad is the most visible. Fools come and go — perhaps it is time for these fools to move on.

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