Wednesday, September 23, 2009

This revolution is televised

What can be said about Muammar Qaddafi's unreal speech to the General Assembly? First, before he could even start, 10 minutes elapsed while half the membership congratulated him and the most of the high level Western delegations walked out. Then the Assembly President, a Libyan named Ali Treki, introduced Qaddafi as "the leader of the revolution."

Qaddafi then walked to the mic in his usually dusty colored robes, black cap, and a garish black Africa pin, and held for one hour, 36 minutes, with such observations as:

- He "applauded" Obama's speech and would be quite content for President Obama, the "son of Africa" to be President forever
- The General Assembly should be moved from New York, because Qadaffi suffered from jet lag on the way here.
- Swine flu was a bioweapon that was cooked up in a laboratory and escaped.
- If the European colonialist powers do not pay reparations of $7.77 trillion (he was very specific here) Africans will come to Europe and take the money.
- The General Assembly should immediately pass a resolution making the Security Council a subsidiary power to the "democratic" GA. "This is justice, this is democracy!" thundered Qaddafi. He continued:

Now the Security Council is security feudalism, political feudalism for those who ahve a permanent seats, protected by them and used against us. It should not be called the Security Council. It should be called the Terror Council.

Qaddafi would like this resolution passed now, "on the fortieth anniversary." Anniversary of what, you ask? Of Qaddafi coming to power, of course. He is the leader of the revolution, after all.

- Qaddafi idly thumbed through the UN Charter, observing that the preamble says all nations are equal but the veto is not equal. Disapproving of Chapter 7 of the Charter, which allows for sanctions, he tore the UN Charter and then tossed it aside.
- Manuel Noriega should be released.
- The Iraq War is "the mother of all evils" and should be investigated by the General Assembly immediately. George Bush should be tried by the UN and put to death.
- The Taliban, what's wrong with them really? They're kind of like the Vatican, in that both are religious states.
- There are civil wars everywhere. There was a civil war in the US and no one interfered. Why not Iraq?
- Swine flu was made in a laboratory by the companies that make the vaccine. All medicine should be free so capitalist companies don't have the incentive to create disease. If we're not careful, next year they'll hit us with "fish flu." No, really.
- Mines are okay for defense. "If you invade me, you could be killed, but that's okay because you're invading me. And there is a website where you may hear me speak." Yes, Qaddafi just hawked his own website.
- "This two-state solution is not practical. For now the two states are overlapped. They are not neighborly. They are interlapped, overlapped, from the population, from a geographic point of view. The solution is a democratic state without religious fanaticism. The Sharon and Arafat generation is over." It is time to create one state called "Isratine." At this point, Qadaffi throws a book on the two-state solution back at the General Assembly podium.

Reactions ranged. The poor American diplomats required to sit in the US seats sat in largely shellshocked silence, but cameras caught a Chinese delegate cracking up. As soon as he saw himself on the screen, he stopped, rather mortified.

Foreign Policy blog has more, including live updates. So does the Guardian.

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