Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, the Libyan leader, took the lectern at the United Nations on Wednesday morning for his first address at the General Assembly, and delivered a long and rambling diatribe — far exceeding the 15-minute limit on speeches — against the United Nations Security Council and a host of other perceived enemies, while urging the world to welcome President Obama, referring to him as “our son.”
In the first third of a speech that lasted more than 90 minutes, Colonel Qaddafi focused on what he called the inherent unfairness of the United Nations, which gives the five permanent members of the Security Council far more authority than the nations in the General Assembly. This, Mr. Qaddafi said, was dictatorship, not democracy, and as such, “was terrorism itself.”
And when was the last time the Colonel held elections in his democracy?
The Afghan war, too, he said, should be investigated for possible prosecution. At times, Colonel Qaddafi veered into conspiracy, saying, for example, that the H1N1 influenza virus, also called swine flu, might be a military or corporate weapon that got out of a lab and intimating an Israeli hand behind the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict, he said, should be solved by the creation of a single state, which Mr. Qaddafi calls Israteen, but Mr. Qaddafi stressed it is wrong to infer that Arabs hate the Jews. “You are the ones who burned them, not us. You expelled them,” he said, referring apparently to European nations.
For Mr. Obama personally, however, he had only warm words, calling on the collected nations to welcome “our son” on the occasion of his first United Nations appearance. “We are content and happy if Obama can stay forever as the president of America,” he said, saying he feared America would return to its old ways after the end of his term.