foreign relations

Qaddafi Protesters Try to Stop Him From Addressing U.N.

The floor of the General Assembly hall in the United Nations was in disarray for about ten minutes after President Obama spoke and before Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi could take the podium. Many members left the room (among them was Obama, though Hillary Clinton remained behind) and a handful of protesters tried to stop Qaddafi from speaking. But he eventually reached the stage, and launched into a lengthy, rambling address, in which he attacked the United Nations itself for not averting “65 wars” that had taken place since its founding. He also took to task what he called inequity at the U.N.“The [U.N. charter preamble] says that all nations are equal whether they are small nations or whether they are big,” he railed, waving around a copy of the preamble, but frequently losing his place in it, pausing, and repeating himself. “The [Security Council] veto is against the charter. We do not accept it and we do not acknowledge it … This is terrorism! We cannot allow the nations of the Security Council to rule … this is terrorism in itself.” (We scanned his face to see the irony of this, an unelected despot who has for 40 years ruled a nation that freely hands out weapons to terrorists at will, and we found no trace of it.) He mocked the assembled representatives from other nations, calling them “décor” for the Security Council. “You are without any substance,” he said. “Just like speakers on the corner of Hyde Park.”

Qaddafi also demanded a permanent seat on the Security Council for Africa. And requested that the next General Assembly be held somewhere else so that members wouldn’t have to suffer onerous travel schedules (they’re jet-lagged!) and heavy security requirements. And claimed that swine flu was created for military purposes.

As of press time, he’s still speaking, now for nearly quadruple his allotted speaking time. We’ll keep you posted if any other wonders emerge.

Update: Well, he also called the Iraq war “the mother of all evils” and demanded investigation into why the U.N. allowed it to happen, and prosecution of its propagators. He also asked, regarding the war in Afghanistan: “Why are we against the Taliban? If the Taliban wants to make a religious state, what’s wrong? It’s like the Vatican.”
Update 2: Qaddafi also insisted upon knowing who killed John F. Kennedy. “Seriously,” he said. “We do not know.” And now he’s been speaking for longer than the time allotted for all of the other speakers.
Update 3: “Arabs have no hostility or animosity toward Israel,” he claimed, arguing that Israelis and Palestinians really just want a one-state, democratic solution. Also, he suggested that after swine flu, “Perhaps tomorrow we will have the fish flu. Because we do make viruses and then we lose control.”

Qaddafi Protesters Try to Stop Him From Addressing U.N.