United States snubbed Africa at the 64th United Nations General Assembly at the U.N. headquarters in New York, September 23, 2009.
Theoretically, the assembly was meant to be a stage for reconciliation of all nations, colours, religions, and ideals. However, it turned out to be an eye opener for those optimists, who believe that global peace could be achieved, when the United States, Canada, Britain, France as well as a few African countries, who owe their loyalty to the United States all walked out on the Head of the African Union, President Muammar Gaddafi, who made a historic speech at the 64th United Nations General Assembly.
Although Gaddafi’s speech was repetitive and long, it still takes bravery and courage to stand up to the rest of the world (not just the United States) to cite numbers of injustices that are committed by the super powers of the World. It took Gaddafi’s blunt and daring appearance on the world stage to mention the unmentionable oppressions inflicted by the super powers on weaker Nations in the world.
The walking out on Gaddafi by majority of the member nations reminds Africans of those bitter memories of 1936 at the League of Nations, where the late Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie was booed, when he demanded justice for the illegal Italian occupation of his country.
Walking out on a leader, who represents not just the Libyan people but the entire of Africa as the head of the African Union, is not in line with what the United Nations stands for. Everyone should be allowed to air his/her own views since the UN is meant to form an umbrella where all Nations come to listen to and understand one another’s point of view (even if we do not agree with it). The United Nations is thus supposed to be a shelter under which Nations come together in spite of their differences to explore avenues of reconciliation and peace. In spite of this role of the UN, Gaddafi was scorned for expressing his views and his actions of course to the United States appeared as not conforming to the code.
Gaddafi made countless valid points. He accused the United Nations of failing to live up to its principles stating that all nations are equal. He stressed the point that every Nation has a right to defend its sovereignty and not to encroach into the property of others (as in the case of Israel). Gaddafi defended the rights of the Somalis, urging the world to recognise them as people fighting to protect their rights, to command their own waters and prevent the unlawful fishing and depletion of their country’s marine resources. The African Union leader protested against the dumping of toxic material in Somali waters. Gaddafi appeared to speak for today’s voiceless, stressing that the Somalis are not Pirates as branded by the Western media.
Gaddafi sparked the fires burning for years in the minds of many by suggesting that former US president George Bush along with his Vice Cheney should be put to trial for causing one and a half million Iraqi deaths. Even the devil would not argue contrary. At a point in his speech, the Head of the African Union had to beg for the attention of the numerous delegates, who were leaving the hall when he said “Please can I have your attention.”
Truly the West has control of the media and are accountable for increasing the level of ignorance in the world today. It is what they say that we get to hear or read. CNN, Fox and Reuters were definitely biased against the African President’s speech. It was a shame listening to CNN’s Anderson Cooper (whom I had great respect for) washed down the African leader alongside William Bennett (who rudely called Gaddafi a lunatic) and James Carville saying Gaddafi was making a complete fool of himself. Of course no one will expect any western media to analyze Gaddafi’s speech fairly. Affirming he should not have been allowed into the UN meeting is unacceptable as it must be made clear that the UN belongs to all and if they are not ready to listen to the views of other members, then the United Nations General Assembly should not be held in the US but in a Nation where those who want to listen can listen. Besides “N” and “S” in the UN and US only look the same to the blind.
The fact Gaddafi called Obama an African was scorned at by the media. Well if Obama denies his African roots, he is lost. Anyway, his walking out on a senior president runs short of African virtues, which demands that respect for elders and leaders is not an option.
Gaddafi’s speech was called a hollow speech in an empty chamber as well as an incoherent speech. It is a shame that a lot of Gaddafi’s speech may have been deliberately hazy as the translator had an unrecognizable accent. Also having a translator who speaks in an angry tone was not fair at all. The only positive contribution was made by Roland Martin of the CNN but this was cut abruptly as it appeared Mr Martin views were not in line with what the CNN wanted their audience to hear. Martin spoke for less than 5 minutes and was not heard of again. Another point Gaddafi made was when he speculated that the swine flu was developed by the West as a weaponized version of the flu. True, his speech here might have been repetitive as this speculation has been around for long and needed no reminder.
Lots of Criticisms have erupted on the Gaddafi historical Speech. It was obvious Gaddafi had been eager to air his views over the past 40 years and took us on a long history course. I must add here that criticising the leader’s clothes carries along with it racist implications. If he wants chose to dress African, his culture must be respected. Gaddafi was accused by the media of showing disrespect to the UN assembly by throwing a copy of the UN charter at officials when the leader merely threw it over his shoulders.
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown cited Gaddafi’s commitment to assist the victims of Irish Republican Army (IRA) terrorism, who are seeking compensation from the Libyan Government for sponsoring the IRA, forgetting the fact that African nations have been shunned when they asked for compensation for numerous years of colonization and looting. African nations have in the past requested compensation for the slave trade, which has left numerous Africans lost in Diaspora.
Israel’s demand of other members to walk out of the hall when Iranian president makes his speech also runs contrary to the ideals of the United Nations. Why can’t a member Nation speak? It must be made clear at this point that Iranian president won the last presidential election no matter how narrow the margin may have been. Protest against human rights violations in the Muslim countries might be unfair as every country has a right to define its own definition of freedom. For instance, homosexuality which is considered legal in Holland carries a jail term in Nigeria. One point Gaddafi made, which rocks the minds of many is that if the Christians can have their own state (referring to the Vatican), then Muslims should be allowed their own state. As a Christian I do believe this is in fairness to all.
Gaddafi’s rise to power as the head of the Africa Union was initially favoured by the Western Nations, which began to blow his trumpet thinking the African leader had turned a new leaf by handing over the Lockerbie suspects as well as contributing to ‘global peace’. This was a big mistake as the head of the African Union was only biding his time in order to have sanctions against his country lifted as well as to ascend the seat of the African Union and later turn around to spit venom at the confused Western Nations. These he all did with immense success.
Initially, many who missed this historic speech and attempted to view it online complained of clicking on links only to see pop ups stating “Warning! Your PC is at risk of virus and malware attack”. Hmmm!!!!!
Gaddafi put forward a point that the Arabs do not hate Jews. Rather he inferred that Europe committed injustice against Jews during the holocaust saying, “You are the ones who burned them, not us. You expelled them,” At this point I would want to make a clear stance. The holocaust was real and one of the greatest evils of mankind. This should never be allowed to repeat itself again and hence Gaddafi’s suggestion of a single state contrary to Obama’s proposal of two independents states should have been a good reason for Obama to remain on his sit, listen to the views of Gaddafi and even invite him later to the White house to discuss these options. Gaddafi’s skepticism of the European Nations has its grounds as it must be recollected that in the past, Gaddafi initially brought up the idea of a single Africa with one currency. This was scorned by the Europeans, who behind the scenes advised other African nations against it, only to go behind themselves to form their own- European Union with single currency ,the Euro.
According to Gaddafi, “Sixty-five wars broke out after the establishment of the UN and the Security Council, and the victims are millions more than the victims of World War II,…. Were these wars in the interest of all of us? No, they were in the interest of one country or three countries or four countries.”
Resurrecting the issue of Saddam Hussein, The head of the African Union questioned the trial of prisoners of war. “How can a member of a government and president of a country be sentenced to hang? Who were these people in masks that did this? Did they have the right to do it?”
Gaddafi also stepped out of the situation in the Middle East to talk about wrongs on US home soil by questioning the death of Late US president John F. Kennedy and further accusing Israel of killing the late President and insisting that the truth must come out in order for it not to be repeated in future.
Lots f photos are now online showing the “massive” protests against the presence of both the Libyan leader and his Iranian counterpart. A huge crowd indeed. I learnt a lot about photo taking too and mastered the tricks involved. That’s an old school trick which wouldn’t catch a guy born in the 80’s. You put the camera lower than the heads of the people protesting and have them all crowed over the camera this makes a scene of 15 protesters appear like a massive crowd of protesters. All I can say is this. The truth is gradually coming out. The protesters that accuse Gaddafi as ‘murderer’ might also have their information about him only from the Western media, since he was painted as the villain of villains.
I must finally admit that the end of Gaddafi’s speech brought relief to all. For some it was ‘thank God I’m tired and hungry’. For others, it was ‘thank God its over I’ve heard this history lesson before’. And for the rest, it was ‘thank God 5 more minutes and he’d have opened up our evil side beyond doubt.’