Excerpt from Muammar al-Gaddafi Statement at the General Assembly of the United Nations 1.10.2009

These are the words that captured my attention and provoked my thoughts during Colonel Gaddafi's UN statement. And forever after.

Muammar Muhammad al-Gaddafi
-- Another matter that should be voted on in the General Assembly is that of compensation for countries that were colonized, so as to prevent the colonization of a continent, the usurpation of its rights and the pillaging of its wealth from happening again.
 Why are Africans going to Europe? Why are Asians going to Europe? Why are Latin Americans going to Europe? It is because Europe colonized those peoples and stole the material and human resources of Africa, Asia and Latin America — the oil, minerals, uranium, gold and diamonds, the fruit, vegetables and livestock and the people — and used them. Now, new generations of Asians, Latin Americans and Africans are seeking to reclaim that stolen wealth, as they have the right to do.
 At the Libyan border, I recently stopped 1,000 African migrants headed for Europe. I asked them why they were going there. They told me it was to take back their stolen wealth — that they would not be leaving otherwise. Who can restore the wealth that was taken from us? If you decide to restore all of this wealth, there will be no more immigration from the Philippines, Latin America, Mauritius and India. Let us have the wealth that was stolen from us. Africa deserves $777 trillion in compensation from the countries that colonized it. Africans will demand that amount, and if you do not give it to them, they will go to where you have taken those trillions of dollars. They have the right to do so. They have to follow that money and to bring it back.
 Why is there no Libyan immigration to Italy, even though Libya is so close by? Italy owed compensation to the Libyan people. It accepted that fact and signed an agreement with Libya, which was adopted by both the Italian and Libyan Parliaments. Italy admitted that its colonization of Libya was wrong and should never be repeated, and it promised not to attack the Libyan people by land, air or sea. Italy also agreed to provide Libya with $250 million a year in compensation over the next 20 years and to build a hospital for Libyans maimed as a result of the mines planted in Libyan territory during the Second World War. Italy apologized and promised that it would never again occupy the territory of another country. Italy, which was a kingdom during the Fascist regime and has made rich contributions to civilization, should be commended for this achievement, together with Prime Minister Berlusconi and his predecessor, who made their own contributions in that regard.
 Why is the Third World demanding compensation? So that there will be no more colonization — so that large and powerful countries will not colonize, knowing that they will have to pay compensation. Colonization should be punished. The countries that harmed other peoples during the colonial era should pay compensation for the damage and suffering inflicted under their colonial rule.--


The wars that took place after the establishment of the United Nations — why did they occur? Where was the Security Council, where was the Charter, where was the United Nations? There should be investigations and judicial intervention. Why have there been massacres? We can start with the Korean War because it took place after the establishment of the United Nations. How did a war break out and cause millions of victims? Nuclear weapons could have been used in that war. Those who are responsible for causing the war should be tried and should pay compensation and damages.

Then we come to the Suez Canal war of 1956. That file should be opened wide. Three countries with permanent seats on the Security Council and with the right of veto in the Council attacked a member State of this General Assembly. A country that was a sovereign State — Egypt — was attacked, its army was destroyed, thousands of Egyptians were killed and many Egyptian towns and entities were destroyed, all because Egypt wanted to nationalize the Suez Canal. How could such a thing have happened during the era of the United Nations and its Charter? How is it possible to guarantee that such a thing will not be repeated unless we make amends for past wrongs? Those were dangerous events and the Suez Canal and Korean War files should be re-opened.

Next we come to the Viet Nam war. There were 3 million victims of that war. During 12 days, more bombs were dropped than during four years of the Second World War. It was a fiercer war, and it took place after the establishment of the United Nations and after we had decided that there would be no more wars.

The future of humankind is at stake. We cannot stay silent. How can we feel safe? How can we be complacent? This is the future of the world, and we who are in the General Assembly of the United Nations must make sure that such wars are not repeated in the future.

Then Panama was attacked, even though it was an independent member State of the General Assembly. Four thousand people were killed, and the President of that country was taken prisoner and put in prison. Noriega should be released — we should open that file. How can we entitle a country that is a United Nations Member State to wage war against another country and capture its president, treat him as a criminal and put him in prison? Who would accept that? It could be repeated. We should not stay quiet. We should have an investigation. Any one of us Member States could face the same situation, especially if such aggression is by a Member State with a permanent seat on the Security Council and with the responsibility to maintain peace and security worldwide.

Then there was the war in Grenada. That country was invaded even though it was a Member State. It was attacked by 5,000 war ships, 7,000 troops and dozens of military aircraft, and it is the smallest country in the world. This occurred after the establishment of the United Nations and of the Security Council and its veto. And the President of Grenada, Mr. Maurice Bishop, was assassinated. How could that have happened with impunity? It is a tragedy. How can we guarantee that the United Nations is good or not, that a certain country is good or not? Can we be safe or happy about our future or not? Can we trust the Security Council or not? Can we trust the United Nations or not?

We must look into and investigate the bombing of Somalia. Somalia is a United Nations Member State. It is an independent country under the rule of Aidid. We want an investigation. Why did that happen? Who allowed it to happen? Who gave the green light for that country to be attacked?

Then there is the former Yugoslavia. No country was as peaceful as Yugoslavia, constructed step by step and piece by piece after being destroyed by Hitler. We destroyed it, as if we were doing the same job as Hitler. Tito built that peaceful country step by step and brick by brick and then we arrived and broke it apart for imperialistic, personal interests. How can we be complacent about that? Why can we not be satisfied? If a peaceful country like Yugoslavia faced such a tragedy, the General Assembly should have an investigation and should decide who should be tried before the International Criminal Court.

Then we have the war in Iraq — the mother of all evils. The United Nations should also investigate that. The General Assembly, presided over by Mr. Treki, should investigate that. The invasion of Iraq was a violation of the United Nations Charter. It was done without any justification by super-Powers with permanent seats on the Security Council. Iraq is an independent country and a member State of the General Assembly. How could those countries attack Iraq? As provided for in the Charter, the United Nations should have intervened and stopped the attack.

We spoke in the General Assembly and urged it to use the Charter to stop that attack. We were against the invasion of Kuwait, and the Arab countries fought Iraq alongside foreign countries in the name of the United Nations Charter.

In the first instance, the Charter was respected. The second time when we wanted to use the Charter to stop the war against Iraq, no one used it and that document was ignored. Why did that occur? Mr. Treki and the General Assembly should investigate to determine whether there was any reason at all to invade Iraq. Because the reasons for that attack remain mysterious and ambiguous, and we might face the same destiny.

Why was Iraq invaded? The invasion itself was a serious violation of the United Nations Charter, and it was wrong. There was also a total massacre or genocide. More than 1.5 million Iraqis were killed. We want to bring the Iraqi file before the International Criminal Court (ICC), and we want those who committed mass murder against the Iraqi people to be tried.

It is easy for Charles Taylor to be tried, or for Bashir to be tried, or for Noriega to be tried. That is an easy job. Yes, but what about those who have committed mass murder against the Iraqis? They cannot be tried? They cannot go before the ICC? If the Court is unable to accommodate us, then we should not accept it. Either it is meant for all of us, large or small, or we should not accept it and should reject it.

Anyone who commits a war crime can be tried, but we are not livestock or animals like those that are slaughtered for the Eid. We have the right to live, and we are ready to fight and to defend ourselves. We have the right to live in dignity, under the sun and on earth; they have already tested us and we have withstood the test.

There are other things as well. Why is it that Iraqi prisoners of war can be sentenced to death? When Iraq was invaded and the President of Iraq was taken he was a prisoner of war. He should not have been tried; he should not have been hanged. When the war was over, he should have been released. We want to know why a prisoner of war should have been tried. Who sentenced the President of Iraq to death? Is there an answer to that question? We know the identity of the judge who tried him. As to who tied the noose around the President’s neck on the day of sacrifice and hanged him, those people wore masks.

How could this have happened in a civilized world? These were prisoners of war of civilized countries under international law. How could Government ministers and a head of State be sentenced to death and hanged? Were those who tried them lawyers or members of a judicial system?

Do you know what people are saying? They are saying that the faces behind the masks were those of the President of the United States and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and that it was they who put the President of Iraq to death.

Why do the executioners not unmask their faces? Why do we not know their ranks? Why do we not know whether they were officers, judges, soldiers or doctors? How does it come about that the President of a State Member of the United Nations was sentenced to death and killed? We do not know the identity of the executioners. The United Nations is duty-bound to answer these questions: who carried out the death sentence? They must have legal status and official responsibilities; we should know their identities and we should know about the presence of a physician and the nature of all the legal proceedings. That would be true for an ordinary citizen, let alone for the President of a State Member of the United Nations who was put to death in that manner.

My third point on the Iraq war relates to Abu Ghraib. This was a disgrace to humankind. I know that the United States authorities will investigate this scandal, but the United Nations must not ignore it either. The General Assembly should investigate this matter. Prisoners of war held in Abu Ghraib prison were torturers; dogs were set on them; men were raped. This is unprecedented in the history of war. It was sodomy, and it was an unprecedented sin, never before committed by past aggressors or invaders. Prisoners of war are soldiers, but these were raped in prison by a State, a permanent member of the Security Council. This goes against civilization and humankind. We must not keep silent; we must know the facts. Even today, a quarter of a million Iraqi prisoners, men and women alike, remain in Abu Ghraib. They are being maltreated, persecuted and raped. There must be an investigation.

Turning to the war in Afghanistan, this too must be investigated. Why are we against the Taliban? Why are we against Afghanistan? Who are the Taliban? If the Taliban want a religious State, that is fine. Think of the Vatican. Does the Vatican pose a threat to us? No. It is a religious, very peaceful State. If the Taliban want to create an Islamic Emirate, who says that this makes them an enemy? Is anyone claiming that Bin Laden is of the Taliban or that he is Afghan? Is Bin Laden of the Taliban? No; he is not of the Taliban and he is not Afghan. Were the terrorists who hit New York City of the Taliban? Were they from Afghanistan? They were neither Taliban nor Afghan. Then, what was the reason for the wars in Iraq and in Afghanistan?

If I truly wanted to deceive my American and British friends, I would encourage them to send more troops and I would encourage them to persist in this bloodbath. But they will never succeed in Iraq or Afghanistan. Look what happened to them in Iraq, which is a desert. It is even worse in mountainous Afghanistan. If I wanted to deceive them I would tell them to continue the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. But no, I want to save the citizens of the United States, the United Kingdom and other countries who are fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. So I tell them: leave Afghanistan to the Afghans; leave Iraq to the Iraqis. If they want to fight each other, they are free to do so.

America had its Civil War, and no one interfered in it. There were civil wars in Spain, China and countries all over the world — no place on Earth has been free of civil wars. Let there be a civil war in Iraq. If the Iraqis want to have a civil war and fight each other, that is fine. Who says that if the Taliban form a Government they would possess intercontinental missiles or the kind of airplanes that hit New York? Did those airplanes take off from Afghanistan or Iraq? No; they took off from American airports. So why is Afghanistan being struck? The terrorists were not Afghans or Taliban or Iraqis.

Why are we silent? We must never be war devils: anyone who does not speak the truth is a silent devil. We are committed to international peace and security. We do not wish to scorn or ridicule humankind. We want to save humanity.

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