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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Hot News: Gadhafi on U.N. ... and on and on and on

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UNITED NATIONS — Several minutes into what would become a disjointed hour-and-a-half talkathon, just after he speculated that swine flu was the result of a military experiment gone wrong, Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi told members of his U.N. audience that they were, essentially, window dressing.

The U.N. General Assembly, he said, was just a debating society, much like the famous Speakers Corner in London's Hyde Park, where anyone can get on a soapbox and try to draw a crowd.

"You just make a speech and then disappear," Gadhafi said in Arabic, according to a rough simultaneous translation. "You are … like d├ęcor."

Gadhafi's point was that real power in the United Nations resides in the Security Council and its veto-wielding five permanent members — the United States, Britain, China, France and Russia.

U.N. speeches are supposed to be around 15 minutes; Gadhafi droned on so long his translator had to be relieved. He talked about his sleeping habits. He compared the Taliban to the Vatican. He suggested Israel might have been behind the John F. Kennedy assassination.

This wasn't the longest U.N. speech — Cuban leader Fidel Castro talked for four hours in 1960. It nevertheless was a vintage moment for the Libyan dictator, who has long sought the mantle of developing-world revolutionary and was making his first U.N. appearance after 40 years in power.

Gadhafi began by praising President Obama, who had spoken before him, but Obama was long gone from the hall.

The Libyan leader laid a yellow folder in front of him, opened some of the handwritten pages and began railing against the United Nations. Since the world body was founded in 1945, he said, "65 aggressive wars took place without any collective action by the United Nations to prevent them."

Source USA Todays

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