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Saturday, September 26, 2009

Gadaffi views needed serious consideration

Matt McCarten: Gadaffi views needed serious consideration 5:00AM Sunday Sep 27, 2009By Matt McCarten
Video Gaddafi lectures UN on war (1:34)
Related links:
Gaddafi goes over time - and over the top
No room at the inn for pariah Gaddafi
What I find disturbing is the dumbing down of real news and cartoon characterisation of opponents of conventional wisdom.
I'm not sure if it's deliberate or unconscious actions by international news agencies.
A bit of both, I suppose.
I found the superficial reporting of Libyan leader and African Union president Muammar al-Gaddafi's United Nations speech this week pathetic. Obviously Gaddafi intended to be deliberately provocative in telling First World leaders some uncomfortable truths.
Rather than reporting fully on some of his valid commentary, the international press almost universally portrayed Gaddafi as some sort of nutty clown using some of his sillier statements, such as Israel having something to do with the assassination of John F. Kennedy, to prove it.
The description of his flowing robes, large rings on his fingers and his insistence in staying in tents was intended to make him look comical rather than the cultural racism it is.
Some of Gaddafi's flamboyant reported theatrics such as "nearly" tearing a copy of the UN charter and his "ranting" for 90 minutes and using "insulting" language by calling the Security Council a "terror council" is clearly giving us permission to snigger and dismiss anything he says.
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However if we managed to get past the entertainment factor of Gaddafi's performance we would have learned some valuable insights, such as Libya and almost all Middle East nations don't support Iran being nuclear armed.
I thought that was important to know. Unsurprisingly, they want Israel to dismantle their atomic arsenal too.
Interestingly, Gaddafi believes separate homelands for Israel and Palestine, as promoted by the Western nations, including New Zealand, is impractical.
Instead, there should be one secular state within the current greater border. This is the most sensible solution for both peoples and needs more air time. Everybody knows the current situation in Israel/Palestine is apartheid, and that it's not sustainable.
After all, isn't the West demanding democracy? Once the walls come down and compensation is paid to the inhabitants who had their land or homes stolen then a new state built on fairness and justice could evolve. It worked in South Africa and Germany. It's worth discussing.
Gaddafi also supports the establishment of a Kashmir state to resolve conflict between India and Pakistan. He even argued the Taleban had a right to form a state too. This is also worthy of further discussion.
His best contribution was his expose of the hypocrisy of the United Nations. The UN Charter claims all its nation members are equal. Yet it's run by a Security Council with five nations (US, Britain, France, Russia and China) who can veto any decision.
These five were the "victorious" nations in World War II. Gaddafi calls it "political feudalism", and he's right.
Imagine if in New Zealand we had five cabinet ministers, any one of whom had the right to veto any decision of Parliament they saw fit. We wouldn't put up with it.
Gaddafi says the vetoes should go. As a compromise he suggests the permanent veto members be expanded. What about Japan, Germany, Brazil, India and a country such as South Africa? Naturally, Gaddafi offers himself to represent Africa. But you get the point.
However, his most blistering accusation is that the Security Council is the cause of many wars. Sixty-five wars have occurred since the UN was founded and a permanent member on almost every occasion used its veto to prevent the rest of the world stopping it.
Gaddafi accuses George Bush and Tony Blair of war crimes by illegally invading Iraq and killing innocent people.
His request for an UN investigation on Iraq invasion won't happen because the main powers decide who is a war criminal while awarding themselves immunity for their actions.
Gaddafi may well be a bit of a crank. But what he is saying deserves serious reporting and analysis rather than turning his speech into some sort of comical parody.

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