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Qaddafi'd

So it looks like FP contributor David Schenker was right: Muammar al-Qaddafi couldn't contain himself in his speech today at the U.N. General Assembly's opening session.

The Libyan strongman has been erratically working toward a rapprochement with the West, including abandoning his fledgling WMD programs, cooperating on counterterrorism, and opening up his country to oil investment. Even his execrable human-rights record has improved.

It's not exactly clear whether the elder Qaddafi himself is driving this process, or whether his son Saif al-Islam -- who hangs out with the Davos crowd and talks a good game on democracy -- is the brains behind this operation.

But as Schenker points out, Muammar is his own worst enemy. He's like that unpopular kid in your high-school math class who makes everyone laugh by saying outrageous things, but still doesn't have any friends (yeah, OK, that was me). And by comparing the Security Council to al Qaeda and suggesting that swine flu was cooked up in a laboratory, he's only reinforced that image today.

There's one reason, though, that Qaddafi's bizarre remarks today won't leave him completely isolated. Anyone have a wild guess?

Photo by EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images

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Qaddafi time: Security council is "terror council"

Update: Well that was something. Largely holding off on contemporary issues until the end, the colonel launched an epic, rambling, tirade against the U.N. institution itself, paricularly the Security Council, which he likened to Al Qaeda. He also rattled off a series of historical grievances dating back to the Suez crisis and the Patrice Lumumba assassination and indulged in some conspiracy mongering over the origins of swine flu and the Kennedy assassination.

As Blake noted, this makes it very hard to argue that Qaddafi is trying to reintegrate his country into the international community. I wouldn't expect any more visits from John McCain to Tripoli in the near future. I would imagine this also largely undermines Ali Treki's credibility as General Assembly president, after a fairly tame opening statement. Gordon Bown, who speaks later today, must have been squirming in his seat as well.

It should be interesting to see how Obama handles him at the "terror council" meeting tomorrow.


Treki introduces Qaddafi as "king of kings" and "leader of the revolution" among a number of other titles. Delegates refusing to sit down. There's commotion in the room. It's a little unclear from here what's going on but Treki is trying in vain to gavel the session to order.

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Qaddafi finally begins. Room still not quiet.

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As representative of African Union (nations and traditional kingdoms) Qaddafi congratulates "our son" Obama. Ummm....

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Laying out specific makeup for new Security Council including permanent member setas for AU, ASEAN, etc.

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Qaddafi not holding back today. Suggests swine flu may have been created in laboratory as weapon.

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Rejects "everything after the preamble" in the U.N. charter.

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Holding up copy of U.N. charter, Qaddafi says, "We do not accept it, we do not acknowledge it, neither to we recognize it. "

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Compares Security Council veto to Julius Ceasar being made emperor

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Qaddafi appears to have little interest in weighing in on contemporary world issues, but is using the forum to attack the U.N. itself.

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General Assembly is "like Hyde Park"...."nobody implementing our decisions...you just make a speech and then disappear."

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Says Security Council is "terrorism itself"

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Qaddafi says Treki will submit his newly designed Security Council for a vote. 

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Doubles down comparing Security Council to Al Qaeda

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"Political feudalism" ... "It should not be called the Security Council. It should be called the terror council."

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Qaddafi gives shoutout to Silvio Berlusconi for apologizing for World War II crimes. Calls it a "glorious act." In the context of this speech, that's probably not a great thing for Berlusconi.

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Now heaping praise on the "black, African, Kenyan" president of the United States

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"We would be happy if Obama would stay forever as president." 

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He keeps calling Obama "our son."

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Arguing against having the U.N. in New York: 

Is this Jerusalem, is the the Vatican, is this Mecca? All of you are tired with jetlag, are very tired. Physically speaking you are very low. All of you are asleep. 

Says he was up at 4 a.m. last night.

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Qaddafi rearguing the Suez Canal crisis now. 

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Calls for release of Manuel Noriega

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Iraq war: "Mother of all evils"

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Good lord... Qaddafi now questioning the official record on the Kennedy assassination.

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Qaddafi apparently wore out the translator. Got a new voice in my earpiece.

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"Perhaps tomorrow we will have a fish flu."

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Rejects two-state solution. Calls for democratic state. Era of Sharon and Arafat is over.

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Says Arabs will give Jews protection. "Look at what everyone else did to the Jews. Hitler is an exmaple. You are the ones who hate the Jews, not us."

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We're on our third translator.

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The end.