In the name of God,
Good evening to you, distinguished professors and my sons the students of Cambridge University.
Thank you for this invitation to talk to you. A few months ago I received a similar invitation from Oxford University. I spoke to its students via satellite link. Today, it is my honor and pleasure to speak to you using the same method.
I am very happy that the students of well-established universities like yours and Oxford, as well as students of other universities the world over, are showing such interest in the urgent questions of our time that affect each and every one of us. There are many questions in our world. They might seem remote from where we live. However, they affect our lives, positively or negatively.
As it is said, the world is becoming a single village. This global village must organize its affairs. Its inhabitants need to live in peace and harmony. They must cooperate with one another rather than fight and destroy that village which is the only one of its kind in the universe. When we take a look at the galaxies, we realize that our solar system is but a tiny speck in the vast universe. Even in our own galaxy, our solar system is indeed minuscule. Nevertheless, we are the only known form of intelligent life in the universe. This is a cause for sorrow. How could it be that the only known intelligent species is unable to live in peace and harmony? How could we be fighting each other and threatening our small planet with destruction?
I believe that this feeling is starting to gain ground. Your request that I speak to you is proof that we, human beings, need to know and understand each other in order to solve our problems. The nature of our times and the information and communication revolution has diminished distances. Every event, however remote, has an effect on us all.
As you requested, I will talk about some of the important subjects that you asked me to address.
On the 27th of this month, an international conference will be held in Sert, Libya to attempt a solution of the inflamed problem of Darfur. I would like to deal with this problem that has become a matter of concern for the whole world. As the future leaders and decision-makers of your countries, I feel it is important that I share with you my viewpoint on that matter. I trust you will convey that view point to the media, the participants in the international conference and to the world public opinion. I believe that, like many other questions in Africa, the question of Darfur is first and foremost a tribal one. You might find it surprising and funny when I tell you that this question started with a scuffle over a camel! Now, it has become an international issue.
There are thousands of tribes in Africa. Those tribes fight over water and pastureland. The continent was divided into 50 states. Each tribe was fragmented among a number of countries. They want to re-unite. Tribal problems are endless. They will come to an end with progress. When the peoples of Africa leave the primitive stage behind them, tribalism will end and so will tribal conflicts. The mistake that has been made was the politicization of those tribal conflicts. The question of Darfur has been politicized. From a scuffle among some people over a camel, it has become an international issue. There have been many similar problems that started and came to an end without us knowing anything about them. Why then has the issue of Darfur been politicized and internationalized?
Here comes the role of the ambitions of great powers in which oil plays a prominent role. They are the cause of the escalation of the issue. This way, there will be a need for international forces and forces of the great powers. Thus, they will be able to share the oil in that area. It is not far-fetched to say that the powers that have economic interests in the region and the continent at large are the ones moving the events in Darfur. You may not have heard this before. It is important that you hear it from me now.
I know Africa. I have traveled all over it. I am familiar with Africa’s states, boundaries and tribes. I am the only person in the world who traveled more than 20,000 kilometers over land in Africa. I met peasants tilling their fields, saw shepherds in their pasture and visited people in their huts. I know their way of life. I have followed the African problems and developments since the time of Kenyata, Nasser and Haile Silasse. None of the current leaders has seen those men. I have been following Africa’s problems since their time.
Tribal problems occur then come to an end. They have not been internationalized. Now, those tribal problems are being picked and internationalized. Any tribal problem in Africa must never be internationalized nor politicized because that course of action has grave consequences. The Darfur issue is not political, social nor even economic in nature. It is simply a local, tribal problem among farmers and herdsmen. Farmers and herdsmen usually have problems everywhere in the world. Those could have been settled through local or tribal mediation. The tribes there have their established traditions and customs. You may not know that Darfur, though part of the Republic of Sudan, has its own kings and sultans. There are many kingdoms and sultanates inside the republic. Such is our African tribal system. It is a good social system worthy of respect. Had the matter been left to the local kings and sultans of Darfur, it would have been resolved. The interference by regional and international powers paralyses the local social forces that would otherwise be able to solve the problem.
There many poor and hungry people in Darfur. When the Darfur problem was internationalized, international organizations and countries started to send relief assistance. The poor were very happy and thanked God for having a problem of an international character because they will continue to receive international aid and assistance. We have contributed to the perpetuation of the problem. The international assistance has added fuel to the fire. People leave their villages to live in camps. The pretend that they were forced to become refugees because of the war and violence. The truth is not so. They only come to take the relief assistance that comes from the UN, the donors and the world charitable organizations. During the day they come to take the food and the clothes provided. At night, they go back to their homes with the bounty of the camps that were created with only one purpose; to receive international assistance. Those people hope that the problem of Darfur will never be resolved. If an end is put to it, the assistance will also come to an end. They want that assistance to continue. Who has opened that door? We have. If there had been no relief assistance and if we had left Darfur to its own people, no camps would have been established with the sole purpose of getting the relief assistance. Some wish to see the problem persist so as to continue to benefit from the assistance.
There are also local leaders who were previously unknown. When a chance is given to an unknown teacher, civil servant or a young officer to speak on world TV channels on behalf of a tribe or a rebel movement, he considers it a personal glory. This superficial glory is a sign of psychological imbalance. This unknown person is now given an opportunity to go on TV to talk about the marginalized, the exploited and the oppressed. These are mere clichés. Marginalization, backwardness and poverty are not unique to Darfur. They are facts of life in the Third World which has been made backward by colonialism. Now, this unknown person suddenly finds himself a world leader. He is implored to come to the negotiating table. This person would not wish to see the problem resolved. If it is resolved, he will fade away. He will not be able to be heard by the world. He will not be able to travel from country to country or address the European Parliament or the US Congress. He will not be interviewed on TV and news about him will not be beamed around the world by satellites. This person would wish for the problem to persist in order to continue to revel in this superficial glory. That is why I believe that tribal problems of this type must be ignored. They must not be politicized or internationalized. Let the tribes fight. In the end, they will find a solution. As I said earlier, they have their sultans and chiefs. It is not the first time that those tribes have a dispute. They always have disputes and disagreements. Those are resolved locally and the world rarely knows anything about them if they are not politicized or internationalized.
The problem of Darfur is not, as some claim, a racial problem between blacks and whites or between Arabs and Africans. Arabs are Africans. The Sudanese Arabs are Africans. I know those tribes. The main tribes are known to you. One cannot distinguish between Arabs and non-Arabs in the tribes of Masalit, Ruzeiqat, Zagawa or Fur. It is impossible to do so. They inter-marry. They are all Sunni Muslims. They all speak Arabic. The local dialect is understood by all. There is no real difference between the so-called Arabs and non-Arabs or between blacks and non-blacks. They are fully integrated. It is difficult, indeed impossible, to distinguish between them. The Masalit Tribe is originally from the city of Meslata in Libya. They are considered Africans while they come from an Arab origin. They migrated from Libya. There are thousands of the members of the Zagawa Tribe in Libya, in Chad and in the Sudan. The whole area is fully integrated. The Ruzeiqat Tribe lives in the north and the south of Darfur. No one can classify them as Arabs or non-Arabs, Africans or non-Africans. This is the truth of the situation there. There is a conflict between the major world players like America and China. I want you to know that each one of them wants a larger share of the area and its oil. This is extremely dangerous. All imperialist powers want a foothold in the area to achieve their ambitions. They want the problem to deteriorate in order to bring their forces to the area under the guise of peace enforcement. This too is very dangerous. The conduct of the major powers is immoral and deserves condemnation. It is in the nature of all empires to have expansionist ambitions. We must remain fully cognizant of those imperialist ambitions. This is what I wanted to say about Darfur.
There were issues other than Darfur that you wanted me to address such as the Middle East conflict and the question of Palestine.
First, I would like you to know that I studied history and I know the history of the region and its peoples very well. The Palestinians and Israelis are cousins. They descend from the same origin. They are Semites. Arabic and Hebrew are sister languages. The land called Palestine or Israel is their common homeland. Palestinians and Israelis can live in that place. No party has the right to claim exclusive ownership of the land located between the River Jordan and the Mediterranean. Neither party has the right to unilaterally declare a state in it. This is the reason why the Arabs do not recognize the so-called Israel; because the Israelis unilaterally declared a state on a disputed territory. No single party has the right to declare it their own and give it their own name. This is wrong, hence the objection to the recognition of that state.
It is similar to what happened in Cyprus. When the Turkish republic of Cyprus was declared, nobody recognized it except for Turkey. The reason was that the Turkish Cypriots and the Greek Cypriots are the people of Cyprus. It is their common homeland. Neither party has the right to unilaterally declare its own state and give it their own name. Therefore, no state recognized that entity in Cyprus. Regrettably, they recognize Israel. There has to be a single standard. The non-recognition of the Turkish republic of Cyprus must mean the non-recognition of a single state established on the disputed territory of Palestine. That was a grave error that has started in 1948 when one party unilaterally declared the establishment of its own state in that disputed territory.
Regardless of what happened in the past, we are now faced with a real problem. This problem cannot be solved by the means I see today. First, it has been manipulated just like the problem of Darfur. The tragedy of the Palestinians and the past tragedy of the Jews have been exploited for narrow interests. Electoral reasons made political parties and candidates for a presidency exploit those tragedies for political propaganda. During the Cold War and the confrontation between the US and NATO on the one hand and the USSR and the Warsaw Pact on the other, the Middle East problem was badly exploited. Each party manipulated for their own interests. They did not care about the interests of the Palestinians or the Israelis. The Palestinians and the Israelis were the victims. They were the ones who fought and died. No Soviets, Americans or French were killed. It was only the Palestinians and Israelis who paid the price.
You may know that this land is extremely narrow. Near Qalqiliya, the distance between the River Jordan and the Mediterranean is a mere 15 Kilometers. There cannot be two states in that area. There cannot be a state that is only 15 kilometers wide. If a Palestinians state is established in the West Bank, Tel Aviv and all the coastal cities will be within range of the fire of its machine guns or medium size artillery. The airspace will be under its control. If a war erupts, that state could be split in half. Also, half of the proposed Palestinian state, the West Bank, is completely separated from the Gaza Strip. How could there be a state a part of which is located on the Mediterranean while another part is in the West Bank of the River Jordan?
Add to that the presence of more than a million Palestinians inside Israel. They are increasing fast. Their numbers will double. In the future, there will be three or four million Palestinians in Israel. Then, it cannot claim to be a purely Jewish state. You know that the number of the Palestinians grows at a much faster rate than that of the Israelis. In the state they call Israel; there are a million Palestinians who live in peace and harmony with their neighbors. This is an example of the single state that must constitute the solution of that problem. There has to be a single state in Palestine. The name is not important. It could be called Isratine or Palestine. Whatever the name may be, there has to be a single state for Israelis and Palestinians. Now there exists an example for all to see. There are a million Palestinians who have Israeli citizenship and live with the Israelis without problems. The violence does not come from them but from those who live outside Israel. Simply put, that piece of land between the River and the Sea is too narrow for two states. The solution lies in the establishment of a single democratic state. All of us in the world must bring pressure to bear on the party that clings to religious, racial and linguistic racism. These are outdated notions that will fade away with time. Those notions must never prevent the establishment of permanent peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians. They must co-exist.
You might be aware that Arabs and Jews have always co-existed. When the Arabs were expelled from Andalusia, the Jews were also expelled. Arab countries gave refuge and protection to the Jews. Even when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem around the year 72, the Jews sought refuge in the Arabian Peninsula. I mean that Arabs protected the Jews throughout history from the Roman persecution to the Goth persecution in Andalusia. The two groups are cousins. The Prophet Abraham had two sons; Ismail the ancestor of Arabs and Isaac the ancestor of the Jews. Jacob, also known as Israel, was the son of Isaac. The state is named after him. Therefore, they are cousins and closer to each other than some think. It was other powers that created animosity between them to serve their own interests. They must once again live together in one state.
I published my White Book which calls for the establishment of Isratine, a state with half the name of Israel and half the name of Palestine. I hope you have the English version of it. The Book calls for the establishment of a single, democratic state. The initial elections could be supervised by the UN. Afterwards, its citizens will co-exist. It does not matter whether the president is a Jew or a Palestinian Muslim or Christian. Let it be the will and the choice of the people. Today there are Arab parties in Israel. There Arab member in the Knesset. There is an example to follow. In the West Bank, Palestinians and Israelis are a part of a single fabric. The same applies to Gaza. Demographically, they are integrated. Israeli factories depend on Palestinian labor from the West Bank and Gaza. There is an exchange of goods and services between them. They are fully interdependent. There many things, including culture, that make Israelis and Palestinians close to each other. I call for the establishment of a single state in order to bring this conflict to an end. However, certain conditions must be met.
First, the refugees expelled in 1948 must return to their homes. It is their right. They must be allowed to return in peace to their homes, farms and villages.
Second, this new state must be free from weapons of mass destruction. No state in the region must possess WMD. Whether ruled by Arafat or Abbas, it must be free from weapons of mass destruction.
This is what I wanted to say about the Question of Palestine. I invite you to read my White Book entitled Isratine.
You asked for my opinion about the UN reform. We have all heard for years about a strong wish to reform the UN. However, all that has been addressed during that period was the increase in the permanent and non-permanent membership of the Security Council. This misses the point, which must be the reform of the UN as a whole. The UN is not only the Security Council. It is the General Assembly, the International Court of Justice, the ECOSOC, the Trusteeship Council, UNESCO, UNICEF, FAO and all the other component parts of the UN System. The current state of affairs is undemocratic, illegal and illegitimate. The world must change it. The current state is dictatorial and it does not serve the cause of peace. On the contrary, it is a state of terror that threatens peace.
The so-called Security Council is not a council for security. It is a council of terror. It has usurped the powers of the UN and the whole world and arrogated them to itself; a limited council controlled by the five members that have veto power. Therefore, the small countries have no confidence in the Security Council or the UN. Enlightened intellectuals like you share the opinion that no one can feel safe in view of the role of the Security Council and the state of the UN. This feeling is borne out by the destruction and occupation of Iraq, Afghanistan and Yugoslavia. All this happened in full view of the UN and the Security Council. Why has Chapter VII not been applied to the US and the UK when they illegally invaded Iraq? The Council cannot do so because those countries have the veto power. They can kill any resolution. Then, it is not a council for international security. It is not international in character. It is a council of and for its own members.
We are calling for the reform of the UN. It can only be achieved through the democratization of the General Assembly; the World Parliament. The parliament is the legislature. It is the body with the power and the mandate to enact laws. The Security Council is the equivalent of the executive branch. The executive must implement the decisions of the legislature. Is it conceivable for the British government to enact laws and then instruct the House of Commons to implement them? It is the other way around. The parliament legislates, and government implements its laws. In the UN, the executive branch, i.e. the Security Council legislates then asks the parliament as represented by the General Assembly to carry out its directives. This means that the cart is put before the horse. Things should be the exact opposite of the current situation.
The nations of the world united to establish the UN. The General Assembly is the only organ where all the membership is represented. For the sake of the democratic principles, it should be the organ invested with all the powers. When the General Assembly approves sanctions against a certain state, that state will have to accept because it was a decision democratically taken by the community of nations. It is a grave injustice for two or five states to impose their will on the members of the Security Council and then claim that their actions are taken in the name of international legality. What a false claim!
If real reform is the goal, then the powers of the Security Council must be transferred to the General Assembly. Application of Chapter VII must be the prerogative of the General Assembly. Binding resolutions must be adopted by it alone. The Security Council must be the tool for implementing the resolutions of the General Assembly. If things do not change, many countries will withdraw from the UN. A new General Assembly of the oppressed and those fed up with injustice will be established. The current international machinery will collapse. The machinery created freely by the international community is being bypassed. There is charter being framed by precedent. Numerous precedents are creating a new UN Charter based on injustice, oppression and aggression. The UN Charter prohibits the use or threat of force. Today, there is a constant threat or use of force. It is the end of the UN Charter. The measures taken against Libya, Panama, Iraq, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and other states constitute a new unwritten charter based on precedent. The new law of might reigns supreme. It must be observed. We all aspire for the rule of international law. What prevails now is the law of might. It takes precedence over international law. Can anyone believe the words of the major powers about freedom, democracy and human rights while they exercise such tyranny? Therefore, I repeat that the highest organs of the international machinery, the General Assembly and the Security Council, must be democratized.
My Green Book addresses the question of democracy. I hope you find it in English. I did not make up the Green Book or invent anything in it. I read the history of the world and followed the experience of humanity. I saw the reasons for war, peace, happiness, misery and external and internal problems. I compiled them in my book.
Democracy is a composite Arabic word. It is made up of two words; demo which means people and “Cracy” which means chairs or seats. It means that the people must always occupy the seat of power. Having real democracy means that the people must be the sole occupant of the seat of power. The people have the right to enact laws and legislation. The people have the right to establish the system of their choice. The people are the master. The sovereignty of the people must not be usurped and placed in the hands of a few individuals called the government or the representatives. The theory of representation has deceived the peoples of the world. No one can represent the people. Representation is falsification. The people exist, why should anyone represent them? Who can dream on behalf of the people? There can be no representation in dreams and hopes. Those are the responsibility of each and every individual. People must run their political, economic and social life by themselves. They must express their wishes directly without intermediaries. There are nations whose populations are in the tens of millions. However, they have only a few hundred representatives or members of parliament. This means that a single MP represents millions of people. How can that be? How can one person express the wishes of such a multitude of people? How says that those millions want what that single person wants? This is a falsification of the will of the people. That individual only represents himself. Look at Britain. The people take to the streets to protest policies that enjoy the support of the members of parliament. If those were the true representatives of the people, why would the people have to go out on demonstrations? The American people oppose the war in Iraq. The Congress supports it. Then the Congress does not represent the people. The American people want the troops to leave Iraq. The Administration wants to keep them there. The Congress has passed a resolution to bring them home. Then, there is a wide gulf separating the people and their representative councils. Therefore, representation is a falsification of the will of the people. This is what the Green Book says. The real democracy is represented by the People’s Congresses and the Popular Committees. All adults, men and women, are members of the People’s Congresses. Those congresses are the only ones entitled to make decisions.
The Libyan people right now are divided into thirty thousand communes. Every commune is made up of a hundred persons. Those three million people exercise power in Libya. The rest of the population are either under age or elderly and thus unable to participate. The three million members of the thirty thousand communes are the ones who set the agenda of the society and establish the internal and external policies of the country for the period of one year. Afterwards, they meet again to reconsider those things. What I mean to say is that the real exercise of democracy can only happen through People’s Congresses and Popular Committees. There can be no democracy without such congresses and committees.
I believe I have covered all the questions that you asked me to address. I hope we will meet again. I am ready to meet you whenever my time permits. I am always ready to address the questions of concern to you or anything you would like me to deal with. If you have any questions or queries I am ready to listen.
First question is from Michael, PhD in Philosophy. The subject is Libya’s foreign relations.
Thank you Brother Leader. It was my honor and pleasure to lead a group of twenty five students of Cambridge to participate in the events that took place in Libya in February and March. We had a very good time there. The discussions of the recent change in Libya’s foreign relations were extremely interesting. In my research I concentrated on the Libyan-American relations, particularly in the 1990’s and this decade. Both the Libyan and American sides made optimistic comments on the improvement of the relations between the two countries. Recently, there seems to have been a wish to continue such improvement between them. Let me quote what was said by the US vice president Dick Cheney. “We have brought down the government of Iraq. Saddam Hussein is no longer. Saddam Hussein is in jail and out of power. His government has disappeared without a trace. Qaddafi in Libya is following this closely. He is also following the situation in Afghanistan. Five days after the arrest of Saddam Hussein, Qaddafi declared that Libya will renounce weapons of mass destruction. Your son, Seif El Islam Qaddafi said the same thing. This was a manifestation of political weakness.” I believe Libya feels safer and more comfortable in view of what you have achieved. I believe it has moved away from political tensions.
Brother Leader can you please tell us the motives behind that decision and the improvement in the US American relations? Where are those relations currently? Where are they heading in the future?
The Leader: Thank you. And thank you for your visit to Libya.
Whenever something takes place, everybody will try to employ it in their interest. But, they never try to do that before the event actually takes place. Why didn’t Cheney say what he said before Libya made that historic decision? Why hadn’t he said that we will compel Libya within five months to give up its nuclear program because of what we did in Iraq? Why has he not said that? Because he could not. He made his statement after we made our decision. He exploited it for his own purposes. I would like you to know that the US President himself had admitted that negotiations with Libya had lasted for nine months before the decision was made. We spent nine months without announcing that negotiations were taking place between Libya, the major powers, and the IAEA on the cancellation of the nuclear program. At that time, Saddam Hussein had not been overthrown. Iraq had not been invaded. If we had feared America, then why did we continue for more than thirty years working on that program? During the era of Reagan, who subsequently was proven to be insane and suffering from Alzheimer’s, we were not afraid. We alerted them. We said the man was insane. Beware of his actions! They laughed at us but finally admitted that Reagan was truly insane and that all his actions were the result of his Alzheimer’s. During that period of insanity, we were not afraid of the fleets sent by Reagan to our territorial water. We continued with our program. At that time the acquisition of weapons of mass destruction was a fad in the world. Many states were trying to acquire atomic weapons. After a while we discovered that our program had been uncovered. Some equipment was confiscated. The CIA gave us recordings of the meetings between us and some well known nuclear specialists. We were told that our nuclear program was no longer a secret. It would be better to start talking with the US and Britain. My friend Blair sent me another of envoys saying that the program has been discovered and the centrifuge equipment has been confiscated. We discovered that it would be practically impossible to continue with the program. We also thought of its huge costs. Then why would we manufacture an atomic bomb? For what? If somebody claims that Libya’s aim is to attack Israel with an atomic bomb, we would simply say that there are a million Palestinians inside Israel. Is it conceivable for us to drop such a bomb on one million Palestinians and three million Jews? The West Bank and the Gaza strip will not be safe if an atomic attack is launched on Israel. Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and even Egypt will all be in danger if a Libyan atomic strike is launched. Then this suspicion has been excluded.
Some said that Libya would use its Atomic weapons. Why would we do that? Europe is no longer a colonial power. Europe is a friend that cooperates with us. We are now working on the strategic cooperation between the AU and the EU. We’re discussion trade, investment, environmental protection, the Mediterranean partnership, and partnership in economic institutions. Europe is not the same as it was at the time of Hitler and Mussolini. It is impossible for a rational person to think of attacking Europe with Nuclear weapons from Libya. In addition, there are many states in Europe who are friends with Libya. Therefore, we have also excluded the possibility of the use of atomic weapons on that front. Would we make it to use against America? First, it is impossible for us to have the means of delivery to transport a bomb to America. Could a rational person decide to attack America with one or even ten Libyan atomic bombs knowing that America will retaliate with ten thousand such bombs? It is impossible for anybody to think that way. He would have to be insane to think of attacking a country like the US, Russia, or China that possess thousands of atomic bombs.
Could we then think of using this bomb in Africa? Africa is our continent. We are a part of the effort for its construction. So with this assessment of the international situation we found out that thinking of having a nuclear program was simply following the fad. It was, as I said, the time when everybody wanted to possess atomic weapons. But this era is over.
Pakistan manufactured an Atomic Bomb. Why? Because India also manufactured the same type of weapon. It is understandable that in order to have a balance between the two countries, they both must possess the same kind of weapons. But it is an extremely dangerous situation. We are averse to all weapons of mass destruction, nuclear, biological, or chemical. We hope that the programs of such weapons will be eliminated from the whole world. We are afraid of nobody. We only fear God. This person you mentioned, I do not know his name, Dick Cheney is it? It’s his own vision, like that of Reagan. I pray to God he is not as ill as Reagan was.
I wish him good health. I know he has had five heart operations. I hope what he said was not the result of a psychological imbalance. Be that as it may, and let us suppose Dick Cheney is right, would it be wise for a small country like Libya of five million people to find itself in confrontation with a super power like America that possesses scores of thousands of nuclear weapons, ICBM, aircraft carriers, and nuclear submarines? What is wrong with a small country deciding to avoid a confrontation with such a big power? This is a proof of wisdom and courage. We decided with our own free will to embark on something. With our own free will we decided to relinquish it.
Question: Brother Leader, you announced your wish to develop the African union into the united states of Africa. Do you think this would be possible in the next ten years or not?
The Leader: Thank you. It is very possible. Why not? We the Africans are following the example of Europe. Europe is made up of many countries that until recently waged highly destructive wars against each other. Tens of millions perished in the first and second world wars, the war of the roses, the thirty year war, and the seven year war. Europe has experienced all those wars. Nevertheless, it now believes that it is in its interests to unite. We are following that example. In addition, Africans are not nations at war with each other. Africa is one black nation made up of a thousand tribes. We are already united. We are a single continent and one homogenous human group. Even our color distinguishes us from the rest of the nations and continents. Globalization and its challenges make it impossible for any nation state to live by itself. If Germany, Britain, France, or Italy- those major powers cannot live outside a European united entity, what would we say about the tiny and miniscule African countries? Their future lies in an African entity whether the African union or the united states of Africa. Its establishment depends on the effort that the Africans will make to achieve that vision.
Question: Brother Leader, thank you for being so generous with your time. This question is from the African section at the BBC. You said that the AU will develop into the united states of Africa. We would like to ask about chances for Arab unity. Allow us to express our admiration of your courage, wisdom, and your desire to achieve that unity.
The Leader: I am not sure if this is a question or a comment. Let me tell you that human history has gone through various stages. There was the stage of religions, then nationalism, then the stage of demography or material interest.
During the stage of religion, the entities are based on faith regardless of the nationality or language of its various components. This was the case with the Holy Roman Empire, the Islamic Empire, and the Ottoman Empire, etc. In the stage of nationalism, the nation states such as Italy, Germany, Turkey, Iran, were formed. Unfortunately, both those stages have gone by without the Arabs being able to achieve their unity on the basis of either faith or national origin. Now, we are at a new era; the era of demography, globalization, and common material interest. It has become difficult now to talk of a unity between Libya and Iraq or between Syria and Morocco. As African countries, Libya and Morocco will be a part of united Africa. No one can talk now about unity outside the larger African entity. Who could talk about a unity between the European Union, New Zealand, and Australia? This is not possible. Geography dictates that every region should move towards unity. Now there are the ASEAN, the Commonwealth of Independent States of the former USSR, the African Union, the EU, the USA, and Latin America that is moving towards unity. Thus the world will be divided into seven or ten large groups, unions, or mega entities that will replace states in the future. Even the number of currencies in the world will be reduced to seven or ten. There will only be the same number of central banks. This is the new shape the world is taking. It is very difficult to talk of a national unity for Arabs in this new world. I hope Arabs will respond to my invitation to join the African union and form the Arab African union. In this case, all Arabs will be united with Africa. Two thirds of the Arabs are Africans. The remaining third are in Asia in the Arabian Peninsula, the Gulf, and the Fertile Crescent. The only solution is for Arabs to join Africa. There is no rule for talk of a national or a religious unity in this day and age. The only notion that has currency now is the notion of the united demographic and material interests of the mega entities.
Question: Brother Leader, you have stood courageously against dictatorship. You have called for a free world from which all would benefit. How do you see the situation in Iraq and what America is doing there?
The Leader: The whole world is aware of what is happening in Iraq. The world has determined its position. The invasion of Iraq was a mistake. Both the US and Britain have admitted that mistake. It is time that mistake was undone. They said they had intelligence that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction. Iraq was inspected, then attacked, then fragmented, and it became clear that there were no such weapons in it. They have admitted their mistake and expressed regret at having made it. This is truly regrettable. A whole people are made to suffer and a whole country is destroyed on the basis of a rumor or a lie? How could major powers that are permanent members of the Security Council act in such an extremely dangerous manner on the basis of unsubstantiated rumors and allegations? How could the world have a clear conscience when such actions are taken on such flimsy basis? Having admitted the mistake, those who made it must move back from it. The only solution is to withdraw from Iraq and to leave it to the Iraqis.
The coordinator of the Cambridge students union: Thank you Brother Leader. Thank you all for coming. Thank you all for your contributions. Above all, we thank the Brother Leader Mummar Al Qaddafi for having honored us with his presence.
The Leader: Thank you. Hope to see you again, God willing.