Gaddafi as orator: A life in quotes

In speeches that at times stretched to several hours, Gaddafi’s remarks astounded audiences in Libya and abroad.

Gaddafi defiant

As soon as Muammar Gaddafi seized power in Libya in 1969, at the age of 27, he launched into a perplexing and controversial career as a speech-maker that now spans more than four decades.  In scattershot diatribes that at times stretched to several hours, Gaddafi astounded audience at Libya and abroad.

Famously dubbed the “mad dog of the Middle East” by Ronald Reagan, the former president of the US, Gaddafi did little to dispel that nickname in his wild orations and writings. In 1975, he outlined his political philosophy in “The Green Book” which carried the subtitle, “”The Solution to the Problems of Democracy; The Social Basis to the Third Universal Theory.”

No matter how he is remembered by history, Gaddafi’s legacy as an orator is assured. Here are some famous Gaddafi-isms from his nearly 42 years in power:

“I am an international leader, the dean of the Arab rulers, the king of kings of Africa and the imam of Muslims, and my international status does not allow me to descend to a lower level.”
Remarks to a crowd including King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia and having his microphone cut on March 30, 2009, as quoted by The Scotsman in the article “Gaddafi walks out of summit after attack on Saudi king” by Salah Nasrawi.

“There is no state with a democracy except Libya on the whole planet.”
Spoken at a conference at Columbia University in New York City on March 23, 2008.

“I am convinced that the [Israel-Palestine] solution is to establish a democratic state for the Jews and the Palestinians, a state that will be called Palestine, Isratine, or whatever they want. This is the fundamental solution, or else the Jews will be annihilated in the future, because the Palestinians have [strategic] depth.”
— Interview with Al Jazeera, March 27, 2007

“If a community of people wears white on a mournful occasion and another dresses in black, then one community would like white and dislike black and the other would like black and dislike white. Moreover, this attitude leaves a physical effect on the cells as well as on the genes in the body.”
— Excerpt from “The Green Book” (1975)

“[Abraham] Lincoln was a man who created himself from nothing without any help from outside or other people. I followed his struggles. I see certain similarities between him and me.”
— Pulbished in The Pittsburgh Press on August 3, 1986, in the article “Gadhafi, the man the world loves to hate” by Marie Colvin.

“Irrespective of the conflict with America, it is a human duty to show sympathy with the American people and be with them at these horrifying and awesome events which are bound to awaken human conscience. When I was five, my brother was shot by an Israeli soldier, since then I have been dedicated to uniting the Arab countries throughout the Middle East and retain a trade flow with the West.”
— Reaction to the September 11, 2001, attacks as quoted by  on September 12, 2001.

“All right, then nobody can complain if we ask pregnant women to make parachute jumps.”
Defending his belief that women’s “defects” meant that their place was in the home as quoted by TIME on July 23, 1975.

“Libya is an African country. May Allah help the Arabs and keep them away from us. We don’t want anything to do with them. They did not fight with us against the Italians, and they did not fight with us against the Americans. They did not lift the sanctions and siege from us. On the contrary, they gloated at us, and benefited from our hardship…”
Interview with Al Jazeera, March 27, 2007

“There is a conspiracy to control Libyan oil and to control Libyan land, to colonise Libya once again. This is impossible, impossible. We will fight until the last man and last woman to defend Libya from east to west, north to south.”
audio message broadcast on Al-Ouroba TV, a Syria-based satellite station, on August 25, as oppostion forces began as assault on Tripoli.

Source: Al Jazeera