In an October 4, 2003 speech delivered to a group of women in the city of Sabha, Libyan ruler Col. Mu'ammar Al-Qaddafi spoke of Libya's work for the pan-Arab cause, accused the Arab countries of ingratitude, and apologized to the African states for bringing them into the Arab League. He also said that women should be trained to carry out suicide operations. The following are excerpts from his speech:
The Reactionary Arab Leaders of the Past are 1,000 Times Better Than Those of Today
"…When the war against the Palestinians was declared in 1948, it was the only time that all the Arabs fought as one people and as one nation. The volunteers set out from Libya and from every Arab country for Palestine. The regular armies set out from Egypt, Iraq, and the Sudan and fought in Palestine. This was the period of [King] Farouq, [King] Faisal II, Nouri Sa'id, King Abdallah and the Imam Yahyah [King of Yemen.] We see them as reactionaries, and they were removed and finished, but they were 1,000 times better than the Arabs of today, who have no courage, honor, blood, or pride. They [the kings of the past] did not relinquish their honor and [protected] their women and their children. They did not relinquish Palestine, Iraq, Libya, or any other place in the Arab homeland…"
All Non-Africans Should go Back to the Arabian Peninsula
"Today, you cannot speak of Arab unity and pan-Arab nationalism. Today, you are an Egyptian, Sudanese, Libyan, Tunisian, Moroccan, or a Mauritanian. You are African… You are part of this continent. If Africa is not your land, go back to the Arabian Peninsula. If only all the Arabs, from Mauritania to Egypt, would return to the Arabian peninsula, at least in order to receive their quota of oil…
"The Arabs have become the joke of the world because they do not think of their future… The unification of the Arab Maghreb [i.e. North West Africa] was not the fruit of the thought of the people of the Maghreb; it was a dictate from the European Union. The Europeans said: 'We cannot deal with Libya alone, Tunisia alone, Algeria alone, and with Mauritania alone. You must unite, otherwise we will not be able to conduct business with you…'
"How can this great European Union, which includes nuclear states and industrialized states, deal with the midget Libya, with the midget Tunisia, and with the midget Mauritania? Europe said: 'We will not conduct business with you because you fly like chaff in the wind. You must unite so that you turn into one market, from Libya to Mauritania.'"
Libya Became an Enemy of the U.S., the West, and the Jews For the Arabs' Sake
"I came [to the Arabs] and I told them: Brothers, since our revolution we stand for Arab unity. We have done thus and so for the sake of Arab unity. The U.S. has become Libya's Enemy No. 1 due to Arab and pan-Arab unity and the Palestinian cause. Libya became the enemy of the Jews and the entire West for the Arabs, and without this there would have been no problems between Libya and the U.S. and even between it and the Jews, or between Libya and Europe. If we had not gotten ourselves in trouble in battles because of pan-Arabism and Arab unity, we would have been spared all the tragedies caused us."
We Should be Treated Like Africans
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"Today, [the Arabs] curse us and attack us. If we were not an Arab country, they would not be cursing us. Have you heard of an Arab paper, or Arab ruler, or Arab radio station [discussing] a country called Lesotho? Never! It doesn't matter what happens in a country like this, they do not talk about it. Leave us alone! Are you attacking us because we are Arabs? We're fed up. We are Africans. Treat us like Africans; treat us like black Negroes; we'll stay away from you, and you'll stay away from us. Don't talk to us and we won't talk to you. What is the connection between Libya and Kuwait? One country is situated in Africa and the other in Asia. We will not meet again until Judgment Day, and then one of us will go to Paradise and the other will go to Hell…"
On Al-Qaddafi's Valor in the 1973 War
"We gave you [i.e. the Arabs] funds and weapons, and we became exhausted together with you, and for nothing. Ultimately, you all became friends with the U.S., and you recognize Israel. Only Libya has not recognized Israel, and of course will never recognize it until the Day of Judgment. We were exhausted for your sake, and ultimately you cursed us. We gave you 100 Mirage aircraft as a gift to Egypt in order to liberate the Sinai. We gave 100 Mirage aircraft, and then Sadat cursed us. It came out [looking] as if we had not participated at all [in the war], and the unfortunate Egyptian people do not know the truth.
"We are approaching the anniversary of October 6. All the boats that the Egyptian army used to cross the Suez Canal and all the rubber dinghies were Libyan. We do not want reward and we do not want them to say thank you to us, because we fulfilled our pan-Arab and historic obligation. The mobile artillery at the Egyptian front was all Libyan. All the mobile Italian cannons that we purchased from Italy and gave as a gift to Egypt. The Egyptians had no bulldozers. We acquired bulldozers [for them]. It was us who gave the Egyptian army supplies, clothing, and even socks…
"I personally carried the missiles on my shoulders and marched with them until we gave them to the Egyptians. The Israelis reached 83 kilometers from Cairo. But Sadat told me: 'Enough. I am finished with my war. Have a happy holiday.' I told him, 'Goodbye, and happy holiday.'"
The Arabs are Unwilling to do Anything for Their Unity
"The Palestinians and the Lebanese – we sacrificed our blood for them, we gave them our money, we gave them everything. We held training for them and ultimately it turned out that we were terrorists, while they embrace the Americans, the Israelis, and the Westerners, Libya is [accused of] terrorism because it trained the Palestinians. We fulfilled our obligation, we gave our money, we gave them weapons, we exposed ourselves to dangers, [and] we are on the blacklist to this day…
"The Arabs are completely useless. They are unwilling to do anything for the sake of unity."
We'll Ultimately be in Our African Nation on the African Continent
"We will not be finished together with them. We will be, ultimately, in our African nation and on the African continent… by means of which we will become stronger, like the American continent and the European continent. The Arabs have written a mark of disgrace in history that they will never be able to eradicate. They watch what is happening in Iraq and in Palestine from the sidelines. They are finished. They have no honor and they have no blood. There is no longer any Arab blood or pan-Arab blood, Arab unity, Arab manliness, Arab femininity. There is nothing. The situation has gotten so bad that the women are the ones who take the initiative. Today was the most dangerous Fedaii operation in so-called Israel – and it was carried out by a young Palestinian woman, not by a man."
Apology to the African States for Dragging Them Into the Arab League
"There are nations to which I did an injustice and I apologize for this. I brought Mauritania, Djibouti, Somalia, and the Comoro Islands into the Arab League, and I tried to bring in Eritrea. But now I cannot speak with Eritrea. Look what an injustice I did them. I brought them into a failed nation, a failed regime, and failed people….
"The Arabs are completely useless. We must not waste time. The Arabs are through. Tomorrow, Asia will establish great unions and Africa is already united – and where are you, Arab?…"
I Ask the Libyan People to Quit the Arab League
"I ask of the Libyan people to agree to quit the Arab League, without wasting time. These people [i.e. the Arabs] are useless. Their situation is terrible. We must be rid of them, of their curses and of their problems. Let them go in peace. They won't talk to us and we won't talk to them. Even the Arab League is nothing. It has been four months since its officials received their salaries, because the Arab countries refrained from paying their membership dues…"
In Favor of Explosive Belts and Car Bombs In Iraq and Israel
"The war changed and moved from the battlefields we learned about in books, into the homes. In the past, soldiers fought soldiers, and today soldiers fight women and children in Baghdad and Gaza… As long as the woman is home and she is the one targeted, she must be trained… The woman must be trained how to fight within the home, how to put together an explosive belt and blow herself up together with the enemy soldiers. Anyone who has a car must make preparations and know how to booby trap it and turn it into a car bomb… In the past they would say [to us in Libya]: 'Why do you train the women? It is not logical that the woman will go out to the battlefield…' Today the face of the battle has changed, and the arenas of fighting have moved to the place where the woman is…
"We must train the women how to booby-trap the car and blow it up among the enemy, how to blow up the house so it falls on the enemy soldiers. Traps must be prepared. You have seen how [the enemy] check[s] luggage. These suitcases should be rigged so that when they open them they blow up. The women must be taught how to booby-trap their clothes closets, booby-trap their purses, booby-trap their shoes, booby-trap the children's toys, so they blow up on the enemy soldiers."
Al-Shams (Libya), October 5, 2003.