During a radio address, Nation of Islam leader Minister Louis Farrakahan discussed the death of his friend, and self-proclaimed “brother,” Moammar Gaddafi. In the nearly two-hour long program, Farrakahan questioned the West’s motives behind intervening in Libya and talked up Gaddafi’s virtues.
Farrakhan ranted: “Gaddafi died in honor, fighting for the Libya that he believed in. They would never have won if NATO was not bombing, day in and day out.”
Farrakhan and former Libyan dictator Gaddafi had a friendly relationship. Farrakhan visited Libya in the 1980s and even tried to persuade President Reagan not to assassinate Gaddafi, but failed. Reagan went through with an unsuccessful assassination attempt, but Farrakhan and Gaddafi continued their friendship.
During his speech, Farrakhan praised Gaddafi for working to build Libya for his people, while criticizing NATO’s humanitarian mission.
He said: “We were in Libya, we saw Libya being built from the ground up, we witnessed what this man did for the Libyan people. And for NATO to have bombed it like this…Watch for Haliburton, watch for Bechtel, watch for the vultures of London, England, and France trying to rebuild the infrastructure that they purposely destroyed, which is against international law. You went for humanitarian purposes, yet 50,000 Libyans lie dead because the West wanted access to the wealth of Libya.”
Throughout the speech, Farrakhan praised the former dictator and downplayed the feelings of many Libyans who felt Gaddafi was a tyrannical leader who crushed dissent. Despite Gaddafi’s promise to massacare those who revolted against him, Farrakhan chose to place the blame for the Libyan leader’s death on the West and called out President Obama for killing terrorists.
Farrakhan continued: “Did he [Gaddafi] kill people? Well, hell did our President kill people? Talk to me. You have made your president an assassin, that the only value that he has now is that he was responsible for the death of (al-Qaida leader) Osama bin Laden. He was captured without a weapon. He should have been brought to America, put on trial for the American people to see this man. But he was executed so you will never know the real truth.”
Finding the “real truth” is what many aim to discover as more and more details come out. Although I respect Minister Farrakhan’s work in the community, part of me can’t take him seriously, because of his many inflammatory statements and his involvement in Malcolm X’s murder.
While many blame Gaddafi’s ouster on the West and their need/want to capitalize on the oil-rich state, others, especially revolutionary rebels, within the country are happy they were able to overthrow an oppressive director.
No matter what side of the argument you fall one, one thing is clear: Libya has changed forever, and it’s now up to the Libyan people to decide what their future will be.