‘We are leading the world’s revolution against Imperialism and tyranny’ – GADAFFI SPEAKS FROM HIS COMPOUND IN TRIPOLI

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Libyan students condemn the killing of civilians after a bombing blitz was launched against Libya last weekend
Libyan students condemn the killing of civilians after a bombing blitz was launched against Libya last weekend

THE Libyan Leader Muammar al-Gadaffi gave a televised address, live from his Tripoli’s compound of Bab al-Aziziyah on Tuesday night.

The compound has already been bombed by the imperialists.

Gadaffi said: ‘The new crusader battle has been launched by crusader countries on Islam.

‘Long live Islam everywhere. All Islamic armies must take part in the battle, all free people must participate in this battle.

‘There are demonstrations in all places supporting you.

‘There are demonstrations in all places supporting you; in Asia, in Africa, in America and in Europe.

‘Their people oppose them. Their people oppose them. Those opposing you are a small handful of fascists, a small handful of lunatics, a small handful whose authority shall fall at the hands of their people.

‘We shall win in this historic battle. We shall not surrender and we shall not fear passers by. We jeer at their missiles. These are passing missiles.

‘Libyans are laughing and jeering. We shall defeat them, in any way possible. If it is a short-term battle we shall defeat them.

‘If it is a long-term battle we shall defeat them.

‘We are prepared for battle, whether short or long. The most powerful air defence, the most powerful air defence is the people.

‘Here are the people. Al-Gadaffi is in the middle of the people.

‘This is the air defence. Protests are taking place in every corner of the globe, supporting the Libyan people against this unjustified aggression, aggression that violates the UN Charter.

‘It is an unjust and immoral aggression by a handful of fascists whom history shall place in its dump.

‘Oh great Libyan people, you are now living hours of glory. This is pride, these glorious hours that we are living right now.

‘All nations are with us. We are leading the revolution. We are leading the world’s revolution against imperialism and tyranny.

‘And I tell you, I do not fear storms that sweep the horizon. I do not fear storms that sweep the horizon, nor do I fear the planes that throw black destruction.

‘I am resistant, my house is here in my tent. I am the rightful owner, and the creator of tomorrow. I am here! I am here! I am here!’

Gadaffi concluded to huge cheers by reciting some lines of Arab poetry.

Meanwhile Libya’s powerful stand has had a massive response worldwide.

The Russian ‘Nezavisimaya Gazeta’ wrote on Tuesday that Russia should have used its security council veto.

It stated: ‘The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has issued a statement drawing attention to the fact that the participants in the operation to close Libyan airspace have carried out air attacks on nonmilitary targets.

‘As a result there are fatalities among the civilian population. In this connection the Foreign Ministry urges the states in question to ‘cease the indiscriminate use of force’ and henceforth not to allow actions that go beyond the framework of the UN mandate.

‘It has already been reported that Resolution 1973, which sanctions the operation to close Libyan airspace, was adopted at a UN Security Council session by 10 votes with 5 abstentions. The latter included two permanent members of the Security Council – Russia and the PRC, which have the right of veto. But they did not exercise it, confining themselves to warnings.

‘The Security Council has experienced a clear malfunction that is particularly distressing in light of the fact that mutual understanding and cooperation among its members had been being consistently built in recent years, which had made it possible to move forward in the resolution of extremely acute international problems.

‘It should be noted that the actual decision to carry out the action to close airspace was adopted in the absence of support from broad circles of the world public. There are also doubts about the legal justification for the action, which is being presented as a humanitarian intervention.

‘Because in Libya we are talking about a civil war, and with an element of inter-tribal discord – Al-Gadaffi and his supporters rely on the support of tribes in the western part of the country (Tripolitania) whereas the opposition is linked to tribes in the east (Cyrenaica).

‘In giving consent to the operation in Libya the UN Security Council ignored the situation in other countries, particularly in Yemen, where dozens of participants in peaceful demonstrations have died in recent days, and in Bahrain.

‘In the latter country the army and the police, with the support of security forces from Saudi Arabia, have suppressed massive opposition protests.

‘If American media reports are to be believed, the situation in the Persian Gulf countries was discussed in the highest echelon of the US Administration and a decision was made to “support stability” – that is, the existing regimes.

‘The Security Council should have drawn attention to the selectiveness of such an approach. It transpires that a group of countries is using the slogan of promoting democracy in order to achieve what are, strictly speaking, its own geopolitical objectives. We would note that this is a comparatively narrow group – currently only five states (the United States, France, Britain, Canada and Italy) have joined the current “coalition of the willing.”

‘Although vigorous efforts are being made to involve some Arab country in the operation and broaden the involvement of NATO countries.

‘We can see a trend that is giving rise to intensifying anxiety. Intervention in civil wars and ethnic conflicts in certain countries is being elevated to the rank of a norm of international law as legitimate humanitarian intervention. But it serves the objectives of creating convenient regimes or even redrawing the geographical map.

‘It happened in Kosovo and it is now happening in Libya. Russia, which has been shaken by explosions caused by North Caucasus terrorists for almost 20 years now, is getting involved highly recklessly in the creation of precedents for international interference in civil and tribal conflicts.

‘We believe that such actions do not merit support even in the form of an abstention in a UN Security Council vote.’

However the leading Muslim Brotherhood theologian Yusuf al-Qaradawi, chairman of the World Union of Muslim Ulema. has supported the NATO onslaught on Libya despite the fact that he is banned from entry into the US and the UK.

In an interview with Al Jazeera TV Al-Qaradawi ridiculed Al-Gadaffi’s assertion that the air strikes on Libya are a new Christian Crusade, and says: ‘It is we who asked for their help.’

Al-Qaradawi added: ‘It was a matter of necessity. The Qatari prime minister said: “We would have preferred it if the Arab League had a mechanism to deal with such matters.” Regrettably, we do not have such a mechanism.

‘We called for the help of an international body, and we did not ask for the help of the West, as some people say.’

Asked about the criticism by the Arab League’s Amr Musa of the bombings by the forces intervening in Libya and his remark that the aim of enforcing a fly-zone over Libya is ‘to protect civilians, not to bomb them,’ and told that a US official, responding to Musa, said that ‘the air strikes are within the framework of implementing the UNSC resolution,’ and asked if Musa is rejecting the launching of air strikes, Al-Qaradawi replies: ‘There is a well-known jurisprudential principle that says: ‘That which is indispensable to the carrying out of a duty, is itself a duty.’ Al-Qaradawi emphasises the need to protect civilians from Al-Gadaffi’s well-armed forces, and notes that the UNSC resolutions stipulates that civilians in Libya must be protected. He says that in order to protect civilians ‘we are compelled to use that which is vital’ for completing the task, while there is unanimous agreement that no ground forces can be deployed anywhere in Libya.

Asked about Islamic Shari’ah’s view of the reported use by Al-Gadaffi’s forces of civilians as human shields in Bab al-Aziziyah, Al-Qaradawi says Islam does not sanction the killing of civilians or enemy prisoners, for even in a declared war Islam permits the killing of combatants only. He says jurists say an effort should be made not to kill the civilians who are being used as human shields, but if there is no choice an attempt should be made to avoid killing all of them, and to spare as many as possible.