This Interview was originally web posted to FinalCall.com on Nov. 18, 1999
[Editor’s note: ] At the invitation of Muammar Al-Gadhafi, The Final Call was granted an exclusive interview with the Libyan Leader on the heels of the very successful OAU Extraordinary Meeting in Sirte, Libya. The press delegation was headed by Final Call Editor James Muhammad, and included writer Jehron Hunter of Philadelphia, photo journalist Monica Morgan of Detroit and Akbar Muhammad, international representative of the Nation of Islam and advisor to Minister Louis Farrakhan on African affairs. Bro. Gadhafi’s passion to work on the unification of Africa was consistently expressed throughout the interview.
After seven years of sanctions and embargos Bro. Gadhafi appeared energized and ready to move his country forward. His vision for a United States of Africa and the trial of two Libyan Nationals, which is also scheduled to start in February of 2000, seems to be on the top of his agenda. Bro. Gadhafi claims that the two accused are innocent and they will be cleared of all charges. Bro. Gadhafi is also author of “The Green Book,” his thoughts on a new social world order published in 1972.
During the interview, Bro. Gadhafi, through an interpreter, articulated his strong desire to see Africans from the Diaspora involved in this process of forming a United States of Africa. He is inviting Africans in the Diaspora to join a conference of NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations) of Africa. The conference will take place the first week of February 2000. At this conference Bro. Gadhafi will discuss how Africans in the Diaspora and NGOs can move the process for the United States of Africa forward.
Final Call News | FinalCall.com (FCN): When you first launched the revolution, you had a particular thought and goal in mind. What was your desire for Libya then, and how has it evolved over the last 30 years?
Muammar Gadhafi (MG): The objective was to liberate Libya because Libya was a colonized country. Libya at that time had five American military bases on it. Furthermore, Libya also had a few British military bases, and 20,000 Italian settlers were in Libya at the time. They controlled all the economic activity and all the arable land. The revolution I had in mind was to change the world. We feel that we have put forward and submitted a theory that may change the world.
Even though the current generation may not understand and fully grasp this theory, the forthcoming generation will be able to grasp it and understand it fully.
FCN: How relevant is the Green Book today in light of the changes that have taken place in the world?
MG: Whatever is taking place in developments and changes in the world is an explanation and interpretation of “The Green Book.” An example is that when nobody thought there would be a separation in the Soviet Union or in Czechoslovakia or in Yugoslavia, “The Green Book” prophesied and stated that countries that have many nationalities one day would break up into small nationalist entities. Such a thing happened. The Soviet Union was broken up according to the nationalist entities; Yugoslavia was broken up. Such a thing may also apply to the United States of America because if the United States of America is composed of various races, nationalities and nationalist entities, then one day there will be a conflict and they will break up and form their own nationalist entities. Even India, if it is composed of many and various religions and nationalities, one day will break up and they will separate from each other. Also in “The Green Book,” it is stated that the workers, the wage earners, one day will become partners despite the will of the owners, the employers. Today we have seen so many big companies are giving property and shares to the wage earners. The popular socialism, which is heralded by “The Green Book,” is being imposed on the world now.
FCN: In an interview you gave in the Inside the Middle East magazine in 1983, a question was asked about mistakes that had been made and you were quoted as saying there were “mistakes made in good faith.” Can you talk about some of the alleged mistakes that they suggested that you had made in the formulation of the Jamahiriya?
MG: For sure there may have been some mistakes because we learn from life and experiences. When you work you are bound to make mistakes. Also, the changes that took place in the world also should be taken into consideration.
FCN: In 1982 the 19th Assembly of the OAU (Organization of African Unity) was scheduled to take place here in Tripoli, however that meeting did not take place because a quorum wasn‘t reached and the meeting was canceled. It was said that 19 states boycotted the meeting. What do you think the real reason was that they did not show up?
MG: At the time there were traitorous governments and America was able to give them orders not to go to Tripoli. At the time there was one or two countries less than the needed two-thirds quorum.
FCN: Then in 1999 you had some 43 heads of state here for a special session of the OAU What made the difference?
MG: It is because the stooges have been taken off the throne. America actually loses when it depends on the traitorous or stooge governments and when it depends on agents and traitors. America should acknowledge the will of the African peoples. The will of the African peoples will be victorious in the end. If America wants to have a mutual interest with Africa, she should then respect Africa. The policy of creating stooges and traitors and the policy of exchanging (replacing) patriotic and nationalist governments, this is a policy that is doomed to fail. First of all, peoples will hate America because of this policy. The second reason is that the stooges or the traitors made by America will not live forever, they cannot continue; one day they will be overthrown. And the change in this case will be against America because the governments or the systems that have been changed are traitorous, they are made by America, the people overthrow them and thus the people hate America in return. This is a piece of advice from me to America.
FCN: When the United States of Africa becomes a reality, what kind of leader will it take to run it? Will you be a candidate?
MG: Excuse me, but don’t put this question in this way. Allow me to say that because we don’t want to focus on who will be in government or who will rule. This will cause us to deviate from the noble objective and great work to a lower level. We want Africa to be united and we want Africa to govern itself by itself. We don’t want anyone to rule Africa.
FCN: The west continues to use the terminology sub-Saharan Africa and North Africa instead of Africa as a whole. Do you think this is intentional?
MG: This is a malicious policy but it is exposed. They want to define Africa geographically and from the ethnic point of view. But Africans themselves have made the Sahara or the desert a bridge, not a partition. The proof of that is now there are more than one million African Blacks coming from those countries that are supposed to be sub-Saharan into Libya to work. The desert did not prevent them from coming over to Libya.
FCN: U.S. Secretary of State Madeline Albright just finished a visit to Africa, visiting six different countries. There is a move to gain influence in Africa by America and France and there are different conflicts in Africa. How do you view (her trip) in light of what God has blessed you to see in terms of the uniting of Africa?
MG: It seems that France is tired of Africa; it is slowing down and deserting Africa. And the same thing that is happening to France will happen to America. Currently, Africa will present a burden to anyone who covets Africa. In the future Africa will become awake and they (western powers) will not get anything out of it, because she will be awake. Both ways they (western powers) are losers.
FCN: In America, the conflict in the Sudan that you have been working to try to resolve is portrayed as Muslims fighting against Christians who want to be free of an Islamic government. And (rebel leader) John Garang is being supported by America through surrogate countries such as Uganda, Kenya. And they tried it with Ethiopia and Eritrea but it did not work. How do you see this conflict being resolved? Will America withdraw the aid from John Garang and force him to a peace table, or will they continue to aid John Garang and let this conflict go on?
MG: This is one of the failed American policies. John Garang will never be an agent of America. Recently, he spoke to me on the telephone and told me that even though he was in America, that he is still a revolutionary and whether or not he goes to America will not affect his revolutionary spirit; it will not change him. Both ways America will be a loser. If America wants to fight the world, it will lose. And if America wants to involve itself in the affairs of the world, to give assistance to the world and be involved all over the world, it will get tired and deplete and sap itself and in the end it will lose.
FCN: Then how can the civil war be resolved?
MG: Personally speaking, I see no good reason that makes Sudanese fight each other. It is an internal problem to start with. But bear in mind that with the mentality that is prevalent now the problem may not be solved. If we look thoroughly and deeply into the problem, we don’t find a very real or serious reason for the war. The problem is the mentality or the way of thinking of the people there. Once there is a change in the mentality and way of thinking in the people in the Sudan, there won’t be a problem. In the meantime I won’t give any reasons to oblige the southerners to fight me. If I were Garang, I would not find any reason or justification or necessity for the young people to die and to suffer all the hardships, to make them go to war to fight. It is possible, politically speaking, that dialogue can be engaged. I regret it and it bothers me to say that the war has changed into a matter of business.
FCN: You talked about reparations in your recent messages. Do you feel that the American government should pay the descendants of slaves reparations, and what do you think would be fair compensation?
MG: This is an obligation (of America), and one day America will be obliged and forced to pay the price. America is suffering from megalomania and her ears and eyes are shut because of power and strength. But one day America’s might will come to an end and America will open her eyes and ears to see and hear the truth. Compensation will be both moral and material.
FCN: In the United States of Africa, what role do you see Africans in the Diaspora playing?
MG: They have a role to play. The work and the call for African unity actually started from the Africans who are outside of Africa. It dates back to the 1900s and it started from the Manchester Conference. Africans in the Diaspora at the time started convening themselves and holding conferences to think about liberating their own land and uniting. So judging by that, Africans who are in the Diaspora have a big role to play. They should help their people who are inside the motherland. They should mobilize them and raise their morale. The Jews do that similarly all over the world. They encourage the creation of the state of Israel and they give the state of Israel money and moral support. The American Jews actually exploit and use America. And even though they are Americans, they work to make America actually to give service to the Jews. They do not forget their ancestors, they do not forget that they are Jews. By the same token this applies to the Black Africans in America. Even if they become rulers and presidents one day, they should not forget their mother Africa.
FCN: We have in America 1.8 million prisoners in the jails of America and most of them are Blacks, Hispanics and Native Americans. Brother Farrakhan in the book “Torchlight for America” talks about having a program that will bring prisoners who have been reformed to Africa to help in the development of Africa. What do you think of that idea?
MG: That is a very good idea and we welcome it. Africa should do that because they are the sons of Africa. That’s their mother, that’s their home.
FCN: What role did Nelson Mandela and Prince Bandar play in your decision to release the two Libyan nationals accused of the Pan Am bombing over Lockerbie to a third country for trial. Also, what would be your message to the family members of the Pan Am victims?
MG: It goes without saying that the Lockerbie issue is a tragedy. The relatives of the victims need consolation. But all of us should know the truth of who did that and we should know the reason behind it. It seems that the action was not done by a lunatic. According to the information on the evidence or the theory that is going now provided by them, it seems that the action was carefully planned and very well done to the extent that Third World countries cannot actually perform it because it is so highly pieced together. Because it is so well planned there are some theories that it cannot be done by the orders of third world countries, but it is actually the work of American intelligence … I mean it is pre-planned. But what is the cause? Is it to take revenge on the American government? Is it an action against the policy of America because it has taken an action against a people? Or is it because America (herself) knows that there are certain quarters or certain organs in the world that want revenge against America? So American intelligence may actually plan such an action so that the direction of these parties will be diverted, (and that people will think) these parties have already taken revenge against America. The American intelligence will do such an action so that others will accuse those certain quarters, because they have a grudge against America. It will be said that these quarters have actually taken this revenge against America. For instance, if America wants to take any action against Libya, then America will direct its intelligence to do a piece of work to the extent that it will be claimed that Libya had done it if it was able and capable to do it. And since Libya is not able to do such a piece of action (Lockerbie), but the American intelligence fulfilled this action and Libya is accused. Then the American government will find justification for any action to be taken against Libya. This seems to be the case as far as Lockerbie is concerned. In 1986 America killed Libyan women and children and destroyed houses of the Libyan people, so the families of the children wish to take revenge against America. And because Libyans cannot actually do it, the American intelligence does it and Libya is incriminated. America then has justification to impose sanctions against Libya. It seems that this is the scenario.
FCN: It is said in some papers that Libya lost $20-$30 billion during these seven years of sanctions. If the suspects are found innocent, will Libya sue America and the western world for the money and lives they lost during these sanctions?
MG: Of course, if such a thing happens then we shall go to the Security Council of the United Nations and we shall ask for reparations and compensation because we have paid the price for an issue that we have not committed. For this reason America wants to condemn Libya and make Libya convicted one way or the other. And we know that America is actually working to influence the Scottish judiciary and wants to create false eyewitnesses. America actually pays money to create unreal witnesses. We even know the names of a few witnesses who are false because they are being paid by America. One of them is named [Jaraka], he’s Libyan. The judges and court will be bothered by the American influence and pressures.
FCN: What is your message to young people in America? Also, what music do you like to listen to?
MG: I like classical music. I like Beethoven. My message to the young people is that I wish that a new generation will be created in America, a new generation that will put an end to the imperialist and reactionary America; that this new generation will enable and empower the American people to govern themselves by themselves. And that they will continue to boycott this false democracy and boycott the elections. And that they will exploit and utilize the potential and resources of America for the betterment of humanity, not to the detriment of mankind as is taking place nowadays.
FCN: In Benghazi at a World Peoples Leadership Conference in 1995, you said that Libya and the Islamic world would put $1 billion for the use of Bro. Farrakhan to rebuild African Americans in America. What is your thinking on that at this time?
MG: My thinking is the same.
FCN: In America we have an unbalanced view of who you are. Can you tell us who the Gadhafi is that the west does not know?
MG: Gadhafi is different and contrary to what America says now and what Americans know about him. Anything that America (media) says is different from the true Gadhafi.
FCN: Thank You.
Web Video: Interview with Col. Muammar Gadhafi (FCN, 09-27-2009)
Gadhafi: UN Security Council is undemocratic (FCN, 09-24-2009)
Was Libya framed for Lockerbie bombing? (GulfNews.com, 09-04-2007)