Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi addresses Graduation Ceremony
(translation from Arabic)
 

First, I would like to congratulate you on the occasion of your graduation and entry into the field of sacrifice, confrontation, and preparation for fighting. [passage omitted saluting the coming anniversary of 1 September revolution and those who participated in it without mentioning any names and its international achievements without specifying them]

The Nonaligned Movement [NAM], which includes the overwhelming majority of the UN General Assembly members, issued resolutions condemning the three colonialist Western countries, the unjust tyrannical countries, and announced its absolute support for Libya and its just cause. NAM condemns the barbarous behavior of the imperialist powers and praises the civilized behavior of Libya. [passage omitted: Libya respects international law and traditions] NAM specifically condemns the United States and its allies for their disregard of the UN Charter and the International Court of Justice; their non-adherence to the international agreements to which they signed, such as the Montreal agreement; their disrespect of the bases of international law and customs; and their threats to international peace.

This firm stance, which is based on the right to self-defense and resisting injustice and non-surrender, has led these organizations, which represent the overwhelming majority of the peoples of the world, to support Libya, praise its position, and condemn the imperialist countries that imposed this unjust confrontation. [passage omitted: al-Qadhafi recalling support from international organizations like the OAU, the OIC, and others] This acquits Libya of the false accusation levelled against it by the forces of imperialism and malice. [passage omitted]

Libya has become a symbol of sacrifice and symbol of steadfastness. The entire world knows Libya now and knows its just cause. It knows the monsters facing Libya. They have no logic but that of force. On this occasion we must salute our brothers, our dear loyal neighbors: the Presidents of Burkina Faso, Chad, Niger, and Mali. [applause]. Their being with us reaffirms the authenticity of what we are saying now. It reaffirms that Libya's neighbors are declaring that they are a depth for Libya, a strategic one.

Proceeding from this historic meeting with our brothers and neighbors, these strugglers, we aspire to change the map drawn by the armies of France, Britain, Germany, and Portugal throughout the past occupation era. [passage omitted: The occupation forces drew the map of Africa; the occupation forces imposed their language and religion on Africa and then exploited Africa's resources. Then they enslaved the African people]

We are now aspiring to redraw the map of Africa as we want it to be, not as the French, British, and Portuguese armies did. We now talk for the first time; we have not been able to do so for centuries, with successive colonialists and repressions. We were slaves; our land was laid open; we were helpless, powerless, and voiceless slaves. Britain, France, America, Portugal, and Germany used to speak for their respective colonies. We have here nations, peoples with their own origins, heritages, wishes to live, and rights. They should express them themselves of their own will.

This was prohibited, a matter that led these peoples in the end to carry arms and fight. In fact they fought with cold steel weapons, not firearms. They fought with arrows and spears. Then colonialists started giving consideration to those they had so far regarded as slaves. They realized that this formerly laid-open and usurped African land had its own owners who had more right to its resources and riches than the intruding colonialists. Colonialism then started to retreat, was thrown out, and cursed.

The colonialists declared the independence of a number of African states, in accordance with maps laid down by the colonial armies. Now is the time for us to speak up. We want to speak up, say what we want, and define our place on earth. We want to speak up about our origins, heritage, and history. It may seem surprising for those who think superficially to hear us today announce facts that have remained unknown hitherto. But it will not be a surprise for the educated and the historians to hear us announce that all the peoples led by the brothers present here are of Arab origin.

The peoples of Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Nigeria, Chad, Sudan, and the Horn of Africa are all of Arab origin. True, those who think superficially and the biased may receive this announcement with contempt and surprise. But we say this to them: Recently, when a tribe in the Horn of Africa announced, after thousands of years, that it was of Israelite origin and Jewish, and that it was called Falasha, the world then was not surprised. Airports were built quickly in Sudan, in the era of hireling Numayri, to transport the Falasha by air from the Horn of Africa to occupied Palestine.

They told the world that, after thousands of years, it had transpired that the Falasha were of Israelite origin. Why should we receive with contempt now the announcement that Chad, Niger, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, and Mali are the same as Libya, Sudan, Mauritania, and Algeria, that they are Arab peoples. Why did not we show contempt when that tribe in the Horn of Africa announced that it was Israeli? After thousands of years, they announced that it was an Israeli tribe that had emigrated from Medina and came to the Horn of Africa.

Well, there were also Arab tribes that had emigrated from Medina, with this Falasha tribe, and settled in the Horn of Africa, such as the Amharite, Habasha, Bani 'Amir, and Issi tribes. These are all Arab tribes, but defeat and weakness made these helpless tribes forget about their origin and ethnicity. [passage omitted: As in Somalia, the population of Ethiopia are Arabs; Swahili is Arabic; the Comoros are Arab. Britain, Spain, and France consider the Malvinas, the Canary islands and Guyana, La Reunion and Mayotte as part of their respective territories]

The French created a problem in the Arab Comoros. They took an island called Mayotte and said it was part of France, and its population wanted to be French. How can a small island of the Comoros, in the Indian Ocean, to the east of Africa, be part of France? Where is the logic in this? On the other hand, if we say that Chad, Niger, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Mali, the Horn of Africa, and Ethiopia are 100 percent Arab, then they would heap contempt on such an affirmation and perhaps make jokes about it, thus showing their superficial thinking and vileness. They would make comments and say: Oh dear, even the Blacks have now turned out to be Arabs. We are not saying that the Blacks are Arabs; the Blacks are Blacks; they are neighbors to the Arabs. [passage omitted: The tribes of Niger, Chad, Nigeria, Burkina, and Mali came from Yemen 5,000 years ago; their tribes are Arabs as their names indicate it; Madagascar, the Canary islands are Arabs]

You have seen how in the last two years the world organized air bridges between the Volga and occupied Palestine to bring over large groups said to be of Israelite origin, who wanted to return to the promised land. The world did not laugh and say that this sort of talk was not reasonable. Since when have Israelis been living in the Volga region, in Russia? They said they had been living there for thousands of years, and they still had the right to return to Palestine.

But then, what about the Palestinians who were expelled from their homes in 1948; do they have the right to return to their homes? They say no, they do not have the right to return. And those who were driven out of their homes in 1967, from the West Bank and Gaza? They say no, they do not have the right to return to their homes, they should stay in Libya. When they tried to return from Libya, they were stopped at the Libyan-Egyptian border. No return. Thus, those who said they were of Israelite origin for 5,000 years, from the Volga River, they were given the right to return; the same for the Falasha who said that they had emigrated to Africa thousands of years ago. Air bridges were organized to fly these people who claimed that they were of Israelite origin for thousands of years.

We, in all confidence, announce that Chad is an Arab state and its population is Arab of Yemeni origin; the same for Niger, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, and Mali. All these are pure Arab tribes. [applause]. This is a new force that is added to the Arab nation, a new depth for the Arab homeland from the ocean to the Gulf, and from the Indian Ocean to the African jungle border. We are one territory with the same borders, the same demography, the same destiny. We protect ourselves, set up a collective defense systems, unify our human and material resources so as to create an economic power that will stand on equal footing with the European Union, the United States, China, the Russian Federation, with India, the Asian economic tigers, and all the giants who are now sharing the world. We do not want to be a fox or a rabbit eaten by lions in the forest. We want to be one of the forest lions. Moreover, Islam brings us together, is our soul, and Arabism is our body. [passage omitted]

We neither want to attack anyone, nor to invade anyone. We want development for our backward countries, peace for our threatened countries. We want to defend our borders, establish our social and political systems, and put an end to colonialist interventions in the greater Sahara and these landlocked countries. We want to give breathing lungs to our brothers in landlocked countries who do not have access to the seas, because colonialism forced them to stay away from the coasts, surrounded by land on all sides. We want to tell them that our ports are your ports and our sea is yours and that this desert which separates us should be overcome with roads, railways, and airports. [audience applauds]

It is also necessary to defeat the colonial falsehood that aims at weakening these peoples' morale and creating doubt about their own potential by accusing these sub-Saharan peoples of being poor. Yesterday, they wanted to contest the usefulness of this meeting. The colonialist media and radios said yesterday that these were the poorest countries. These are the richest countries. Countries that have renewable water are the richest countries, which will win the challenges of the future. [passage omitted]

From now on, we will not be living on colonial donations and cheap charities, which are given with the right hand and taken away with the left hand. We are no longer stupid, so that the colonial Western states trick us. They pretend to offer donations to needy countries, but they play with their political stability and undermine their political and social systems with the aim of weakening them and preventing their economic development. In our countries, there is now a new and aware generation, which cannot be taken in by the trickeries of colonialism.

On this occasion, I also want to emphasize, as I did before on various occasions, that you have not been trained and prepared to form a traditional, classical army, because the story of classical armies has ended. It is now a myth. Classical armies are now a thing of the past, even though high-handed, ignorant, and defeated people are sticking to them. The time of classical armies ended with the time of emperors, with Napoleon. [passage omitted on Napoleon and Hitler] All the European armies were defeated in Africa in the face of the African guerrillas, starting from the resistance of the Mao Mao tribes to Angola. [passage omitted]

The Moroccan Army has for years, and until now, failed to occupy the Sahara because there is popular resistance. We are not saying now that we are with Morocco or with the Polisario [Popular Front for the Liberation of Saquia El Hamra and Rio de Oro]. We are talking about a completely different issue, as we have talked about Chechnya and Russia. We are talking about a regular army facing an armed people. [passage omitted] Young men, we are not honored to be members of a classical military establishment, particularly the Arab classical establishment. The Arab armies now do not have any honor or dignity. It is better for all the officers and soldiers in the Arab armies to take off the military uniform in view of the Israeli insult, defeat, audacity, occupation of territory, and beating up of women and dragging them in the streets before the officers and soldiers of the air force, navy, and army. To hell with these regular armies. [passage omitted]

It is not an honor for us that our army has become a laughingstock in the Arab world. The Arabs are capable of moving 1 million fighters to the battlefield. There are today 1 million Arab regular soldiers, 10,000 tanks, and 10,000 canons. It is possible to move this firepower to the battle, together with more than 2,000 jet fighters. This is the power the Arabs possess. [passage omitted]
Despite this, they cannot prevent the Israeli bulldozers from destroying East Jerusalem. One million Arab soldiers, 10,000 tanks, 10,000 canons, and thousands of pilots and their planes have become a laughingstock. They deserve death in the face of this indignity and scandal. [passage omitted] When will this force move if it does not move to defend what is holy, women, children, occupied land, and honor? Does it bring us any honor to form a conventional army in Libya? Absolutely not. The armed Palestinian people, who managed to obtain weapons, caused more losses to the enemy than all the Arab armies from 1948 until the Ramadan war [October 1973]. [passage omitted]

Your land is under occupation and you are bargaining with it and negotiating over it? Negotiations should be under [word indistinct] the bullets. Let the negotiations take place. We are not against negotiations. Let the negotiations take place but under the whizzing of bullets. It is shameful that your land is under occupation, the enemy is roaming around freely in it, and you are watching.

If the reason is that the enemy is militarily superior, then regular Arab power is tens of times superior to the Israeli enemy. If the reason is that the Israeli enemy was backed by the United States, then let us boycott the United States, fight the United States, and confront the United States. We do not endear ourselves to the United States and do not toady to the United States. [passage omitted]

If it was the United States that enabled the enemy to heap insults on us and beat up Arab women, then it is necessary to raise arms in the face of the United States, not with the defeated armies, but with the armed peoples, with popular resistance. [passage omitted] Every Arab citizen from the Atlantic Ocean to the Gulf applauds what I am saying now and no one can reply to what I am saying; this bitter fact. Thus, we are prepared to make general military training an established tradition in Libya, and you will train the people, males and females in all the establishments. [passage omitted]

People do not colonize, invade, or hate other people. But people are not defeated when they fight against regular armies. [passage omitted] The Arabs are capable of holding a summit with their enemy at once; but they are not capable of holding an Arab summit. It is a shame. When orders come from Washington or Tel Aviv, they are immediately obeyed. But there are no answers to orders from the Arab League and to the cries of women and children who are the victims of the enemies. It is a shame. This official, undemocratic, and unpopular regime has lost credibility from the Gulf to the Ocean. [passage omitted] There is no flattery or courtesy about the fate of the nation or the fundamental dangerous matters, such as the issue we are living in today, the issue of destroying the Arab nation, encroaching upon it and insulting it. [passage omitted]

The whole world heard what Netanyahu told the Arabs yesterday, two days ago. He told them that negotiations were Israeli power, peace was the subjugation of the Arabs, and security was Israeli security only. Is there anyone who is still talking about peace, negotiations, the Syrian or Lebanese tracks, or about any peaceful solution after this conclusive, decisive, challenging, and audacious statement? Netanyahu told the Arabs and the world that negotiations were the Israeli military forces and peace was the subjugation of the Arabs and their unconditional surrender. All the Arabs heard this statement, bowed their heads, and continued to cling to the talks.

You cannot liberate Palestine and you cannot liberate your land. Do not recognize the enemy and do not surrender. Build yourself. Build Arab unity; economic, military, and political unity. Oh you people, do we receive orders from Washington in order to hold an Arab summit conference, establish an Arab common market, and abolish customs between Arab countries? What kind of weakness is this? To hell with Washington a million times.

We only recognize Washington as a capital like any other and consider the United States as one of the countries of the world that should respect itself and stand on equal footing with any large or small country. If it oversteps its limits, we will be ready with the armed people, with the resistance that would continue for years and years, which is even more ferocious than the Vietnamese resistance. [passage omitted on Vietnamese resistance]



Address by Libyan leader Colonel Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi at a military cadet graduation ceremony for the "Armed People's Academy, Secondary Schools, and the Police Academy"; Tripoli Libyan Television Network in Arabic 1925 GMT 16 Aug 97