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September 28, 2009

Commentary: Libya is more than Gadhafi

Posted: 09:04 PM ET

Editor's note: Yusra Tekbali is an Arab-American freelance journalist. Born in Woodland, California, to Libyan parents, she graduated from The University of Arizona with degrees in journalism and Near Eastern studies.

Yusra Tekbali says Libya shouldn't be judged on the basis of  Gadhafi's rambling speech to the General Assembly.

(CNN) - On Wednesday, Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi spoke before the U.N. General Assembly for the first time in his 40-year rule - apparently making up for lost time with a nearly 100-minute speech, which dramatically exceeded the allotted 15 minutes.

Gadhafi stuck to his usual enthusiastic manner of delivery, without relying on teleprompters. In some instances he became visibly overheated, ad-libbing and saying things he probably wouldn't have said had he stuck to a speechwriter's text.

Gadhafi's advisors should have helped him prepare a speech that would have been more appealing to the American people. In it, he should have addressed Libya's improving relationship with the U.S., including several business developments and diplomatic exchanges, as well as Libya's changing economy and society.

Instead of saying that Obama should "rule forever," Gadhafi should have praised the president for ushering in a new era and embracing the Arab world, which includes Libya. Gadhafi, who was warned by the U.S. not to gloat about the release of the Libyan convicted in the Lockerbie bombing, entirely avoided it and mentioned everything else in his eclectic, over-the-top speech. He called for a reinvestigation of Martin Luther King Jr.'s death, demanded Africa's past colonizers pay $7.7 trillion in compensation, and even suggested swine flu was created in a military laboratory.

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Filed under: Larry King Live


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angela   September 28th, 2009 9:07 pm ET

well, they are all scarey as hell, just to look at, aside from their tyrannical policies..... three is a row and no redeeming qualitities, this is why even at our worst we are the greatest nation.


angela   September 28th, 2009 9:08 pm ET

send him to a baseball game with chavez.....is he on something????


michael armstrong sr.   September 28th, 2009 9:13 pm ET

Ask him how maney nukes hes bought from Russia.


angela   September 28th, 2009 9:14 pm ET

END THIS INTERVIEW, THIS MAN IS A COMPLETE MENTAL CASE AND IS MOCKING YOU LARRY


Jill   September 28th, 2009 9:15 pm ET

Is Larry King even aware that today is Yom Kippur?
I realize your show is all about the "ratings', however, have you no respect?
I am outraged, as most of the Jewish community must be as well.


michael armstrong sr.   September 28th, 2009 9:15 pm ET

The bomber is walking the green mile his life is over he has no amnesty he has a death sentence


michael armstrong sr.   September 28th, 2009 9:19 pm ET

Our country needs to be a little more tolerant to United Nation visitores


angela   September 28th, 2009 9:23 pm ET

Everyone gives Larry flack about his frivilous guests, then he gets these supposed "world leaders" on because they are all in one spot this week at the UN apparently, he cant change the date of Yom kippuur, it isnt deliberate I am sure.
This man is stranger than Joe Jackson, I thought GWB was extremely stupid, but after the 3 kings seen on LKL , he looks smart in comparison, or maybe not As dumb.
Tell him larry, we dont have rulers or tribes here, lol.


michael armstrong sr.   September 28th, 2009 9:25 pm ET

Nobody wants Obama forever thank God For our constitution thats made from himp.


Jill   September 28th, 2009 9:28 pm ET

If this is truly an honest blog, why aren't you posting all of our concerns?

How could you have the disrespect and audacity to have that anit-semetic basstard, Gadhafi, aire on the holiest of the Jewish holidays, Yom Kippur. Shame on you, shame on Larry King.


graham   September 28th, 2009 9:28 pm ET

its time larry stood down and gave someone else a chance


michael armstrong sr.   September 28th, 2009 9:30 pm ET

Does he like Bush Better Then Reagan


angela   September 28th, 2009 9:32 pm ET

Jill, your post is up, did it occur to you and your other Jewish friends that perhpas it is not within Larry's control, I really dont think he is trying to be sacreligous. Perhaps he has to conduct interviews when the guests consent.


michael armstrong sr.   September 28th, 2009 9:34 pm ET

Take a chill pill jill Gadhafi knows you dont like him.


Jill   September 28th, 2009 9:40 pm ET

I don't like LKL for choosing tonight to air this particular interview.........And I don't appreciate your insensitivity to it either.


Kristin   September 28th, 2009 9:42 pm ET

Does anyone else see the resemblance to Gene Simmons?


michael armstrong sr.   September 28th, 2009 9:43 pm ET

I have a comment for M. Gadhafi and that is welcome to our country and let the next visit be much better for you our people needs to be more respectful to visters.


michael armstrong sr.   September 28th, 2009 9:45 pm ET

Yeh the kiss dude ya think he has a forked toughn.


Cassandra   September 28th, 2009 9:47 pm ET

@Michael........Please leave President Obama out of this.....Thank you


angela   September 28th, 2009 9:47 pm ET

To defeat an enemy you have to know them first. This interview is not to exalt anyone, it is simply a forum , so that people can hear what he has to say. I too am nauseated by him, and frankly it is difficult to watch because of the way he has to be spoon feed words, but I always wondered about this man and now I know, he is just another nutjob. THANK YOU LARRY.


angela   September 28th, 2009 9:49 pm ET

Michael, you are a senior in High school maybe? Learn to spell honey.


michael armstrong sr.   September 28th, 2009 9:50 pm ET

MY BROTHER INLAW DONT LIKE GADHAFY HE SAYS HE NEEDS TO KEEP PEACE IN HIS OWN COUNTRY


Jill   September 28th, 2009 9:53 pm ET

@Michael, Your apparent ignorance and poor grammar is more than apparent. FYI Gene Simmons & Larry King are both Jewish. Maybe you would roll out the welcome mat for all of them!


michael armstrong sr.   September 28th, 2009 9:53 pm ET

Im sorry Angie but ive grown old and iliterate in my old age just bare with me.


timmy   September 28th, 2009 9:54 pm ET

what a HORRIBLE interview, larry asked good questions as usual, but he let this clown get away with too much question dodging. Ghaddifi laughed when he said al qaeda was in new york, failed to condemn bin laden and his role in 9/11 and another thing CNN...when the interpreter is talking, MUTE OUT GHADAFFI, MUTE OUT THE FOREIGNER SO WE CAN PROPERLY HERE THE TRANSLATION!


timmy   September 28th, 2009 9:55 pm ET

hear*


angela   September 28th, 2009 9:55 pm ET

I'd rather not.......FYI, it's bear with


michael armstrong sr.   September 28th, 2009 9:57 pm ET

You guys are right thank you showing me the light ill just wait untill its my turne to cast the first stone.my keyboard says i need a new one.


angela   September 28th, 2009 9:58 pm ET

everything he says is "the people", what a joke.


michael armstrong sr.   September 28th, 2009 9:58 pm ET

Larry ask Gadoofy if he eats goats eyeballs


michael armstrong sr.   September 28th, 2009 10:01 pm ET

Hey im going to AC follow me and we can have a blog fight


angela   September 28th, 2009 10:03 pm ET

no E on the word TURN, just on L on until, get a dictionary, it will help and you are not alone, many can not spell.....


angela   September 28th, 2009 10:04 pm ET

just tell him how great is neck tie is and you will be warmly welcomed, bye bye


Mike   September 28th, 2009 10:05 pm ET

What a interview! Gadhafi does seem to be a cool leader. His answere are worth rethinking about US policy on Afghan and Iraq. We need to hear more world leaders and understand the core issue in their own country


carol kesling   September 28th, 2009 10:11 pm ET

another one that answers a question with a question !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! who is next ?????


breena   September 28th, 2009 10:25 pm ET

Basically I disagree with everything Gadhafi had to say, but I can't stand how some people are bashing Larry for interviewing this man. People are becoming way too intolerate when someone speaks their vision of truth. Also, if Larry is going to ban interviewing guest who have some prejudices and racists issues againsts blacks, hispanics, jews, middle easterns and so on, then it's going to be difficult to find a pure, decent person to interview.


alex lyrics   September 28th, 2009 11:09 pm ET

It is clear from watching Gadhafi, that with age he has changed. Larry interviewed him, and often he answered in English.

The look on his face was of an old foolish man who realizes that he has not much time on earth, and that he has been a monster.

He clearly knows he was wrong on many things, but he still attempts to put on a show for his country.

I think that he should have been allowed to travel as he pleased around the country.

Once he was accepted into the UN, and started on the democracy trail and trade, he should have been forgiven on some things.

Leaders and diplomats have immunity on foreign soil. He should have gotten to see more of our beautiful country than he was allowed.

We are still persecuting, and not teaching, and practicing forgiveness.

The same as we are doing with people released from prison.

We need to grow as a nation, and stop this living in fear, and scaring our citizens.

We need to extend a hand to our former enemies, and guide them to change. If we open our home to an enemy, and break bread, should we not allow him all the curt icy that a friend or neighbor should?

Some times we can change the prior opinions of others who are different from us. It takes only a simple gesture of extending a hand, or sharing a meal, or taking on a tour of our home.

This visit was a chance to do so. President Obama should continue extending a hand to our enemies and offering a new opinion of out country.

Obama also should allow Gadhafi a second trip here to tour and see our nation, without all those restrictions. Perhaps we can begin to heal old wounds.

I know he was a terrible man in the past, and I also know that we cannot get pissed off all the time at Muslims for the Jews.
we can't fight and hate Muslim people constantly or side with Isriel all the time over other Muslim countries.

This only brings anti American hate, and terrorism pushed on us. I think we can protect Isriels right to exist, and also show equal treatment to the Muslim and Arab world.

There must be a fair balance.


alain   September 29th, 2009 12:25 am ET

What's wrong with all these leaders ( Iran / Libya) in the middle East? They play this game of denial , and try to play some Jedi mind trick with L.K about the Holocaust , and now the Lockerbie bombing. I am very concerned that these men will be able to obtain nuclear capabilities, and start WW3. We should be very concerned. I hope the International community steps up, and does something to rid the world of them.


Tom Riel   September 29th, 2009 12:29 am ET

Great job working that bum over on your show. We don't need him to pray for Obama. We need to pray for him.

Best Regards,

Tom Riel

Mayor, City of Bradford, PA USA


Tracey   September 29th, 2009 1:03 am ET

@ Mike> kudos to you for seeing the value in these interviews


Mark My Words   September 29th, 2009 2:09 am ET

The tyrant is out of his mind. Why do we give him the time of day?


Hamza Raheel   September 29th, 2009 2:22 am ET

No he is not nuts, infact he's very, very clever..
What you have to remember is that Ghaddafi, and the culture to which he belongs, does not think like you Americans do. In Ghaddafi's mind, the celebration of Abdelbaset al Megrahi's return is justified because European politicians gave a standing ovation to Bulgarian nurses who were released by Libya after a spurious charge of contaminating 400 Libyan babies with HIV. The EU MP's were celebrating the fact that assumed innocent people were released, though they must still serve their sentences in a Bulgarian prison.

It is international policy and not our personal feelings that enter into this decision. He is a head of state. He did allow weapons inspectors into his country and made G.W. Bush able to say, "See? Our policy is working."

Yes I understand ... yes i do
Thanks


Shubho   September 29th, 2009 4:21 am ET

wow....3 comments...well laid out. All censored.
Freedom of speech in the 'land of the free'...:-)


Susan62509   September 29th, 2009 5:24 am ET

alex lyrics:

Ever heard the saying "nice guys finish last"?


Mario   September 29th, 2009 6:01 am ET

This guy is even more crazy then ahmadinejad and not worth talking 2
Just a waste of time and energy!!


Oyedeji   September 29th, 2009 10:22 am ET

Libyans are so insenstive to change that they have willed their political rights to one man;Gadhafi. This man is a dictactor and he's going to be there for the rest of his life.


Mark My Words   September 29th, 2009 1:32 pm ET

He is still a tyrant. Keep him out. Tyrants should not be accepted into the world community. Isolate.


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