For the past few months, Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan has been on a barnstorming campaign to condemn the US-NATO bombing of Libya and rush to the defense of his old friend, Colonel Moammar Gaddafi. In a June press conference outside the UN, Farrakhan took the podium for over an hour and delivered a scathing rant against Western hypocrisy while firmly upholding Gaddafi, whom he claims is a popular leader.
Be it Gaddafi or Castro, Mugabe or Khomeini, Minister Farrakhan has a history of sympathizing with anti-American tyrants, terrorists and murderers whom he sees common cause with. In a February 1996 speech at Tehran's Freedom Square, Farrakhan helped the Iranian regime commemorate the 17th anniversary of the so-called "Islamic revolution", praising it as "one of the greatest spiritual revolutions in the modern world". During President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's visit to New York in September 2010, Farrakhan was among the many Muslim leaders invited to meet with him and other top Iranian officials. Farrakhan and members of the New Black Panther Party also enjoyed a private dinner with Ahmadinejad.
It comes as no surprise, then, that Farrakhan's newspaper/web site Final Call produces pro-Ahmadinejad propaganda. Its articles, presented as straight news, make the case that Iran's contested 2009 Presidential election was totally aboveboard. One piece in October 2005 claimed that the newly elected Ahmadinejad was "turning into a national hero" and then compared him with "another popular leader, Mohammed Mossadegh".
False equivalence has been a handy propaganda device for Farrakhan. In his latest speech, he draws a similar comparison between Gaddafi and Mossadegh. Making no mention of the severe human rights abuses of rogue regimes he favors, Farrakhan merely practices the inverse of the hypocrisy he attacks the West over.
June 15, 2011: 'What has Gaddafi done to deserve this?'
Farrakhan organized a press conference to condemn the US-led military attacks on Libya and their attempts to assassinate its deranged dictator, Gaddafi. The event, held at the United Nations Plaza Hotel in New York, also featured other far-left figures like Ramsey Clark and Cynthia McKinney.
What has Muammar Gaddafi done to deserve what this United Coalition of Demons is putting on him? They say that he has lost the moral right because he has “killed his own people,” but you have never proved that charge. Check the record of America, England, France, Canada, Qatar, Italy, the Arab League, and put it up against the record of Muammar Gaddafi and the Libyan Jamahiriya.
England, France, Italy, Germany, and the United States do not have a good humanitarian record. America, with the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, and 450 years of evil toward the blacks; the decimation of the Indian population, and the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki—that record is clear. England and all of your Empire: You have never had humanitarian concerns for the people of Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, and other places that you ruled. So are you better now than what you once were? I suggest not.
What are the real strategic interests that compel you to this behavior? Libya, under Muammar Gaddafi, pushed the British and the Americans out of Libya, closed their bases, and nationalized its oil. That angered Western powers, even as Mohammad Mossadegh of Iran angered the West when he nationalized Iranian oil. That action led to a CIA operation that planted the Shah on the throne as the ruler of Iran. Under his rule the people of Iran lost much of their Islamic identity, giving birth to Imam Ayatollah Khomeini and the Iranian Islamic Revolution.
Whatever you: England, France, Italy, Germany and America...whenever you planted leaders, they were always those who put their personal wealth and gain over the best interests of their people. Thus, whenever you installed a dictator, whether it is in the Caribbean, Central America, South America, Asia, Africa, or the Middle East, you always knew that the legitimate interests of the people would cause some of the people to rise against that dictator, so your dictator had to use methods of repression, torture and destruction of life to preserve your dictator and to preserve your economic and strategic interests in that country.
Have you changed? Are you better than your predecessors? I think not.
February 17, 2002: "It's all about oil and power"
Shortly before George W. Bush ordered the invasion of Iraq, Farrakhan reviewed America's addiction to foreign oil at his "Saviours' Day" keynote address in Los Angeles:
America has come to a crossroads. You must understand that power is linked, in world politics, to oil. And as the greatest industrial nation on the Earth, America has an insatiable appetite for oil. When coal was the number one energy in the world, Great Britain ruled the world. She had the greatest deposits of coal. But when the power to move engines moved from coal to oil, England and America began vying for control of the places on this Earth that produce oil.
Who are the rogue states that America says she does not like, and let’s see how oil is connected here. I want you to consider Libya in North Africa. This little desert country where most of the people live along the coast has the sweetest crude oil. There’s a song we sing: "From the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli." Where’s Tripoli? "We will fight our country’s battles on the land and on the sea." What are you doing over here? Did these people bother you? No. They have oil. America had military bases here. For what? Oil! They had a king named Idriss and Muammar Gaddafi, as a young man in a bloodless coup, overthrew the king and then kicked the British out, the Americans out, and nationalized the oil. Now he could raise the standard of living of all the Libyans, and with money left over he could aid the liberation struggle of people all over the world. America got very upset with that. "You’re messing with us, Gaddafi. You’re a terrorist."
"Iraq has a lot of oil, and next door is Iran which has lots of oil. In Iran, there was a man by the name of Mohammad Mossadegh and he nationalized the oil. He wanted to use the oil to raise the standard of living of the Iranian people.
What’s wrong with that? There’s nothing wrong with that to our eyes, but something was wrong with that to the eyes of the rich and the powerful. So they organized a coup and overthrew him and placed a man on the throne called the Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. As that was their man in Iran, they gave him weapons, modern planes, but he was a Muslim, but he was not deep in the religion. So under him, the religion suffered. So the people that wanted their religion to come back to purity started organizing. The leader of that was Imam Khomeini.
Look at a map of the Middle Eastern part of the world. In Saudi Arabia, there is a whole lot of oil. President (Franklin Delano) Roosevelt struck up a good relationship with the king, and Aramco (Corporation) had access to all this oil. The kings lived well, they did well for their people, but there was no democracy. America doesn’t care anything about that, just keep pumping the oil.
Every one of us has somebody in our family that is a victim of drugs. There’s something about a drug addict—if it’s your son, if it’s your daughter—they become artful liars. They can make up the fanciest stories just to get money to get to the drug. If you don’t give them the money, when you turn your back, your fur coat is gone. When you turn your back this is gone, that is gone. They become thieves and soon, if they get real bad, they become murderers.
America is an oil junkie. She doesn’t care how she gets it, she must have it.
From an alternate transcript of the same speech (possibly the prepared text as opposed to the spoken version):
Iraq has the second largest oil reserves in the world. Next door to Iraq is Iran, and they have a tremendous supply of oil. There was a man by the name of Muhammad Mossadeq. He nationalized the oil. Therefore, he was looked upon as an evil man to the interests of the oil companies and the governments of America and Great Britain. Why was he evil? Because he wanted to use the vast oil deposits in Iran to raise the standard of living of the Iranian people. What’s wrong with that? Nothing is wrong with that in the eyes of fair-minded people, but something was wrong with that in the eyes of the rich and the powerful oil companies and governments of the U.S. and Great Britain. So, a coup was organized to overthrow Muhammad Mossadeq and place a man on the throne in Iraq that was sympathetic to the interests of America and Great Britain. That man was the Shah of Iran.
October 19, 1998: "...suck the blood of Iran"
During a news conference at the National Press Club in 1998, Farrakhan lambasted U.S. Middle East policy...
"...that was allowing you to get the oil wealth at the expense of the development of the people of Libya. You overthrew Mohammed Mossadegh in Iran and placed your man on the throne so that you could suck the blood of Iran at the expense of the people of Iran..."