President Obama’s decision to intervene militarily in Libya to cripple dictator Muammar Qaddafi’s ability to combat rebels trying to topple his regime didn’t sit well with two American black nationalist leaders who consider the long-time strongman a friend and ally.
“Now you may laugh, but in a few days, something is going to wipe the smile and the laugh from your face,” Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Nation of Islam (NOI), warned Thursday during a rambling press conference at the group’s headquarters in Chicago. The uprisings in the Arab world coupled with the tsunami in Japan signify that divine spaceships waiting to avenge black suffering will soon arrive, Farrakhan said. “Brother Barack’s” decision to back the Libyan opposition against Qaddafi – who in 1972 lent NOI’s leadership $3 million to buy the headquarters from which Farrakhan broadcast his speech – is only going to hasten the UFOs’ arrival.
NOI theology has it that just before the biblical end of times, believers will be whisked away in small spaceships called “Baby Wheels” to a giant “Mother Wheel,” where they will live while other divine ships eradicate those who remain on earth with enormous bombs, explains Mattias Gardell in In the Name of Elijah Muhammad: Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam.
Farrakhan prophesied that the time is near. “All of the governments are releasing their files on UFOs. America’s holding back, [but] other nations are informing their people of the reality of what is above their heads,” he said. “Who do you think then that you’re dealing with, if you’re the best in the world but you’re thousands of years behind the technology on those wheels? I’m here to tell you, you are dealing with God. You have no weapon that can handle what is already prepared to take you out.”
For over a month, Farrakhan, who described himself as a recognized “head of state” equal to other world leaders, has been warning Obama not to intervene against Libya’s government. Even so, in Thursday’s speech he stressed that responsibility for America’s involvement with the opposition does not rest entirely with the nation’s first black president (whom, he said, he loves like a brother).
“Now this man Barack, he had a good heart. We all fell in love with him during the campaign. Not the same man today. … The people that surrounded him, engulfed him,” Farrakhan told his audience. “The stupid mistake that we make is to think that the president is the supreme power. Never was. Money is the power in America. … All of you know what I’m talking about, Zionist control of the government of the United States of America,”
In a much less forgiving mood was Malik Zulu Shabazz, leader of the New Black Panther Party (NBPP), who often aligns himself with Farrakhan. The Southern Poverty Law Center lists both NOI and NBPP as hate groups.
Ripping into the president with shocking venom on March 23, Shabazz said in a presentation posted online, “Whatever Barack Obama is doing, he represents the white man. He represents the ideology of the white man, he represents the policies of the white man, he represents the CIA set up, sabotage, lie on a African leader and bomb that man like he George Bush. He represents the white man. And his wife should leave the nigger tonight. She should walk out and his beautiful daughters should walk out on this bamboozling, buck-dancing Tom,” Shabazz raged.
“Only thing you see in Libya is just a big case of police brutality. We see the way they [police] team up on us and run us down all the time,” he spat. “Sometimes it’s a nigger police chief that’s in the lead. This time it’s a nigger police chief in the lead named Barack Obama. But it makes no difference, the black man is on the run, named Qaddafi. We pray for his safety and that he survives.”