Politics & Policy

Gaddafi’s Sound and Fury

Gaddafi’s speech has now been going on for more than an hour, and he shows no sign of slowing. Here are some of the important take-aways and quotes. First, Gaddafi looks like a lunatic; he appears delirious and physically unbalanced, and is set before a bizarre background. Second, he claims that he will die in Libya and will not be forced out. Third, his speech is so long and rambling and illogical, that it is hard to make sense of what is intended as a concession, and what he intends, delusionally, as a statement of fact.

He begins by speaking of his accomplishments as a war hero and revolutionary, and asks, “Is this gratitude?” He claims that protesters wish to turn Libya into an Islamic state. He accuses them of threatening the military and the country as a whole. He says they will be caught and begging for mercy, and he will not be merciful. But he promised some reform. He said there would be “new committees.” He picked up his own Green Book and read from his criminal statutes to prove that demonstrators deserved death. And he has suggested that though he has not yet ordered any military action against protesters on the streets he reserved the right to do so; he said, “the unity of the people of China was more important than the people in Tiananmen square.” And he would “cleanse Libya, house by house.”

 “Libyan oil should be distributed to all the people. Take your share and do whatever you like with it.”

“I myself led peaceful demonstrations in the old regime, but I did not seek destruction.”

“Libyans don’t need to resort to demonstrations; they can go to the People’s Committee.”

He made very many anti-American references. The Libyan State TV station kept switching to a statue of a sand-colored hand grasping a model of a U.S. fighter jet. He said, “The Davidian cults in Waco was dealt with armored vehicles.”

“Peaceful demonstrations are acceptable. Conspiring with foreign governments is a totally different issue.”

“Muammar Gaddafi is not the president, he is the leader of the revolution. He has nothing to lose. Revolution means sacrifice until the very end of your life.”

“We challenge America with its mighty power, we challenge even the superpower.”

“Muammar Gaddafi is not a normal person that you can poison, or lead a revolution against.”

“I will fight until the last drop of blood with the people behind me.”

“A new administration will be formed; new municipalities; new authorities.”

“I don’t have money, I don’t have a palace; I want everything I have for the people, and to preserve its oils.”

“I haven’t even started giving the orders to use bullets — any use of force against authority of state will be sentenced to death.”

“They are just imitating Egypt and Tunisia.”

“Protesters want to turn Libya into an Islamic state.”

“If you love Muammar Gaddafi you will go out and secure Libya’s streets.”

“Are you gangsters?”

“Don’t destroy the country for no reason. What’s come over you? We had peace and happiness, then we burn our country down.”

The youth are “following the orders of foreign agents and fundamentalists. If they do not follow Gaddafi, who would they follow? This is impossible. I brought them up. Everywhere they are shouting slogans in favor of Muammar Gaddafi.”


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