What Protests?

If you haven’t seen Colonel Gaddafi’s recent speeches, you must. Apart from the fact that he is barely coherent, what he is saying is just incredulous. According to him, there is no problem. There are no protests and all his people love him. Not only is no one against him, the people who are in the streets are being instigated by Al Qaeda, specifically Bin Laden himself.

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If you haven’t seen Colonel Gaddafi’s recent speeches, you must. Apart from the fact that he is barely coherent, what he is saying is just incredulous. According to him, there is no problem. There are no protests and all his people love him. Not only is no one against him, the people who are in the streets are being instigated by Al Qaeda, specifically Bin Laden himself.


Laden would be quite surprised at the idea that he can instigate nation-wide protests in various parts of the world without even lifting a finger. Al Qaeda will also be surprised to know that they are behind what is happening in Libya, and the most surprised are the protesters who apparently are agitating only because they are under the influence of drugs. Has Gaddafi finally lost the plot? Yes, I think so.

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What shocked me about the BBC interview he gave was that he actually seemed to believe what he was saying. Unlike Hosni Mubarak who looked like he was trying to pull the wool over people’s eyes, Gaddafi seemed to actually believe his words. He behaved not as a man who had lost control over a large portion of this country. He blamed everyone but himself; religious extremists, foreign forces, imperialists, the media as well as the citizens of Libya. The idea that the public might truly be unhappy with his rule and the state of affairs of the country didn’t seem to occur to him, or if it did he did an excellent job of hiding his apprehensions.

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When questioned about his foreign allies now calling for his removal, he called that an act of betrayal and warned other nations against interfering in Libya’s affairs. He knows that he has oil on his side, and as long as he has oil and money he can buy loyalty; just as he has been doing for decades. The governments who are now citing human rights abuses and calling for his ouster have for decades overlooked his behavior because he was lining their pockets. Oil, business deals and hard cash have bought him his forty two years of unrestricted rule, while the people suffered under crushing inflation, unfettered corruption, poverty and oppression.


His reason for not stepping down? According to Gaddafi, he has no position to step down from and no role in the running of the government. He told the BBC journalist who interviewed him that the world doesn’t understand Libya’s system and that the people run the country. That of course, could not be further from the truth. He has been bleeding the nation dry for decades; why will he stop now? And even if he does eventually leave, he will go scot-free. His family owns billions of dollars in assets all over the world.

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He has really gone too far now - bombing his own people, killing hundreds of people within the first week of protests, disregarding international laws and lying to the world. When his own people defected and refused to kill Libyans, he hired African militias to do his dirty work. Gaddafi is the perfect example of a megalomaniac delusional dictator who is far removed from reality, specially the everyday reality of Libyans. He has to go but in politics and life, things that have to happen seldom do.

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