So Muammar Gaddafi has finally lost the plot! As the country falls into destruction and ruin, he has the gall to speak about what an inspiration Libya is to the rest of the world. I mean ... really? I have never stopped to ponder the great example that Libya is to the world. What reality is he living in, and how dangerous will it prove to be to the rest of the world? Well, for one, the longer he holds out the more the price of oil will be affected, and more immediately, Italy's supply is already suffering losses.
His speech seems to be situated in the past of his own revolution. It is phrased to implicate current day revolutionaries as 'counter-revolutionaries' to his revolution, which happened 40 odd years ago. It turned into a square rant against America and the rest of the Arab world - one could say he barked out his speech like a rabid dog, still lost in the now faint scent of old victories and survival against cold war enemies, past and present indistinct, blending into one. Most of the demonstrators that are out on the streets of Libya right now weren't even alive, or were barely alive, when Gaddafi came to power.
One thing seems certain. He has shown the same misguided determination that Saddam Hussein and his cronies did when they were invaded, presenting a strong front, smacking of old school Arab patriarchy and condescension, lost in an old world romanticism that no longer exists. He is a fossil bleating out an ancient tune. He is sure to die soon. The only question is, how many others will go to their deaths before he does.
To be sure, the paranoia that he carries around is enough for all those living in hell, and the hell that exists in his mind is now becoming a reality for his countrymen, projected upon all dissension, painting all events with the brush of conspiracy. Yet the truth is that Gaddafi is hardly an important figure in the world, and most Western governments were happy to deal with him in order to obtain oil, but it is highly unlikely that they spend their time conspiring against him in order to get their hands on his oil. The awful truth is that as long as he didn't go too far, they were prepared to deal with him.
It is only with the advent of this humanitarian tragedy within Libya that international organisations are scurrying about trying to formulate a response, and the position that they are forced into now was not of their making. Conspiring to destabilise one's own oil supply in the current economic climate is pure suicide, and it is pure rubbish to claim that a conspiracy of 'agents' has been responsible for the uprisings. His speech, mainly directed against America, was disengenous, calling on cold war rhetoric to save his now almost extinct skin. Referring to the protestors as 'brats', he claimed that they were just imitators of the Egyptian and Tunisian revolution.
His speech made impassioned calls upon the people of the country to come out in support of him and his regime and to go out and 'take the greasy rats off the streets', which is in effect a signal that his security forces are now preparing to go underground and to take to the streets in the guise of civilians to step up the murders and harassment that civilian protesters have been subjected to. It has to be a set-up, a last attempt to create a push against the protesters - as other dictators have done?
He implored civilians to go out and arrest the 'bunch of terrorists' (a remarkable irony in itself) and to secure their neighbourhoods. He is adamant, that the protesters will be prosecuted. Nary has a dream been more viciously deluded. Reading from the green book upheld by his right hand, he has threatened the civilian protesters with death sentences, going further than any of the other dictator regimes have gone in his response to the protests that have overtaken the middle east. As if a book should have power over life and death in these circumstances.
Now the protesters have no choice but to ensure, beyond all reasonable doubt that Gaddafi is either pushed out of Libya forever, or that he is himself killed. He has made his position clear - he is planning to wage all out war on his own people, threatening to exercise the death sentence on any and all opposition. Supposedly that includes his 7 ambassadors, army defectors, airforce defectors, etc. In a remarkable display of denial he asked of the audience, "do you want us to be like Somalia?" failing to acknowledge that the state of Libya is already a failed state.
His speech, vaccillating between different realities, on the one hand accuses American interests, and on the other hand islamists, for being responsible for what is going on in the streets of Libya today. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that either senility or some other kind of mental disorientation is at the root of this vicious, patriarchal tirade against the youth of his country, the future of Libya, who are dying out in the streets, fighting against mercenaries, snipers, aircraft and anti-aircraft guns.
It is clear that Muammar Gaddafi plans to take Libya down a dangerous path, asking his 'subjects' to go out and 'apprehend' the protesters. This is most likely because he has already lost control of the army, and whatever is left of the state. This desperate ploy is a last ditch attempt to call on whatever support he might have left amongst the people. No doubt he is wishing for a great turnaround, a great victory that can restore him to his pedestal - but the truth is that if he cared a jot for anything but his own survival he would step aside and allow for reforms to take place in peace, and let democracy take its course.
This last ditch attempt to create a counter-revolution are the last breaths of a man who has ruled with an iron fist, and no longer has any appreciation of the reality of what is happening to Libya right now. It may take years, even decades for Libya to recover, and they will be forced to sell off their valuable natural resources at cheaper and faster rates in order to recover from this crisis, within an already unfolding global economic crisis. They will be driven into negotiating away their future and the future of their children, all because their leader doesn't know when to quit. His decision-making now, is a clear indication of where this crisis is set to go, if he isn't stopped right now, and finality is brought to his rule so that the Libyan people can continue into a new future of their choosing. He is in a state of deep denial about his role in this revolution, trying to claim it as his own revolution ... "this is our revolution" he claimed, while shaking a book at the television. What we are seeing here is a master manipulator of the past, an old dog trying to turn tricks, who is sure to see his end one way or another. After an hour of listening to him I am no closer to understanding anything except that he and his son share the same condescending, vile manner of address ... shaking their forefingers at the camera, reclining casually in their expensive dress, and threatening all dissent with death. The fact that he is already attempting a purge, should be a clear indication of where this is leading.
Nobody will have the luxury of claiming that they were ignorant of what is unfolding right now in Libya in the future that is emerging in the Middle East. It is pasted all over the satellite television channels, newspapers, internet news sites, facebook, twitter, cellular communications, etc. for all the world to see - except China that is. What excuse will the world have not to act? Act now, set the example, and stabilise what is clearly an unravelling state lost in the throes of it's last dance. As for Libyans, their only choice is to fight, as if they give up they will be hunted down and sentenced to death with impunity.
Perhaps what is most sad about watching Gaddafi make his long speech, his rambling appeal to Libyans where he both chastises and claims their love at the same time, the model of the old school patriarch that has lost all sense of the reality in which he lives. The mere fact that he can come out and make such a long address (indeed, much as his son did) to a suffering and fearful populace, appealing to them to split their ranks and start fighting with each other instead, refusing to even acknowledge that there are fundamental problems in the country that affect the people of Libya, and offering them no real way out of the crisis except death.
The farce of cold war politics, seen in the light of the current, vastly changed political landscape of the globe, is ugly indeed. It is clear that he plans to embark upon a civil war within Libya, and a purge is sure to follow if he isn't forced to step down. All his promises of committees, etc. are pure lies, manufactured to help split the protesters, who are no doubt beginning to wonder if any kind of 'normal' would emerge anytime soon.