Monday, 21 February 2011

Gaddafi's Son Goes Scarface on Libyan TV

Gaddafi's son, Saif El Islam Gaddafi, has just given his last speech to the Libyan people. It is inconceivable that his rambling, incoherent and disconnected speech, in which he accused the protestors in Benghazi of being drug addicts who were busy consuming the drug ecstasy. So what now, from the facebook revolution to the ecstasy revolution? Is that what he'd have the world, and Libyans believe?

Waving his finger authoritatively at the camera, he proceeded to give the Libyan people a speech that only a Bernie Madoff could pull off. He is adamant that Libya will not be lost to a revolution without widespread bloodshed and massacre, vowing to fight to the end. Yet while he referred to the people of Libya as 'brothers', it was clear from his body language and the comments and questions thrown out with a tilt of a head that he has little regard for the intelligence of the greater majority of his countrymen.

He railed against everyone in the world, west, east and Arab, with little concern for the diplomatic ramifications that this may create. "Do you think that ..." he teased, often and with condescension, that America, the EU and Britain would allow Libya to fall into sectarianism? Do they really believe that they wouldn't be here in two days to take over the country? This is not Egypt or Tunisia, he was at great pains to elaborate, even though the majority of Libyans are pretty clear on where they live.

Yet there was a persistent manipulativeness in his tone, and in the length of his speech. He came across as a schizophrenic good-cop/bad-cop act with a superiority complex to boot, and it is hard to believe that his speech won't effectively pour petroleum, instead of water, on the fires burning throughout the country. By stooping to such low and reprobate standards of communication, the revolution in Libya will probably turn to intense violence before either the army swops allegiance, and takes centre stage as the 'guardian' of the revolution, as in Egypt, or as the protestors have already shown, they will fight in the streets until they win their bloody and irreconciliable victory.

Gaddafi's son was dismissive of the Libyan people in his speech, almost challenging them to go against his 'sterling real-politik' analysis of the crisis facing Libya, where it is clear that people are dying in great numbers, and where this level of self-sacrifice isn't ordinarily driven by pragmatic 'real-politik' considerations, but by deeper considerations that concern the core aspiration of all human beings everywhere, which is simply the desire to be free. And the people in Benghazi have won their freedom, and they will be reluctant to relinquish it.

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