Tue, Feb 22, 2011
TV Speech: Defiant Gaddafi Vows to Fight On and Die ‘as a Martyr’ Rather Than Quit
In a televised speech punctuated by long pauses, Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi gave a long, rambling speech on Libyan State TV in which he vowed to fight on and die a “martyr” for his country after blaming youths inspired by region’s revolutions for unrest.
In the speech carried on Al Jazeera TV he also blamed the rest of the world (Media, America, Britain, Italy) for the troubles in Libya alternately calling the protesters “greasey rats” and “greasey cats” and accused “forces affiliated to foreign forces” of seeking to “disfigure, undermine and tarnish the reputation of the country”.
Muammar Gaddafi remains defiant
He called on his supporters to take back the streets from protesters demanding his ouster, shouting and pounding his fist in a furious speech on state TV, Al Jazeera reports:
“You men and women who love Gaddafi …get out of your homes and fill the streets, get the greasy rats out of the streets,” he said. “Leave your homes and attack them in their lairs … If we have to use force we will use it, according to international law and the Libyan Constitution. Starting tomorrow the cordons will be lifted, go out and fight them.”
He then addresses parents of the protesters, saying, “Take your children from the streets. They took your children from you. They are dying, for what reason? They are taking your children and getting them drunk and sending them to death. For what? To destroy Libya, burn Libya.”
“I am a fighter, a revolutionary from tents … I will die as a martyr at the end,” he said. “Muammar Gaddafi is the leader of the revolution, I am not a president to step down … I’m the leader of the revolution forever … This is my country. Muammar is not a president to leave his post,” Muammar said. “This is my country, watered by our blood and your blood,” he said.
He says, “Our country will become Afghanistan, is that what you want?”
“I have not yet ordered the use of force, not yet ordered one bullet to be fired … when I do, everything will burn.” Gaddafi said “peaceful protests is one thing, but armed rebellion is another […] From tonight to tomorrow, all the young men should form local committees for popular security,” he said, telling them to wear a green armband to identify themselves. “The Libyan people and the popular revolution will control Libya.”
“What’s come over you?” Gadhafi asks. “We were living in prosperity.”
Gaddafi declared himself “a warrior” and proclaimed: “Libya wants glory, Libya wants to be at the pinnacle, at the pinnacle of the world,” he shouted.
The speech appeared to have been taped earlier and was aired on a screen to hundreds of supporters massed in Tripoli’s central Green Square.
Among the other points made by Gaddafi in his speech:
— He called on the people to catch what he called drugged young people and bring them to justice.
— He called on the people to “cleanse Libya house by house” unless protesters on the streets surrendered.
— He warned that instability in Libya “will give al-Qaeda a base”.
— He cited the examples of attack on Russian parliament and China’s crushing of the 1989 Tiananmen Square uprising, saying that the international community did not interfere.
— He said he could do the same in Derna and Bayda.
— He offered a new constitution starting from Wednesday, but this would come with dialogue, not by collaboration with the enemy.
— He blamed the uprising on Islamists who wanted to create another Afghanistan, and warned that those in Bayda and Derna had already set up an Islamic Emirate that would reach Benghazi.
— He said that the country’s youth was drugged and did not know anything; they were following the Islamists’ leader and their leaders would be punished with death in accordance with the Libyan law.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel described Gaddafi’s speech as “very, very frightening”.
Sources: Al-Jazeera TV, BBC, Huffington Post, RTE, Jerusalem Post.