Saif al-Islam Muammar al-Gaddafi on Libyan State TV
Saif al-Islam Muammar al-Gaddafi, Colonel Gaddafi’s son spoke on Libyan State TV today on the current events in Libya. Of course, I’ve been watching.
We see a modern, highly educated man who lives in the 21 century. After watching his unrehearsed speech, I watched the commentary on the BBC and CNN news.
It is difficult to know exactly what is happening in Libya at the current time because foreign journalists have been banned from the country. In order to know the reality and the truth of a situation, it is always necessary to have a diversity of observers and reporters. With this, one can form an opinion from the observations of many and arrive at some form of truth. That we do not really know what is happening in Libya is the exactly the fault of the Libyan government which has censured free speech in their country and prevented international journalists from reporting the news in Libya. Libya also cut off access to the internet. It is for this reason that we do not know exactly what is happening in Libya and we are sceptical about the words that Saif al-Islam Muammar al-Gaddafi will present to us. I find myself, like many others, waiting for lies. Je doute.
What we in the “west” or the rest of the world have seen is a collection of amateur videos on our TV screens and from YouTube. We therefore can only create our impressions from the phone calls from people inside Libya and from the videos and the “experts” who speak of the situation, those from outside the borders of Libya. It is difficult to know the truth, the reality of the situation.
Even when we listen to Saif al-Islam Muammar al-Gaddafi, an educated man of the 21st century, deliver his unrehearsed speech, it is still difficult to discern the truth of what is happening in Libya. Again, this is the fault of the Libyan government which has censored international journalists. If a government censors free speech, naturally, the truth cannot be known. Even when you may tell us the truth, we doubt. So we make assumptions, we form opinions based only upon what we see and what we hear.
What exactly did Saif al-Islam Muammar al-Gaddafi say in his speech on Libyan State TV? He told us that Libya is a nation of tribes. For me, this is an important fact. He blamed the uprising in Libya on people using drugs and alcohol, the Opposition and the Islamists. I question how it is possible that so much alcohol and drugs could be found in order to fuel an uprising of these proportions. That, dear sir, is a lot of booze and drugs. That the Islamists are involved, well, could be. That the Opposition is involved is very possible, because they oppose the status quo. We conclude, there must be problems in Libya. Time for change, most definitely.
He gave different numbers of the number of people killed. Not good. He admits that they made mistakes, that the army was not trained to deal with this kind of situation. Understandable. That he admits to this error, I can respect. Nevertheless, it has happened and it is tragic.
Saif al-Islam Muammar al-Gaddafi assured his audience that the country of Libya is not the same as Egypt and Tunisia. It was necessary he state the difference between his country and the successful uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia. He states that what happened in those countries cannot happen in Libya because Libya is different. He said that Libya is made up of tribes. It is tribal. When I hear this, I think of tribes I think of separate entities, lack of diversity, lack of openness, lack of education, savagery and ignorance. When I see in the streets of Libya where weapons are shaken in fists against the sky, I am afraid. I am afraid of a mob mentality. However, perhaps the people feel the need to be armed because of the actions of the military, firing on unarmed people with their machine guns. There is always a cause and effect.
He tells us that the health and wealth of Libya is based on oil. He says that if the violence continues in Libya, the end result will be civil war. If separatism occurs, it will lead to the absence of leadership in the matter of oil. He asks who will own the oil, a valid question. He warns that western corporations will leave Libya. |He then warns that if a civil war comes to Libya it will divide the nation into a series of emirates. The west, he continues, will not allow this and it will eventually lead to the foreign occupation of what was once Libya.
Saif al-Islam Muammar al-Gaddafi also warns that “we” (meaning the government and his father Muammar Gaddafi), will not let that happen. He says that the army is prepared to fight to maintain their hold on power. He stated:
‘We will not let Libya go. We will fight to the last man, the last bullet’
He warns that all in Libya will be armed and that will lead to civil war. There will be no healthcare, no education system, no future, just an area once known as Libya, a desert of separate emirates. It’s a warning, perhaps a threat.
He offers up the possibility of dialogue to “redesign” the constitution of Libya. Saif al-Islam Muammar al-Gaddafi offers up the possibility of change, of more freedom and democracy. He says this can happen within 48 hours. Perhaps, the time of the dictators is finished. In the 21st century, the dictator has, perhaps, become an anachronism. Time for change.
The reasons for civil unrest, uprisings, and protests in Libya are obvious to everyone. The people are driven to anger and it signifies a massive, desperate cry for change. The rest of the world will wait to see what happens in Libya. We wait, with bated breath, as all Libyans will also do to see if Saif al-Islam Muammar al-Gaddafi is true to his word. He is, after all, an educated man and a man of the 21st century. He has 48 hours.