Teenagers high on drugs, incited by Osama bin Laden — this is Muammar Gaddafi’s explanation gives for the current challenge to his rule.
What is happening now in Libya is not people’s power, it’s international terrorism led by al-Qaeda … All they want is to kill your kids, that’s what Bin Laden wants, he should be happy now, that’s what he wants.
The Guardian reports:
Rebels are increasing their hold on Muammar Gaddafi’s ailing regime, by shutting down oil exports and mobilising rebel groups in the west of the country as the revolution rapidly spreads. Gaddafi’s hold on power appears confined to parts of Tripoli and perhaps several regions in the centre of the country. Towns to the west of the capital have fallen or are being fought over. Gun battles are taking place between forces loyal to Gaddafi and his opponents in the town of Az-Zawiyah, 30 miles west of Tripoli, according to witnesses. Order is returning to the sacked second city of Benghazi after days of fierce fighting that saw the military defect en masse and virtually all government buildings razed and looted. Gaddafi was expected to make a statement at some point soon…
Nato says it will not intervene in Libya. Its secretary-general, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, says the alliance has received no such requests and that in any case any intervention must be based on a UN mandate. Rasmussen says the turmoil in Libya does not threaten any Nato members, but the conflict could spark a mass refugee crisis.
Gaddafi will commit suicide as Adolf Hitler did at the end of the Second World War rather than surrender or flee, according to a former Libyan cabinet minister.
The claim comes in an interview with former justice minister Mustafa Mohamed Abud Al Jeleil in the Swedish newspaper Expressen:
“Gaddafi’s days are numbered. He will do what Hitler did – he will take his own life.”
Al Jeleil earlier claimed that Gaddafi had ordered the Lockerbie bombing.
When Gaddafi said bin Laden must be happy now, he spoke with an air of resignation — much of his tone of defiance from yesterday having dissipated.
Denial, bargaining, anger, depression — most of the stages of dying are already evident. Al Jeleil may well be right and what we are witnessing now is a tyrant in dialogue with his own death. Acceptance comes as he pulls the trigger.