Muammar Gaddafi is hoping that a ‘dignified’ exit will halt air strikes

The Guardian reports:

From his hiding place in Tripoli, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi is desperately trying to pave a way for an exit from public life.

Sources say the veteran autocrat’s grand plan is to retire to a godfather-like role in the nation he has ruled for more than 40 years and then allow institutions to grow that will eventually replace his hold on power.

This, he hopes, will convince Nato to stop its two-month campaign of almost nightly air strikes, which have decimated Libya’s military and defences and reinforced a rebellion that is steadily eroding the country’s power base.

Interviews with four regime members have confirmed that Gaddafi knows his time is up. “But he isn’t going to run away to Venezuela,” one official said. “He wants to move to the background and lead a dignified life. He himself has said he wants to be like the Japanese emperor, or Castro.”

“He knows and we know that Libya doesn’t have a future through imposing his cult of personality on the people and the world,” said a second official. “There is no question that the country needs reforms, many reforms.”

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