The Observers Book of Mad Dictators

Colonel Gaddafi finally addressed the nation last night. He spoke for just 20 seconds, which is probably the shortest speech he’s ever made (he often whaffles on for hours). This is what he said:

“I was talking with youths in Green Square, and stay with them tonight. But it started raining… thanks God. Just want to show them that I’m in Tripoli not in Venezuela. Don’t trust media. Dogs.”

Gaddafi is of course barking mad. As I type this he’s making another speech on state television. Here’s some of what he’s said so far…

“A small group of young people who have taken drugs have attacked police station like mice … They have taken advantage of this peace and stability … However it is not their fault these young people; they tried to imitate what happened in Tunisia … However there is a small group of sick people that has infiltrated in cities that are circulating drugs and money.”

“Families should collect their children, and get out of their houses if you love Muammar Gaddafi and secure the streets and take the greasy rats out of the streets.”

“This bunch of rats and cats have been paid to disfigure and tarnish the reputation of Libya. I’m not going to leave this land; I’m going to die here as a martyr.”

Well, that’s good news, because after bringing in foreign mercenaries to indiscriminately kill his own people, and ordering battle planes and warships to attack unarmed protesters, I think the Libyan people will want to have a word with Mr Gaddafi.

His speech today will only enrage the protesters further. What’s worrying is that the army has still not fully taken the side of the protesters. The protesters know what will happen to them if the regime regains control, and so have nothing to lose (in the speech he’s making right now, Gaddafi has said that they will all be put to death).

My own feeling is that this speech today will be the tipping point: it’s so apparent just how out of touch Gaddafi is, how completely mad he is, how totally vainglorious he is, that the army will come to the conclusion that the present regime can no longer continue.

I did like that umbrella, though.

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