Muammar Gaddafi told his country Tuesday evening he is a “warrior” and that he “will die as a martyr.” World leaders denounce him, but U.S. President Barack Obama has remained relatively silent.
In an angry and rambling speech, the eccentric Libyan ruler declared, "I cannot leave the honorable soul of my country. I will die a martyr in the end.” Unknowingly reflecting the widely-held opinion that Gaddafi is eccentric if not beserk, he added, “Muammar Gaddafi is not a president, he is not a normal human being” but instead is a revolutionary leader.
He blamed foreign agents, including “bearded ones,” meaning Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, as well as the United States and Ital for the uprising that has bred anarchy is Libya’s second largest city and in other towns and villages.
“A minority of young people are taking advantage of the peace and security we have in Libya to burn police stations,” he added. "I call on those who love Muammar Gaddafi, who represents glory... to come out of your houses and attack [the demonstrators] wherever you find them."
Gaddafi’s speech did not indicate any hints that he would turn much of his power over to local leaders, as had been expected by many observers.
World leaders, including United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, have urgently demanded that Gaddafi halt the massacre of hundreds of protesters, but U.S. President Barack Obama has remained relatively silent.
Politico’s Ben Smith wrote Tuesday, “The president hasn't discussed the situation since calling generally for restraint on Friday. Then this afternoon, Secretary of State Clinton issued a truly pathetic statement: “The world is watching the situation in Libya with alarm. We join the international community in strongly condemning the violence in Libya… Now is the time to stop this unacceptable bloodshed.”
Weekly Standard editor William Kristol commented that there was “no direct condemnation of the Qaddafi regime. No expression of support for the demonstrators. No hint of action on our part – no immediate economic embargo, no threats against any individuals involved in the atrocities, no call for a U.N. Security Council meeting, no sign of possible NATO enforcement of a no-fly zone, no demand that the border be opened for humanitarian aid. Instead, the State Department is trying to ‘convey a message’ to the Libyan government.”