Gaddafi Speaks: “I Will Not Leave Libya – I Will Be A Martyr”

[Ed. Note: More recent updates, from earliest to most recent, are here, here and here.

Previous updates, from earliest to most recent, are here, here, here, here, here and here.

For still more news, commentaries, analyses, maps, photographs and videos, click here.]

New video of an undated street battle in Benghazi.
Vodpod videos no longer available.

UPDATE 22:56 GMT: Just added a portion from today’s New York Times that draws on numerous previously published reports to piece together some of the connections between Gaddafi’s money and Italy – and the close ties between Gaddafi and Berlusconi. You can find the post and link to the full article here.

UPDATE 22:43 GMT: BBC just re-quoted an unidentified person’s quote that “reports on Libyan TV – pro-Gaddafi supporters entered hospitals, rounded the wounded and killed them in an unspecified location. Where is their help?! Who is out there defending these people??”[Ed. Note: Without discounting the possible veracity – and not that anyone covering this hasn’t jumped the gun (uh…battleships bombing Benghazi – guilty here), that’s as unconfirmed as unconfirmed can be for the BBC.]

UPDATE 22:37 GMT: A lot of tweets questioning the validity of the confirmed report (it came from Reuters) of loyalists being sent to Sabratha.

UPDATE 22:15 GMT: Fighting in Tripoli’s Sarman district was confirmed earlier.

UPDATE 22:12 GMT: Unconfirmed report of a battle in Tajoora and a confirmed report of Gaddafi loyalists being sent to reinforce Sabratha in the northwest corner of Libya.

UPDATE 22:08 GMT: AJE reports the Irish air corps is heading to Malta to help evacuate Irish citizens from Libya tomorrow. [Ed. Note: Is the US military still listening to the music on hold waiting for a Libyan “official” to pick up the phone?]

UPDATE 22:05 GMT: Reuters: A hospital on the Egyptian-Libyan border has received the first of injured Egyptians from the Libyan unrest.


UPDATE 22:04 GMT: Quryna newspaper reports that the Libyan army has deployed a “large number” of soldiers to Sabratha, west of Tripoli, after protesters destroyed almost all the security services offices.

UPDATE 22:02 GMT: AJE has provided what it calls a “rough translation” of an interview conducted by Al Arabiya with Gaddafi’s former #2 man, Abdul Fatah Younis.

Younis: The Libyan people have suffered too long. We have so much oil, the people could have lived as in a 5 star hotel.

Al Arabiya: What happened?

Younis: There was a crowd of people outside my office, I was with my cousin. A bullet then went next to my right cheek, it hit my cousin who is in a very bad case now. Gaddafi, that dirty man, wanted to say that I was killed by protesters so that my tribe, the Obeidat, will stand by him.

Al Arabiya: You were a Minister of Interior but you only choose to speak now?

Younis: I spoke to him 2 weeks before the revolution. I told Gaddafi, we have too many unemployed youth. I want that dirty person who shot my cousin to face justice. I am not a two-faced man. I worked with Gaddafi for 42 years, I was shocked at his speech today. I wish Gaddafi had instead said a prayer for the fallen youth in his last days in office. Our plan now it to support the youth in Tripoli so that it is liberated like Benghazi was. I offer my condolences to the fallen martyrs (reads a statement of support for the youth revolution). I begged Gaddafi not to send planes, I called him. Now of course we don’t speak, I have joined the revolution. Citizens collected weapons & brought them to me, we put them in a massive (airplane) hanger for safekeeping. I gave orders to my men in Benghazi not to shoot at protesters, not one of my men shot at protesters, those who shot belong to the Security Battalions. I guarantee that none of my men shot at protesters.

Younis: From my knowledge of Gaddafi, he won’t leave, he will stay to the end, but he will stay alone. Who will aid him? Everyone has abandoned him. The Eastern & Central Provinces have abandoned him. To Gaddafi I tell him: Please end your life by praying for the martyrs, ask for God’s forgiveness and the people’s. To Libyan people, you are a brave people, stand courageously, Libya will become a strong country. What I know is that the Free Officers of Libya have stopped their support of Gaddafi, his Security Battalion remain. Stand courageously, people of Libya, and those in Tripoli and Zawya and all over the country.

11.20pm: Younis adds: “Gaddafi’s speech was very clear to any one who has a brain. He is nervous, he is stubborn. He may commit suicide. Gaddafi won’t leave. He may commit suicide or will be killed. I didn’t wish for him to face such an end.”

UPDATE 21:52 GMT: Just added a poll to get your opinion on events in Libya. You’ll see it in the last column on the right side of the page.

UPDATE 21:31 GMT: Multiple outlets reporting the defection of Interior Minister Abdul Fatah Younis as “significant.” BBC’s Najilaa Abou Merhi says it shows Gaddafi “definitely losing power.”

UPDATE 21:27 GMT: Libyan officials are reporting “300 dead in violence, including 58 soldiers” according to a report filed by AFP.

UPDATE 20:27 GMT: BBC’s Mark Gregory on Gaddafi wealth: “Libyan cash abroad is held the Libyan Investment Authority – a fund set up about five years ago to manage the country’s oil wealth…believed to have around $70bn of assets, including – bizarrely – a stake in the company that owns the Financial Times. The fund’s investments are thought to focus mainly on Italy, where they include a shareholding in a major bank and in Juventus football team.” [Ed. Note: Interesting that one of the Western leaders reported to have spoken to Gaddafi today is Italy’s Silvio Berlusconi.]

UPDATE 20:18 GMT: AJE: “Gaddafi’s #2” Abdul Fatah Younis, Libyan minister of interior and army general has resigned; Libya’s defected interior minister has urged the Libyan army to join the people and respond to their “legitimate demands.”

UPDATE 20:17 GMT: AJE: Nicaragua’s president, Daniel Ortega, says he has telephoned Muammar Gaddafi to express his solidarity with the embattled leader. [Ed. Note: Yes, you read that correctly.]

Video Libyans responding to Gaddafi’s speech. The shoe-throwing begins at the 0:12 mark.
Vodpod videos no longer available.

And a short video just posted from Benghazi when control was still contested.
Vodpod videos no longer available.

UPDATE 20:00 GMT: Via CNN: “The United States was unable to move any Americans out of Libya on Tuesday, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said. ‘We are working on this with Libyan authorities,’ he said. [Ed. Note: “With the Libyan authorities? I think the few remaining are kind of busy.]

UPDATE 18:56 GMT: This site is too new to show up in Google. If you find it helpful, please share it on Facebook, or tweet it. Thanks.

UPDATE 18:54 GMT: AJE: Videos emerge on file-sharing website LiveLeak of mobs lynching two people, understood to be mercenaries operating in Libya. Also, a video appears of a demonstrator shot in the head by a sniper.

UPDATE 18:40 GMT: Associated Press: Greece is offering to evacuate 15,000 Chinese citizens by ship from Libya. Will consider requests from other countries. [Ed. Note: The international community, too late but nonetheless, is realizing the extent of the bloodbath that could consume Libya. We saw Tunisia and Cairo fall relatively peacefully and quickly, as revolutions go. In Libya, even if Gaddafi is driven out – and there’s no guarantee of that – there has yet to be a path put forward for the governance of Libya post-Gaddafi. The possibility of a long and bloody civil war is a distinct one.]


UPDATE 18:31 GMT: BBC reports a tweet from Ceasefire Magazine: “Gaddafi has achieved the impossible: he made Mubarak look dignified and Ben Ali look like a genius [Ed. Note: There’s a “Ceasefire Magazine”?]

UPDATE 18:17 GMT: Arab League suspends Libyan participation. [Ed. Note: And the UN can’t figure out who represents Libya.]

UPDATE 17:53 GMT: And also “clashes in Bin Ashoor area in Tripoli right now”

UPDATE 17:51 GMT: Al Jazeera is (finally) confirming “heavy gunfire in Al Jumhuriya Street in Central Tripoli right now”

UPDATE 17:45 GMT: Tajimustafa tweets: “#Ghadaffi’s speech summarizd: 1) He praised himself repeatedly 2) threatened to murder more people unless they support him”

UPDATE 17:38 GMT: Off-topic, but BBC just reported that the Algerian government, which had been promising to lift the 19-year emergency for the past three weeks, “has now been confirmed as it has been printed in the official gazette.”

UPDATE 17:35 GMT: BBC is reporting gun battle in Tripoli. Other outlets yet to report.

UPDATE 17:27 GMT: Gunfire has begun in Tripoli.

UPDATE 17:11 GMT: CNN on the conclusion of the speech: Gaddafi wrapped up his speech after about 70 minutes, saying, “Let’s go forward.” He immediately got into a golf cart and was driven away, chased by about 25 cheering men, some carrying weapons. No other audience was evident from the video.

UPDATE 17:09 GMT: Reuters: In a trademark rambling address, Gaddafi urged his supporters to take to the streets, saying protesters warranted the death sentence. He also promised a vague overhaul of government structures.

UPDATE 17:04 GMT: BBC’s Frank Gardner: “Judging from the backdrop, Col Gaddafi’s latest speech was almost certainly filmed at his Bab Al-Aziziyah barracks in Tripoli. It shows bomb damage from the US air raid in 1986 and its where we have filmed him before on previous trips.”

UPDATE 16:51 GMT: Anti-Gaddafi media outlet, LibyaYouthMovement, just tweeted: Helicopters circling Tripoli now. Gaddafi’s soldiers are armed with machine guns with ammo.

UPDATE 16:45 GMT: Here’s CNN’s recap:

Gaddafi said he caused the world to notice Libya and to respect it and its people. “If I had a position in the government, I would have resigned. I would have thrown the resignation in your faces.”

Gaddafi called on Libyans who “love and support” him to go out on the streets and demonstrate for him. “Do you want to be slaves of the Americans?” he said.

He gave protesters until Wednesday to remove all placards and barricades. After that, the police and army will move forcefully against them.

Opposition activists will be executed without mercy, saying “they will beg for pardon, but they will not be pardoned.”

Gadhafi aligned himself with Osama bin Laden and Ayman al Zawahiri, praising them for wishing to establish Islamic governments.

UPDATE 16:37 GMT: BBC Security Expert Frank Gardner: I don’t think he’s got a PR company arranging this for him.

UPDATE 16:28 GMT: The news has been made…Gaddafi says he will die in Libya.

UPDATE 16:25 GMT: Gaddafi is still listing acts that will result in execution…he’s been reading this from a notebook for the past six minutes.

UPDATE 16:21 GMT: Gaddafi has just listed the offenses for which Libyans will be given death sentences. It’s a long list.

UPDATE 16:12 GMT: Says that “fighting will carry on street by street until Libyan soil is liberated.”

UPDATE 16:04 GMT: “Youth are not guilty” though, because “they are just trying to copy Tunisia.”

UPDATE 16:02 GMT: “A small group of youth have been taking hallucinogenic pills.”


UPDATE 15:57 GMT: Blaming “foreign agents,” says “We defied America, the atomic powers…this is our glory…this is the glory they want.”

UPDATE 15:55 GMT: Says his leadership is what put Libya on the map. It was nothing before he took charge [paraphrasing].


UPDATE 15:46 GMT: Italy’s Silvio Berlosconi has offered to provide “personal refuge” to Libya’s women. Not sure what that means. [Ed. Note: Just kidding.]

UPDATE 15:43 GMT: Al Jazeera reports the Italian navy is monitoring a Libyan naval vessel stalled off Malta. There’s speculation the ship may have defected.

UPDATE 15:40 GMT: Leaks reported by Al Arabiya TV are suggesting that Gaddafi will announce major political reforms in his televised speech.

UPDATE 15:37 GMT: For those just arriving at this post, the headline is accurate. Once again, the world finds itself waiting to hear what the notoriously mercurial Muammar al-Gaddafi will be saying.

Pressure has ratcheted up significantly since Gaddafi’s 15-second sound-bite yesterday. The entirety of eastern is controlled by anti-Gaddafi forces; Libyan army forces have been unpredictable in their loyalty to the regime, even at the officer level, and the hired guns of the mercenaries, while brutally cold, have been ineffective. Muslim clerics and people throughout the Arab world have become vocal in their condemnation of the Gaddafi regime.

Regardless of whatever Gaddafi may say this time, with the oil spigots turned off and unable to buy a pass, does this regime have much longer?

UPDATE 15:13 GMT: From Reuters: Libya faces chaos and possible civil war as Muammar Gaddafi fights to maintain his 42-year grip on power in the face of a popular uprising.

Even if he flees – assuming he could find a refuge – Gaddafi would leave a nation with few normal structures for a peaceful transition, after four decades of his idiosyncratic rule.

“Any post-Gaddafi period is fraught with uncertainty,” said Middle East analyst Philip McCrum. “There is no organized opposition, there are no civil institutions around which people could ordinarily gather.

“The opposition in exile is small and disparate. It will therefore take a long time for a new political order to establish itself and in the meantime, political tensions will run high as various competing groups, such as the tribes, the army, Islamists and liberals vie for power.”

UPDATE 15:06 GMT: CNN’s Ben Wedeman says the whole of East Libya “has been lost” by Gaddafi supporters.

UPDATE 15:02 GMT: Video of the scene last night in Tripoli [unconfirmed] has been added below.

UPDATE 14:55 GMT: Human Rights Watch says at least 62 people have been killed in Tripoli since Sunday. The HRW statement can be accessed here.

UPDATE 14:47 GMT: Love the dryness of the Brits. From the BBC: We don’t know what time Col Gaddafi will speak, but please bear in mind that his speech last night was trailed for about five hours, and then his address lasted 26 seconds.

UPDATE 14:37 GMT: CNN: Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi will address the nation shortly, Libyan state television reported. [Ed. Note: Finally a decent headline.]

UPDATE 14:36 GMT: LibyaYouthMovement, which has been one of the primary sources of information coming from anti-Gaddafi forces, just tweeted tweeted: Today’s the day of respite for the sake of the reporters in Tripoli. They will continue the massacre tomorrow.

UPDATE 14:32 GMT: Ali Aujali, Libya’s Ambassador to the US resigned. He told ABC “I resign from serving the current dictatorship regime, but I will never resign from serving our people.” [Ed. Note: Seems a little late in the game to be making that kind of statement.]

UPDATE 14:07 GMT: Twenty minutes ago, LibyaYouthMovement tweeted: Gaddafi’s men are cleaning the streets of Tripoli for any traces of violence to show media that nothing is happening!!

UPDATE 14:05 GMT: BBC: Libyan TV is now showing pro-Gaddafi protesters gathering in Tripoli’s Green Square, but only a few dozen of them can be seen.

UPDATE 14:00 GMT: CNN’s Ben Wedeman confirms that the East of Libya in under the control of demonstrators.

BBC reports “tens of thousands of foreigners try to flee Libya.”

Other reports that the Egyptian-Libyan border is, for the most part if not entirely, wide-open.

UPDATE 08:49 GMT: CNN’s Ben Wedeman is first Western journalist in Libya. Coming in through Egypt, Wederman and his driver were asked for passports.

“For what?” responded our driver, Saleh, a burly, bearded man who had picked us up just moments before. “There is no government. What is the point?” He pulled away with a dismissive laugh.

On the Libyan side, there were no officials, no passport control, no customs.

I’ve seen this before. In Afghanistan after the route of the Taliban, in Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein. Government authority suddenly evaporates. It’s exhilarating on one level; its whiff of chaos disconcerting on another.

Wedeman also tweeted his driver’s instruction in case they are stopped by Gaddafi forces: “Tell them you’re a German doctor.”

UPDATE 08:09 GMT: Obviously, the headline is a work in progress. But the headline picture is very appealing.

Scenes from a street fight in Libya.
Vodpod videos no longer available.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: