Jeremy Bowen: In recent years you had a rapprochement with Western countries, you had important Western leaders like Tony Blair coming here. Now there are Western leaders who are queuing up to say that you should go. Do you feel a sense of betrayal about that?
Colonel Qaddafi: Of course it’s betrayal. They have no morals. Besides, if they want me to step down, what do I step down from? I’m not a monarch or a king.
Jeremy Bowen: But you make speeches at the U.N. and you identify very much with Libya even if you don’t have a formal title.
Colonel Qaddafi: It’s honorary, it’s nothing to do with exercising power or authority. In Britain, who has the power? Is it Queen Elizabeth or David Cameron? You don’t understand the Libyan system.
Jeremy Bowen: I understand the system you have here, but internationally you are regarded as the leader–
Colonel Qaddafi: You don’t understand the system here. No, no, no: don’t say, ‘I understand. You don’t understand. And the world don’t understand the system here. The particular system: the authority of the people. You don’t understand it.
Jeremy Bowen: But how do the people show their authority then? Because some people who have gone out on to the streets, to protest, say that your people have shot at them.
Colonel Qaddafi: No demonstration at all in the streets. Did you see demonstrations?
Jeremy Bowen: Yes I have.
Colonel Qaddafi: Where?
Jeremy Bowen: I saw some today.
Colonel Qaddafi: Where?
Jeremy Bowen: I saw some in Zawiya, yesterday I saw demonstrations.
Colonel Qaddafi: Are they supporting us?
Jeremy Bowen: No, they’re not supporting you.
Colonel Qaddafi: They are not against us.
Jeremy Bowen: Some were against you, and some were for you.
Colonel Qaddafi: No. No one against us. Against me for what? Because I’m not president. They love me. All my people with me. They love me, all. They will die to protect me, my people. No, no, no.
Christiane Amanpour: If you say they do love you, then why are they capturing Benghazi and they saying they’re against you there?
Colonel Qaddafi: It is Qaeda. It is Qaeda. It is Qaeda. Not my people. It is Qaeda.
Christiane Amanpour: Al Qaeda?
Colonel Qaddafi: Qaeda. Qaeda, yes. They came from outside.
Jeremy Bowen: So they’re the people pulling down the posters and putting up the flag of the king?
Colonel Qaddafi: It’s Qaeda, they went into military bases and seized arms and they’re terrorizing the people. The people who had the weapons were youngsters. They’re starting to lay down their weapons now, as the drugs Qaeda gave them wear off.
So, to recap, there are no protests and even if there are, it is the drugged members of Al Qaeda that are leading them. Also, the protests are not against Qaddafi. And Qaddafi is Queen Elizabeth. Wow. I particularly enjoy the complete denial of protests (and the follow up question “are they supporting us?”)
Qaddafi’s interview leads to so many questions: Was Qaddafi hoping that the journalists would believe him? That international attention would just go away by denying reality? Perhaps he truly believes what he is saying. Can you plead insanity at the ICC? Could the video below really be that far off?