So I am just getting around to the recent divisions within the rebels forces in Libya (more on that later), including the interview that Seif al-Islam al Qaddafi gave to the New York Times, in which the Brother Leader’s son claimed that he had reached an alliance with the Libyan Islamist movement led by Ali Sallabi. The supposed alliance was quickly denied by Sallabi, who reiterated his support for a pluralistic democracy without the Qaddafi family. Many believe that this announcement by Seif al-Islam was poor reiteration of the oft-used warning that the Qaddafis (or Mubaraks or Assads…) are the only force standing between Libya and an Islamist, oppressive American hating government (as well as an attempt to capitalize on rebel divisions – again, more later). Seif al-Islam has a complicated history with the Islamist movement in Libya. The younger Qaddafi has long fit the mold of a westernized, less-crazy version of his father (that is, until he went off the deep end during the uprising) that stood clearly against the Islamist movement, at times calling them “terrorists” and “bloody men” (whereas rebels are “rats,” “a fake,” “a joke,” and “a puppet.”)
Yet the real good stuff didn’t come until the end of the article when Seif al-Islam lamented about the heathen secularists who engage in vice 24 hours a day, ruining the sanctity and morality or Libya. If the world could only see how lowly the liberal movement was, perhaps things would change:
But he talked mostly about his conversations with Mr. Sallabi, who Mr. Qaddafi called the “the real leader” of the rebellion and “the spiritual leader” of its Islamists. “He said liberals, the secular people, they are drunk all the time, they have no place here in Libya,” Mr. Qaddafi said. “These are our common enemies, those nice people with jackets and ties, flying in on private jets from Paris and London.”
It is a pretty straight forward plan of attack: fly in from Europe, undermine the peaceful and loving Libyan ruler and then have wild, drunken sex parties across the country. It is a devious plan that we have seen time and again. And obviously Seif al-Islam knows how these liberals work, the man infiltrated those evil liberal circles when he received his PhD from the London School of Economics. He probably flew coach, though.
(Or not, Hoare reminds us of a article from the Guardian: “While studying for his PhD, Saif [sic] enjoyed a life of considerable luxury in one of London’s wealthiest and most prestigious suburbs. In August 2009 Gaddafi bought his son a £10m house in north London. Inside the neo-Georgian eight-bedroom mansion, Saif could relax in his own swimming pool sauna room, whirlpool bath and suede-lined cinema room.” Though, admittedly, there is still nothing about a jet.)
Photo from Greater Surbiton