Sunday, February 27, 2011

Christiane Amanpour Exclusive and Surreal Interview with #Libya's Saif Gaddafi

Remember her exclusive interview with Hosni Mubarak on February 3rd, to give the viewers around the world the Mubarak's side of the story? Well, Mubarak was gone in a week.

Here's the well-connected Amanpour, who was one of the select journalists to get invited by the Gaddafi regime to the sanitized Tripoli, interviewing a mad son of the madman Gaddafi, Saif al-Islam (a hard-partying playboy who has been fawned on by the West as Libya's new "reform" leader, until recently...). The whole point of the exercise? Probably the same as in Mubarak's case - to present the Gaddafi side of the story, to give a humane face, so to speak:

About "President Barack Obama's call for Moammar Gadhafi to step down and the U.N. Security Council's unanimous vote to impose an arms embargo on Libya and urge nations to freeze Libyan assets":

"Listen, nobody is leaving this country. We live here, we die here," he insisted. "This is our country. The Libyans are our people. And for myself, I believe I am doing the right thing."

"It's not an American business, that's number one," said Gadhafi, who was dressed casually as he spoke with Amanpour. "Second, do they think this is a solution? Of course not."

[That I have to agree. It's not an American business, not from this particular president who orders killer drones over innocent people in Pakistan and Afghanistan.]

About deadly attacks on Libyans:

"Show me a single attack, show me a single bomb," he told her. "The Libyan air force destroyed just the ammunition sites. That's it."

"There's a big, big gap between reality and media reports."

About UN sanctions to freeze their assets:

"First of all, we don't have money outside. We are a very modest family and everybody knows that. And we are laughing when they say you have money in Europe or Switzerland or something. C'mon, it's a joke."

[Britain just froze the Gaddafi family assets amid rumors that the Gaddafis transferred 3 billion pounds ($4.83 billion) to Britain last week, and impounded 900 million pounds ($1.45 billion) worth of uncirculated Libyan currency.]

[And I'm wondering who those American bankers are who manage the Gaddafi fortune. I also wonder if the Libyan Sovereign Fund was a buyer of the recent Illinois pension fund bond offers..]

About Libyan diplomats who resigned and calling for his father to step down:

"C'mon, they are employees working for the government. It's not their business."

She also interviewed another Gaddafi son, Saadi (the one who plays soccer).

About what would happen if his father were to step down:

"If he were to leave today, there would be war," he said. "Civil war in Libya."

[Uhhh, it's already a civil war, in case you haven't notice..]

About the massive protests spreading throughout Libya:

"It's fever. It's going to spread everywhere. No one can stop it. That is my personal opinion, and the chaos will be everywhere. ... They think it's about freedom. I love freedom. You love freedom, but it's powerful, this earthquake. No one can control it."

[That I agree, except for the "chaos will be everywhere" part - from what I've seen, the cities and towns that freed themselves of the Gaddafis quickly self-organize, just like in Egypt. Food distribution, newspapers, radio station, blogs, police, cleanup crew. A civil order is emerging, not chaos.

[But his comment that no one can control freedom once it's unleashed, I think that's true. And that's why the government leaders - East, West, anywhere - do not want their citizens to experience; control is their raison d'etre. This soccer playing Gaddafi seems to know that.]


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