Seif Al-Islam Al-Qadhafi, the son of dictator Muammar Al-Qadhafi, spoke to the people of Libya on February 20 via television. His father has yet to appear during the current disturbances in which security forces, including the assets of the air forces, have fired on demonstrators.
"We Are All Aware that the Region Is Undergoing... The Storm of Change, of Democracy, and of Liberation"
Seif Al-Islam Al-Qadhafi: "I thought that it was my duty to talk to you. Many Libyans urged me to talk and to clarify many facts, and to set the record straight regarding the events taking place in Libya. [...]
"We are all aware that the region is undergoing an earthquake, or a storm – the storm of change, of democracy, and of liberation. Call it what you will. This region is undergoing tremendous changes, as we have expected for a long time. We anticipated that this part of the world would have to undergo tremendous changes, and that if these changes did not come from the governments and regimes, they would come from the peoples. Indeed, this is what we have seen in many Arab countries.
"We all know – and I am not going to beat about the bush, because these are difficult times, requiring candor and truthfulness... Today, I will tell you nothing but the truth. We know that there are opposition elements living abroad who have many friends, helpers, and people connected to them within Libya. This is no secret. Libya has oppositionists. They began to imitate what happened in Egypt, using the so-called 'Facebook Revolution.'" [...]
"A Mistake was Made by the Army, [and] because the Citizens Tried to Confront [It]... Libyan Citizens Died"
"Events led to a great fitna and a movement for secession, which threatens not only our national cohesion, but Libya's unity as a nation and a state as well.
"Of course, there were casualties. This fomented further unrest among the Benghazi masses, but we must be honest and ask ourselves why there were casualties. There was another reason. A mistake was made by the army, because the citizens tried to confront the army by attacking the army and police bases. These forces found themselves in a difficult psychological situation, especially since the army is not trained in dispersal of demonstrations, so they opened fire, and therefore, there were casualties. [...]
"Unfortunately, the bottom line is that Libyan citizens died. This is a tragedy, regardless of the different narratives of the police and army, and the citizens." [...]
"There will be Civil War in Libya... We will be Forced to Emigrate from Libya, because We will Not be Able to Divide the Oil Between Us"
"Libya is not Tunisia or Egypt. Libya is composed of clans and tribes. There are alliances. Libya does not have a civil society with political parties. No, Libya is composed of clans and tribes. [...]
"There will be civil war in Libya. We will return to the civil war of 1936. We will kill one another in the streets. Libya is not Tunisia or Egypt. Libya has oil, and that is what united the country. An American oil company played a pivotal role in the unification of Libya.
"We have a single source of income – oil. It is found in central Libya – not in the east or the west. It is in central and south Libya. That is what all five million Libyans live off. If secession takes place – who will give us food and water? Who will control the oil wells? Who is capable of managing the oil sector in Libya? [...]
"We will be forced to emigrate from Libya, because we will not be able to divide the oil between us. There will be war, and all of Libya will be destroyed. We will need 40 years to reach an agreement on how to run the country, because today, everyone will want to be president, or Emir, and everybody will want to run the country.
"Libya is not Tunisia or Egypt. Libya is not Tunisia or Egypt." [...]
"An Historic National Initiative… The Ratification Of A Group Of Laws Which Were Already Agreed Upon"
"Today, we are at a crossroads. As Libyans, we all face an historic decision. Either we reach an agreement today, and we say: We are Libyans, this is our country, and we want reforms, more freedom, more democracy, true reforms, and so on...
"These are things on which there is agreement, and were to have been raised in the upcoming General People's Committee. Today, we demand, as a final solution – before it is too late and we all resort to arms... All five million Libyans will resort to arms. Libya is not Tunisia or Egypt. Brothers, we are composed of clans and tribes, and we will all resort to arms. We all have weapons now.
"Instead of crying over 84 casualties, we will be crying over hundreds of thousands of dead. Rivers of blood will flow through all the cities of Libya. You will emigrate from Libya, because the oil will cease to flow, and the foreign companies will leave Libya tomorrow. The oil companies will leave Libya. The oil ministry will cease to function, and tomorrow, there will be no oil and no money.
"There will be no bread. Today, bread is sold in Beida for one and a half dinars. In a week's time, it will go for 100 dinars. In a year, bread will be sold for its weight in gold in Libya.
"Therefore, I say to you, for the last time, before all we Libyans resort to arms: If things get out of hand, and we find ourselves in civil war, secession, and anarchy, like what they wish for Libya...
"Before it comes to this, and every Libyan has to bear arms in order to protect himself, and there is bloodshed, I say: Tomorrow, we will embark upon an historic national initiative. Within 48 hours... three days... one day... six hours... we will call for the convening of the General People's Committee, with a clear agenda: the ratification of a group of laws which were already agreed upon – the press law, a law for civil society, and a new penal code. These will be modern laws, in keeping with what is happening in the world. These laws will open up new horizons for liberty, abolishing many of the existing restrictions and idiotic punishments, and beginning a national dialogue with regard to the constitution of Libya. [...]
"The Italian foreign minister called me and asked about the situation. Let me say to you: Prepare yourselves for colonialism, on top of everything else. Colonialism is coming back. It will return. The Europeans and Americans will return and will enter Libya by force.
"Do you imagine that Europe, NATO, and the U.S. will allow the establishment of emirates... Within two days, two Islamic emirates were established. Within a month, there will be 15 emirates. Will they accept an Islamic emirate in the Mediterranean Basin? They did not accept such an emirate in Somalia or Afghanistan, and they went to the end of the world to fight them, so do you really think they will accept them in Libya – half an hour from the American base in Crete and one hour from Italy?!" [...]
"The Leader Mu'ammar Al-Qadhafi Is Here In Tripoli, Leading The Campaign; We Stand By Him, And The Armed Forces Stand By Him"
"I would like to address my Libyan brothers. Mu'ammar Al-Qadhafi is not Zine Al-Abidine or President Mubarak. He is not a traditional or classic president. He is a popular leader. [...]
"Then there is the army. The army is still in good condition and it has capabilities. From now on, the army will play a pivotal role in imposing security, and in setting things straight, whatever the price may be, because we are talking about the unity and future of Libya, as well as its people and its citizens.
"There is no alternative other than to adopt a firm stand. I tell you that the army will play a central role in this, and the Libyan army is not like the army of Tunisia or of Egypt.
"Our army will support Libya and Mu'ammar Al-Qadhafi to the last moment, and it will be victorious, Allah willing. Matters will be set straight. We will destroy all the dens of strife. [...]
"In any event, our morale is high. The leader Mu'ammar Al-Qadhafi is here in Tripoli, leading the campaign. We stand by him, and the armed forces stand by him. Tens of thousands of people are on their way to Tripoli. We will not sell Libya short. We will fight to our very last man, woman, and bullet. Under no circumstances will we leave our country.
"Let Al-Jazeera TV, Al-Arabiya TV, and the BBC laugh at us. Let those bullies and those traitors, who live abroad, laugh at us, and say that we are destroying our country, but we will not leave it." [...]