Qaddaffi Proposes Cease Fire Talks

Libya’s leader says he wants to talk about ending the conflict with the rebels, but not about leaving power:

BENGHAZI, Libya — In a disjointed, defiant speech broadcast early Saturday morning on Libyan state television, Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi said that he was ready for a cease-fire but that he had no plans to leave the country.

“Come France, Italy, U.K., America, come we’ll negotiate with you,” Colonel Qaddafi said as NATO warplanes bombed the capital, Tripoli. “You lie and say I’m killing my own people. Show us the bodies.”

The speech, which was broadcast about 2:30 a.m., was the latest in a season of rambling proclamations from the Libyan leader, and it came as NATO forces have said they will broaden their list of targets to include palaces, communication centers and other administrative buildings that Colonel Qaddafi relies on to maintain power.

The NATO bombing on Saturday struck a government complex, which reporters were told housed a commission for women and children along with the parliamentary staff offices, The Associated Press reported. A television tower nearby was unharmed, though the broadcast went dark three times during the colonel’s speech, The A.P. reported.

During the speech, Colonel Qaddafi repeated assertions that the rebel forces belonged to Al Qaeda or that they were terrorists and mercenaries, but he asked them to lay down their arms. “We are one family,” he said.

I wouldn’t count on the rebels accepting this office. Then again, I also wouldn’t count on the conflict ending any time soon.

FILED UNDER: Africa, Quick Takes, World Politics,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Tano says:

    looks like he might be crumbling.
    That would be a good thing, no?

    Oh BTW Doug, not to raise a different subject, but just FYI – Rasmussen, of all people, has Obama approval up to 49% today – the highest in nearly three months, and within a few points of the highest point since the summer of ’09.
    What could it all mean?

  2. Tlaloc says:

    looks like he might be crumbling.
    That would be a good thing, no?

    No. It reinforces the idea that it’s our place to meddle all over the world by dint of having a stupidly too large military. If Qaddafi is hated by his people they can do something about it. We should only interfere when absolutely necessary. WW2 was necessary due to the extreme power and ambition of the axis. Sooner or later they would have been a direct threat to us. Every war since then has been stupid, without good cause, and usually counterproductive.