Saif al-Islam, Gaddafi Son's Interview With Amanpour
Of course, it was a big mistake not to move fast. I was shouting every day about this. I was crazy about going fast, and implementing the reforms at the right time. I worked very hard to go, to implement many ideas, but things went on.
Saif al-Islam interview with Christiane Amanpour, host of US ABC TV network's "This Week."
Amanpour: The President of the U.S., Barack Obama has called on your father to step down. What do you think of that?
Saif: First of all, it is not am American business. Secondly, do you think this is the solution? Of course not.
A: Obama says if a person can only keep control by using force, then legitimacy is gone."
S: "Right, but what happened? We didn't use force. Second, we still have people around us. So we are in Tripoli and in Tripoli we have half of the population of Libya. That is more than 2.5 million living in the city. Do you think that because people 10,000 or 5,000 people, even if they have a list of demands or against my father....... it means that the whole Libyan population is against Mr. Al Qathafi?
A: You said you are not using violence, but there are many reports of helicopter gunships and of people getting killed, and also air force pilots defecting, dishing their planes rather than carrying out orders to bomb citizens.
S: Show me a single attack; show me a single bomb; show me a single casualty. The Libyan air force destroyed just the ammunition sites.
A: What do you make of your diplomats, in New York for instance, in Washington, who are resigning, because they cannot abide by this policy? Why do you think so many people are deserting your father?
S: I talked to them. He thought, and many of them thought, that the system is going to collapse, so the best thing is to jump from the ship. The ship is sinking, they think, so it is better to jump.
A: Will there be a new regime?
S: If you are strong they love you. If not, they say goodbye. And it is good. We got rid of them. They are hypocrites.
A: Do you think they will get rid of you?
S: No. They are the losers. They have no future. They want to join the youth revolution.
A: What is your plan? Are you staying, are you going? What is your father's plan? Is he staying, is he going?
S: Nobody is leaving this country. We live here, we die here. This is our country. The Libyans are our people. As for myself, I believe I am doing the right thing.
A: Before all this happened you were known, certainly in the West, for being a reformer, speaking the language of reform for Libya. But it did not happen. Why did it take this kind of crisis for you to start talking about reform again. Would it not have been better to have implemented what you were talking about now, way before?
S: Of course, it was a big mistake not to move fast. I was shouting every day about this. I was crazy about going fast, and implementing the reforms at the right time. I worked very hard to go, to implement many ideas, but things went on. So now we are in a difficult situation. And the people who were responsible for that, stopping me from going forward, they are the same people who I see every day on TV, saying, 'bye bye, we are going with the next group'. The same faces, the same people.
A: Are you afraid at all?
S: Afraid of what? The point that you are hearing rumors, false reports, please take your camera. Go to every city in Libya. Every city is calm, every city is peaceful. The point is, that there is a big big gap between reality and the media reports.
A: You say there is a big big gap between reality and media reports, some might say there is a big big gap between what you are thinking and saying to me and the reality around the rest of Libya.
S: The whole South is calm; the West is calm; the middle is calm; even part of the East.
A: what do you make of the international community's reaction. There are calls to have heavy sanctions, to freeze your assets, your father's assets, family assets...
S: First of all, we don't have money outside and everybody knows that. We are a very modest family, and we are laughing when they say we have money in Europe, or Switzerland ….. it is a joke.