‘Rats, cats, traitors and cowards’: Gaddafi’s wild words

In a long, rambling address on state television, the Libyan leader vowed to 'cleanse' the country of rebels
‘Rats, cats, traitors and cowards’: Gaddafi’s wild words
WOMENS RIGHTS: Gaddafi held a similar meeting in 2007 on a visit to Paris. (Getty Images)
By Joanne Bladd
Wed 23 Feb 2011 11:38 AM

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi appeared on state television on Tuesday to denounce a popular uprising against his 41-year rule. Dressed in brown robes and banging his fist, the self-style King of Kings branded protesters as “rats” and urged his supporters to attack them.

Following are edited highlights of his comments.

On martyrdom

"I am not going to leave this land, I will die here as a martyr....I shall remain here defiant."

Urging public support for his rule

"From tomorrow, families collect your children, leave your homes, all of you who love Muammar Gaddafi, go out the streets, secure the streets, don't be afraid of them.

On protesters

"Rats and cats … traitors and cowards. Come out of your homes, attack them in their dens."

"Chase them, arrest them, hand them over to the security [forces]. They are only a few, they are terrorists."

"You are millions while they are only 100."

On resignation

"Muammar Gaddafi is the leader of the revolution, I am not a president to step down... This is my country. Muammar is not a president to leave his post, Muammar is leader of the revolution until the end of time."

On the use of force

"We have not used any force yet. Our force is the people of Libya... If it gets to the point where we need to use force, we will use it according to international law and the Libyan constitution and laws."

"Do you want America to occupy you, like Afghanistan and Iraq?"

"If weapons are not handed over... we will announce the holy march, I will call on millions from one desert to another to cleanse Libya house by house..."

On the cause of the riots

"Youths ... were killed but not those who provoked them. The ringleaders are in their homes or they are abroad, comfortable, and having fun."

"They [protesters] unfortunately distorted your image in the media of fellow Arab countries. They serve the devil."

"No sound person has taken part in these actions, they are all children."

"Peaceful protest is one thing but armed rebellion is another."

On punishment for rebels

"All their crimes they committed are punishable by execution under Libyan law."

"They are turning Libya into an [Islamic] emirate of Zawahri and Bin Laden, a new Afghanistan."

On victory

"The time of victory has come. Forward, forward, forward. Revolution, revolution."

Invoking the Tiananmen Square massacre

"The unity of China was more important than those people on Tiananmen Square."

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