On Tuesday 22nd February 2011, Colonel Gaddafi gave a ranting speech in Libya’s capital. Denouncing youth who had been “led astray” by foreign agents he called for the death sentence for troublemakers, roadblocks throughout the country and for the people of Libya to hunt down protesters “in their dens”.
The Libyan leader repeatedly minimised the actions of “the youth” who he claimed were immature 17 and 18 year olds who did not understand that Libya had been fought for with the blood of their fathers. He repeatedly harked back to the battles fought against America and Italy for the control of Libyan soil and said that anyone who wished to protest must be high or drunk with drugs given to them by foreigners with nothing to lose and family in other countries.
Colonel Gadaffi also sought to undermine calls for his resignation by claiming that he has no position, saying that the Libyan people rule their own country through the People’s Committee and through local government. He said that the state of the country is in their hands and is their responsibility.
Colonel Gadaffi denounced the destruction of property and injury to armed forces and police in Benghazi saying “who are you, people of Benghazi? This is not you.”‘ He said that the unity of Libya is more important than the liberty of a few people, just as it was in Tiannamen Square in China. He pointed out that deaths in Iraq and Palestine were justified as countering terrorism in the same way that deaths in Libya are necessary to keep Libya safe.