Michael Totten

Libya’s Gaddafi Still a Jerk on Stilts

I don’t know how seriously we should take this, but an Australian newspaper reports that the foreign object of fear and loathing right now in Tunisia isn’t the U.S. or Israel, but Libya.

Many Tunisians fear that President Gaddafi of neighbouring Libya will intervene to prevent the popular revolt spreading to his country.

Mezri Haddad, who resigned last week as Tunisia’s ambassador to Unesco in protest against Mr Ben Ali’s rule, said yesterday that the former president had sought Mr Gaddafi’s help for a “scorched earth” policy.

“He gave weapons and lots of money to his close protection teams and his loyalists so that they could provoke civil war on his departure from Tunisia. He gave them the order to launch operations well before he fled,” he said.

“He sought Libya’s aid to intervene. All this has only one goal: to retake power.”

Libya does have a history of this sort of behavior, and it’s true that Gaddafi (or however his name is being spelled this week) has been openly supporting Ben Ali’s regime, unlike other governments in the Middle East and North Africa.

Here he is hectoring his neighbors for overthrowing their dictator.