Embattled Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi continues his tour of the talk-show circuit, making the case that he’s not so much a murderous tyrant as he is simply another eccentric celebrity caught in the glare of the 24-hour infotainment cycle.
Speaking yesterday on “The Ban Ki-Moon Show,” Gaddafi told the U.N. Secretary-General that his brutal suppression of dissidents is more attributable to some bumps he’s having in rehab than it is to any desire to re-assert the iron grip he’s held on his nation for close to 40 years.
“I think my passion is misinterpreted as anger sometimes,” the colonel told Ban. “And I don’t think people are ready for the message I’m delivering, and delivering with a sense of violent love.”
Gaddafi said he thought his response to the full-scale revolt that began last month would’ve been more muted if he were farther along in his 12-step program.
“I’m only up to number eight so far, which is ‘making a list of all persons I have harmed, and making amends to them,'” Gaddafi said. “I had a pretty nice list drawn up, but unfortunately I decided to use it as a guide of those I should have my security forces kill. Probably not what the rehab people intended, it’s just the way I roll.”
Gaddafi said his campaign to attack rock-throwing insurgents in the eastern provinces of his North African nation with air power may seem irrational to some, “much like people can’t understand why someone as rich and famous as Lindsay Lohan would steal a necklace from a jewelry store.”
“Fame is empowering. My mistake was that I thought I would instinctively know how to handle it,” Gaddafi said. “There’s no manual, no training course.”
Gaddafi urged his fans to look at the totality of his career rather than to judge him solely based on recent events. He likened his situation to that of singer Christina Aguilera, who had been long respected as a talented songstress until she botched the national anthem, fell down during the Grammys, and then was arrested for public intoxication, all within a two-week span.
“How quickly people forget something like ‘Genie in a Bottle,'” Gaddafi said. “I’m not talking about Xtina’s first hit; I’m talking about me — I am the genie, and the bottle is my nemesis.”
Gaddafi said his campaign of suppression would continue, despite threats that the U.S. and NATO forces may impose a no-fly zone in areas where he’s bombing his own citizens.
“I’m sorry, man, but I’ve got magic, I’ve got poetry in my fingertips,” he told Ban. “Most of the time — and this include naps — I’m an F-18, bro. And I will destroy you in the air. I will deploy my ordinance to the ground.”
“Don’t you recognize the right of your people to be heard, to express their frustration at what you have to admit are some pretty major excesses?” Ban pressed.
Gaddafi then floated the possibility that he might temporarily suspend the air strikes that have killed dozens near the port city of Benghazi. He gestured to the blonde Ukrainian nurses that have accompanied him in his recent travels.
“For now, I’m just going to hang out with these two smoking hotties and fly privately around the world,” he said. “It might be lonely up here, but I sure like the view.”
At the end of the interview segment, Gaddafi told Ban that he “didn’t have to rush off” and would be glad stay on for Ban’s next guest, comedienne Kathy Griffin.
“Usually, I’m dealing with fools and trolls. I don’t have time for those clowns,” he said. “But I always have time for that fiery redhead and her unique sense of humor.”