No worries. The son in question is Saif Qaddafi, who spent years trying to convince western leaders that he was a “reformer” — before resorting to the same thuggish scumbaggery as his old man last month when fighting broke out. I’d love to sit here and assure you that there’s no way no how no chance we’ll agree to any “peace” deal that keeps the Qaddafi clan in power, but after another month or two or three of fighting? With the rebels bogged down and coalition leaders getting nervous about a protracted, politically ruinous war effort? Sure, why not?
One tiny wrinkle in the plan: Er, not all of the Qaddafis may be in favor.
Diplomats have said that Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, another son, had offered to act as interim president to oversee a transition to a democratic system. The offer would mean Col Muammar Gaddafi’s withdrawal from power and the end of the family’s tyrannical hold on power.
But one family aide said there had been arguments over Saif’s initiative, which is supported by Saadi, another brother with power in the armed forces. He said: “It is not in the military interest of the government to have a ceasefire now. While we have the momentum, Mutassim wants to keep going.” The official said that the brothers had argued over a ceasefire.
While Saif believes that talks would be impossible without a ceasefire, Mutassim wants to ensure the regime cannot be beaten. He is reported to have said: “People get sick of dying, we have to keep fighting until we’ve beaten the opposition.”
Mutassim and Saif have been rivals for almost a decade.
So instead of a long “rebels vs. Qaddafi loyalists” insurgency to come, we might have a three-way “rebels vs. Saif loyalists vs. Mutassim loyalists” clusterfark depending on how things shake out. As for the Mad Dog himself, no one’s quite sure if he supports Saif’s plan or is being knifed in the back. Presumably it’s the former: CNN says it would be a “gradual” handover of power, with Sky reporting that it would be so “gradual” that Qaddafi would be allowed to remain in the country, albeit with “reforms” made. The response from a rebel envoy: “There’s no way to replace Qaddafi with a small Qaddafi.”