Watching Qaddafi on Al Jazeera right now – like watching Mubarak in Tahrir Square – was like peering down a sinkhole into a previous century. In this hallucination, men from another time, dressed in fashions long discarded, declaim in a wooden language that no longer has any purchase on our psyche. They don’t realize the disconnect. History has moved on. They are blaming provocateurs, satellite television, foreign plots, the Al Qaeda bogeyman. It’s madness! The delusion would be hilarious were it not so lethal.
“If you don’t follow Qaddafi who will you follow?” he says. “Someone with a beard?”