August 22nd, 2011
07:20 PM ET

Fareed Zakaria: Gadhafi will not surrender

Editor's Note: The following is an edited transcript of Fareed Zakaria's remarks in his interview with Wolf Blitzer on The Situation Room.

By Fareed Zakaria, CNN

I think that Moammar Gadhafi will fight and not surrender. Gadhafi is different from Hosni Mubarak, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, or even Bashar al-Assad.  These other figures are bureacrats or sons of the founders of their respective states.

Gadhafi, in contrast, is a founder himself.  He initiated the coup that brought him into power. He is more a Fidel-Castro-type-figure - originally very charismatic and militarily skillful. He takes risks. He is not a bureaucrat who will lay down the sword and go quietly into the night.

I interviewed Gadhafi in New York for GPS a few years ago (you can read the transcript here), and he is without question the strangest foreign leader I have ever interviewed.  Gadhafi seemed liked he was on drugs - completely out of it. He was bizarre, constantly quoted from his own Green Book, unaware of what was going on around him. Interviewing Gadhafi was like interviewing Yoda.

You had the feeling that his sons were tightly in control and he had some kind of weird, mystical place in that firmament.

soundoff (119 Responses)
  1. B W Messenger

    The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Tuesday shows that 19% of the nation's voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as president. Forty-five percent (45%) Strongly Disapprove, giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -26.
    This is the lowest Approval Index rating yet measured for President Obama. The previous low was -24 reached yesterday and also in September 2010. Additionally, the level of Strong Approval matches the lowest yet recorded.

    August 23, 2011 at 10:36 am |
    • MikeH

      I will be happy when the presidents approval hits 0% where it should be.

      August 23, 2011 at 10:59 am |
    • Light In The Black

      Do you understand polls ?

      Do you think the president is doing a good job ? No.
      Yould you re-elect him ? Yes.
      Why ?
      Have you seen the 12 nut cases running for GOP ?
      Enough said.

      August 23, 2011 at 12:22 pm |
  2. Mide

    There can't be stability in Libya again considering some powerful people's hand in the conflict. How do you expect the guns that find their way into the streets to get back. Now crimes in libya will increase more than it used to be. Thanks to those who fueled the war to maximum scale because of their own greed

    August 23, 2011 at 10:41 am |
  3. Jeev

    This is really funny..Mr. Zakaria looks like an expert in foreign issues, however he is not. How can this guy be expert when he even does not know where Load Buddha was born..??I am just amazed by his depth of knowledge when he said that Buddha ws born in India, not in Nepal. He he he...Gud kuck Mr. Expert...

    August 23, 2011 at 10:47 am |
  4. ralk

    How does the little pencil necked geek know he won't surrender.

    August 23, 2011 at 11:12 am |
  5. Yoda

    Unaware of my surroundings I am not. Though grammatically challenged I be.

    Of my slander lawsuit, Mr. Zakaria and CNN will hear!

    August 23, 2011 at 11:12 am |
  6. Rick McDaniel

    To each his own......that is his decision.

    August 23, 2011 at 11:20 am |
  7. Jay

    I can not believe the level of stupidity of these commentators here. It is like the critical thinking skills have been lost on these people forever. Level of bias and ignorance in this country is astounding.

    August 23, 2011 at 11:28 am |
    • Yoda

      Critical reflection required is not, when an article of opinions posted is.

      August 23, 2011 at 12:17 pm |
  8. rtbrno65

    This article sounds like a petchelant ninth grader talking about a math teacher he doesn't like. If you want to post filler articles then at least try to have something that is marginally informative.

    August 23, 2011 at 11:32 am |
  9. Jacoby

    He's more like Saddam and Bin Laden than Mubarak and Ben Ali... oh wait, Saddam surrendered and Bin Laden remained unarmed when his compound was raided. My guess is he'll be killed without resisting (Bin Laden) or be arrested, put on trial, and hung for his crimes against his people. He's too arrogant to go down fighting.

    August 23, 2011 at 11:44 am |
  10. crosswave

    This jerk Zakaria has an opinion on EVERYTHING – – who anointed this man G-d ? He's another affirmative action Ivy League educated journalist with a big mouth keyboard ! Do not pay attention to this idiot. Fareed Zakaria is one of THE MOST notable anatomical features in media !!!!

    August 23, 2011 at 11:50 am |
    • Light In The Black

      And your opinion means what ?

      August 23, 2011 at 12:24 pm |
    • FrootLoops

      He's actually very well informed. Much more so than you, obviously.

      August 23, 2011 at 12:24 pm |
  11. Roxanne7

    So he won't surrender. Big deal. A nicely placed bullet to that addled skull will take care of that particular problem

    August 23, 2011 at 11:52 am |
  12. charles bowen

    Better Dead than Alive . Kill the Devil Gadhafi ....... Charles Bowen Solomon Stone

    August 23, 2011 at 11:57 am |
  13. Mark L.

    Well, I guess if Moammar Gadhafi refuses to surrender, he will meet the same fate as did Osama bin Laden, although, obviously, we are not going to send our ELITE Navy SEAL Team Six after this lunatic. But I am quite certain the Libyan rebels will end up taking Gadhafi out. Then Gadhafi can join forces with Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein in Hell !!!!

    August 23, 2011 at 12:04 pm |
    • FrootLoops

      How do you know they're in Hell and not somewhere else deflowering their promised 72 virgins?

      August 23, 2011 at 12:23 pm |
  14. VC

    Must be nice to have a crystal ball and know everything.

    August 23, 2011 at 12:07 pm |
  15. sean

    Gahdafi is nothing but a terrorist.he funded the terriorist that brought down pan am flight 103. i hope the rebels catch him and hang his head and then take his body and burn him thats what should be done..

    August 23, 2011 at 12:19 pm |
    • FrootLoops

      Wow. Vindictive much?

      August 23, 2011 at 12:21 pm |
  16. FrootLoops

    Of course Gadhafi will surrender – the same way Osama bin Laden surrendered.

    August 23, 2011 at 12:20 pm |
    • Linda

      What? You have a soft place in your heart for Osama and Ghadaffi? If your family was in the trade center or on that flight. I guess you might not feel so protective of them! So many idiots, too few who know it!

      August 23, 2011 at 1:01 pm |
  17. aizen

    i find it ironical that kadaffi was pampered by the west not so long ago and when he refused to buy the crappy french planes, france the loser of all wars or anything important, attacked him and created a bs of a story to support their war and get lybia oil. these rebels will see how evil the french are when they get the power. they just have to ask any country in africa that was colonized by france, they are useless and thieves and still think africa is their colony. nato should have left france alone to handle this and see if they can do anything of their so called 5 most powerful country...this is a sham by france and unfortunately good countries got dragged into watch france distroyed whatever good was in this country like they did in gabon, ivory coast, both congo, etc...

    August 23, 2011 at 12:23 pm |
    • Randy

      I'm going to be real interested in the incoming Libyan regimes stance toward France. They can't be so stupid as to not see France's ulterior motives, or forget the past.

      August 24, 2011 at 12:29 am |
  18. Mafiso

    "Interviewing Gadhafi is like Interviewing Yoda."

    Come on Fareed you could come up with a better example. Don't make Master Yoda angry by using this analogy. now if You said Gadhafi = Darth Maul I would have no problems.

    August 23, 2011 at 12:43 pm |
  19. Resting Comfortably

    Fareed == Too much like Yoda. No dude, I mean you.

    August 23, 2011 at 12:51 pm |
  20. Lauren Bachman

    Fareed, you just stated during the 3:00 program that Libya was the largest country in Africa. Not so. That's Sudan.

    August 23, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
    • wfgwgh34wygbvceqa

      You're wrong. Sudan is now South and North Sudan. The larrgest country in Africa is Algeria.

      August 24, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  21. wfgwgh34wygbvceqa

    Fareed Zakaria is really smart on foreign affairs. This article is really funny though.

    August 23, 2011 at 7:47 pm |
  22. Bob Wood

    This entire adventure was concocted in London, Paris and Washington so that western oil companies could continue to profit mightily from the easiest to get and sweetest oil in the world. Western powers were happy to do business with Gadaffi as long as he wasn’t sabre rattling and supporting wild left wing causes. The rehabilitated Gadaffi was okay with the Americans as long as the pipelines flowed with sweet crude. And ironically, the average Libyan was much better off under Gadaffi than any of the previous tyrants. Better off with housing, employment, education for all and healthcare. Women flourished under his avuncular despotism. The same can’t be said for America’s intimate business partner and client state, Saudi Arabia. Then Gadaffi’s enemies organized and he responded with military force. Killing his own countrymen with such gusto eventually made him damaged goods for his western business partners. If western companies and the politicians they nourish were still to do lucrative business with oil rich Libya, they would need regime change. If Gadaffi won, business was over. They could not be seen to trade with a trigger happy butcher. Hence the NATO war to “protect civilians”. It was all about regime change from the beginning, so that business could continue under an American approved ‘good guy’ state. Unfortunately, the good guys are riddled with Jihadists, tribal militia and ex regime career politicians looking to save their hind parts. Canada should get out now and refrain in future from being led by the nose by American geopolitical machinations. The world already sees us as little more than their political and military servants.

    August 24, 2011 at 12:40 pm |
  23. r.ortiz

    this guy gadaffi always struck me as stange, he ran that country as a dictator pretty much like fidel did and i am glad he is not in the picture any more. look at osama no one thought he could be caugth but he was just another human who made a mistake and they caugth him with his pants down.

    August 24, 2011 at 6:08 pm |
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