Opinion Brief

Moammar Gadhafi's televised resurrection

Libya's leader quashes rumors of his demise by making the first TV appearance since a NATO airstrike killed one of his sons

The video: Widely despised Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi made a surprise appearance on state TV Wednesday night (see clip below), dousing rumors that he died in last month's NATO missile strike that killed one of his sons, Saif al-Arab Gadhafi, and two others. Gadhafi had not been seen since the April 30 attack, which the regime called "an attempt on his life." The authenticity of the newly broadcast footage, which shows Gadhafi at a Tripoli hotel meeting with tribal leaders, has not been independently confirmed, but the camera zooms in on a television screen flashing Wednesday's date. Hours after Gadhafi's reappearance, another NATO strike obliterated part of his personal compound in Tripoli.
The reaction:
OK, so Gadhafi isn't dead, say Lewis Smith and Kim Sengupta in Britain's Independent. But his "voluminous robe could have hidden bandaged injuries." It's significant that he hasn't even condemned the strike that killed his son. Dead or alive, Gadhafi is in bad shape, says Tim Edwards at The First Post. "The fact that the Libyan Prime Minister Al-Baghdadi Ali al-Mahmoudi was wheeled out last week to say that he would be addressing the international media from now on has only added to suspicions that Gadhafi is, if not dead, at least indisposed." Watch the footage below:

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