The speech that Muammar Gaddafi delivered on 23 March, four days after the UN-sanctioned air campaign against Libya, may well have been his attempt to emulate Churchills stirring oratory of the Second World War, particularly his speeches relating to the 1940-1941 London blitz and the 58 consecutive bombing raids on London and other cities, designed by the Nazis to break the will of the British people. In a notable speech of 18 June, 1940, Churchill exhorted his countrymen to brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, 'This was their finest hour. The charismatic British Prime Ministers powerful addresses were widely credited with maintaining national resolve and seeing Great Britain through its darkest hour. In an earlier speech, after he had talked about the many, many long months of struggle and suffering ahead, Churchill defined that British policy was to wage war with all our might and with all the strength that God can give us against a monstrous tyranny never surpassed in the dark, lamentable catalogue of human crime. The aim, Churchill asserted, was victory, victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory however long and hard the road may be. Gaddafis speech, delivered to supporters forming a human shield to protect him, was similar in tone, but with notable differences. Indeed, at the beginning, there were faint Churchillian echoes: Great Libyan people, you are now living through glorious hours. And at the end, even more so, with collective sentiments of shared resolve, using the first personal plural, he vowed: We will defeat them by any means... we are ready for the fight, whether it will be a short or a long one... We will be victorious in the end. But for the most part, the speech was characteristic Gaddafi-speak narcissistic, self involved, and first person singular. And I say to you, Im not afraid, not afraid of the planes that cause so much destruction. I am defiant... I do not fear storms that sweep the horizon, nor do I fear the planes that throw black destruction, referring to the rain of guided missiles that turned the tide in the civil war that Gaddafis better armed and trained forces were winning. He went on to say, I am resistant. I am the creator of tomorrow. I am here, I am here, I am here. His use of the first person singular stands in striking contrast to Churchills use of the first person plural. Churchill always spoke of our struggle, our duties, what we must do. Gaddafi, indeed, earlier stated that Libya was ... my country. I created it and I can destroy it. While Gaddafi has been characterised as insane, a madman, the mad dog of the Middle East (in President Ronald Reagans words), for the most part he is crazy like a fox, the consummate survivor, and in touch with reality, shrewdly assessing his situation. But there are two circumstances when he can slip below the border of reality, showing faulty judgement and erratic behaviour: when he is winning and when he is losing. When he is winning, as represented by his triumphal march towards the rebel headquarters in Benghazi before the UN resolution and the alliance campaign to create a no-fly zone, he seemed swollen with pride, invulnerable, expansive in his predictions of total victory, committing himself to show no mercy. But when, inspired by the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt, the rebel forces were surging ahead and he was losing, he was under massive pressure, and he went into a stance he has demonstrated throughout his life: the outsider, standing up courageously against superior forces, the heroic Muslim warrior. He insisted that all my people love me. It was inconceivable to him, after leading his people for more than four decades, that they did not all love him. Anyone against him must have been set against him by al-Qaeda or the United States. When the battle seemed to turn in Gaddafis favour and his forces were marching toward the rebel headquarters in Benghazi, he again seemed to lose touch with reality, appearing swollen with pride, invulnerable, expansive in his predictions of total victory and vowing to show no mercy. Now, with the seizure of his fortified compound in Tripoli, the end is near, Gaddafi is in hiding, and he is again issuing defiant and grandiose statements. He has lost, and he is under the greatest stress of his entire career. A week ago, as the world awaited his fall, he vowed that he would not surrender. We cannot go back until the last drop of our blood. We will defend the city. I am here with you. Go on, forward. When he vowed he would fight to the last drop of my blood, he meant it. He will not commit suicide or retreat to a lush exile. Even before the current hostilities, many defectors sought to disassociate themselves from what UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon defined as major violations of human rights and humanitarian law, violations against innocent civilians that would qualify as war crimes. One defector, Abdel-Salam Jalloud, who had been with Gaddafi since the 1969 coup that brought him to power, said recently that Gadaffi is delusional because he thinks he can disappear in Libya and, when Nato leaves, he believes he can gather his supporters. With defeat looming, Gaddafi is delusional. He will fight to the end. The question is: how many will stay with him on his first-person-singular course to the bitter end of his struggle? Independent