New York: Though the Libyan first family strikes defiant postures publicly, Aisha al-Gaddafi, the lone daughter of the country's strongman Muammar Gaddafi, says she tells her children bedtime stories of afterlife as she feels they are appropriate in present times.
"To make them ready," the 36-year-old lawyer by training said, offering a glimpse into the increasingly fatalistic mind setup of the isolated family at the head of
the battle for Libya, the bloodiest arena in the popular uprising sweeping the region.
"Because in time of war we never know when a rocket or bomb might hit you and that will be the end," Aisha said in reflections in complete contrast to her brother Saif al-Islam and her father who have declared that the NATO or US air and missile strikes can't harm them.
The Coalition forces have struck thrice at Gaddafi's sprawling Bab al-Aziziya compound, but each time the strongman has escaped.
Though the Libyan authorities refused to disclose where Gaddafi is camping, rebel sources say that he has built a huge underground bunker deep down in the compound to withstand strikes by military fighters and missiles.
But, US officials have made it clear that Gaddafi will have no respite with Defence Secretary Robert Gates saying that Libyan military command centres "wherever we find them" are legitimate targets for US and NATO air attacks, implying that Gaddafi himself is increasingly in danger.
In a rare interview to New York Times, Aisha claimed that the present crisis has pulled the family together "like one hand".
Aisha, who makes public appearances even at the height of Western strikes on her nation, drew comparisons between the plight of Libya at present and American intervention in Iraq.
Gaddafi's daughter who worked for sometime on late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussain's defence team said that the Americans, if they succeed in toppling her father, will make conditions in Libya far worse.
"The opposition in Iraq told the West when you come to Iraq they will greet you with roses. Almost 10 years later they are receiving the Americans with bullets," she said, adding "Believe me, the situation in Libya will be much worse”.
A fully westernised woman who wears close fitting jeans, Gucci shoes and flaunts long blond hair, instead of defiance and threats of retribution issued by her father and brothers said the West would rue the chaos she predicted would engulf a post-Gaddafi Libya.
Aisha also rants at the UN, pointing out how the world body after "begging" her to be envoy for peace had now referred her to the International Criminal Court.
She also claimed that some of the top rebel leaders still keep in touch with the Libyan strongman.
Aisha pleaded for dialogue and talked about democratic reforms, but dismissed rebels as "terrorists" and ruled out holding any talks with them.
She attributed the plight of Libya and her family to what she called "betrayal" by Arabs, whose cause, she claimed her father had supported and to the Western allies to whom he had turned over his weapons of mass destruction.
"Is this the reward we get?" she asked.
Summing up her family's attitude, Aisha said her father was as strong as the world knows him. "He is quite sure that the Libyan people are loyal to him."
First Published: Wednesday, April 27, 2011, 16:29