Following the death of Gaddafi, I was immediately sent by my news service to interview another dictator teetering on the edge of ruin, Nurbek Qunanbayuli. My interview with him:
Me: Gaddafi is dead.
NQ: Gaddafi was a fool. Hussein and his sons, and Mubarak, and Gaddafi and his sons, all fools. When your house is falling down, you do not sit in your favorite chair watching Blu-ray in your “living room.” You will find yourself sitting in your “deading room.”
Me: You will leave your country before you are deposed?
NQ: Look around you. What do you see?
Me: A cabana on the beach. Mini bar. Two naked women. Naked young man. Donkey. Open buffet over by the restaurant. But we’re on the other side of the world from your country.
NQ: It is a sad thing that I am dictator of a country fit only for the Borats. Sand, but no beaches. Men and women and donkeys, but not plump like these that you see around you. Do you know the donkeys of my country? They cannot service another donkey, much less a dictator. So me and my country’s money and my country’s gold and art, what little there is of it, are here. I will know that I have been deposed when I get a wire from my congress pleading for money, or at least for a loan. I will spit on this wire. I will send them a donkey or two, nothing more.
Me: Who will replace you?
NQ: The only reason I have been dictator of my country for 43 years is that so far, no one else has wanted the job.
Me: Do they beg you to come back, then?
NQ: (Laughs). They beg me. They beg me every day. They plead, they weep, they pray to God, but not for me coming back. It is all for them coming here.