Gadhafi: 'My People Would Die for Me'

Ruler says Libyan demonstrators are al-Qaeda operatives
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 28, 2011 5:11 PM CST
Gadhafi: 'My People Would Die for Me'
Libyan anti-government protesters mock leader Moammar Gadhafi during a rally in Benghazi on February 28, 2011.   (Getty Images)

In Moammar Gadhafi's Libya, the only protesters are a few al-Qaeda-backed, drug-addled Libyans, the rest of his people love him, and he in fact can't step down—and certainly has no intention of doing so. The Libyan leader sat down with ABC's Christiane Amanpour and the BBC's Jeremy Bowen for an hour-long interview today. Some highlights:

  • "They love me. All my people with me, they love me," he said. "They will die to protect me, my people."

  • For world leaders who accuse him of hiding assets abroad, Gadhafi says he'll "put two fingers in their eye."
  • Gadhafi strongly denies that government forces have used violence against Libyans, insisting that government airstrikes destroyed only barracks and ammunition depots.
  • He insists that he cannot step down, as he has no formal position—Gadhafi says that the will of the people, alone, keeps him in power.
  • Given his al-Qaeda theory, Gadhafi is taken aback by the US support for the demonstrators. "I'm surprised that we have an alliance with the West to fight al-Qaeda, and now that we are fighting terrorists they have abandoned us," he said. "Perhaps they want to occupy Libya."
  • US ambassador to the UN Susan Rice said in response that the interview proves Gadhafi is "delusional." "When he can laugh in talking to American and international journalists while he is slaughtering his own people, it only underscores how unfit he is to lead and how disconnected he is from reality."
(More Moammar Gadhafi stories.)

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