Gadhafi Defiant After Second Big Defection

He says Western leaders deluded by 'madness'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 31, 2011 6:26 PM CDT
Libya Leader Moammar Gadhafi Remains Defiant Despite Second Defection
In this image taken during an organized trip by the Libyan authorities, supporters of Moammar Gadhafi flash the victory sign.   (AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito)

Moammar Gadhafi struck a defiant stance today after two high-profile defections from his regime, saying he's not the one who should go—it's Western leaders who should resign. Gadhafi's message was undercut by its delivery, a scroll across the bottom of state TV as he remained out of sight. The White House said the strongman's inner circle was clearly crumbling with the two losses, first of Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa, who flew from Tunisia to England yesterday.

Then Ali Abdessalam Treki, a former foreign minister and UN General Assembly president, announced his departure on several opposition websites today, saying, "It is our nation's right to live in freedom and democracy and enjoy a good life." Gadhafi accused the leaders of the countries attacking his forces of being "affected by power madness" and said "the solution for this problem is that they resign immediately." His forces, meanwhile, continue to regain momentum, retaking the town of Brega after pushing the rebels miles back toward the territory they hold in eastern Libya. (More Libya stories.)

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