'My People Love Me,' Gadhafi Says In Interview
Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi may be under increasing pressure to step down, but he told reporters Monday that he won't give up power. "My people love me. They would die for me," he told ABC's Christiane Amanpour.
In an interview with Diane Sawyer on ABC today, Amanopour says that when asked about calls from President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for him to step down, "He laughed. He said he would not. He said, 'Would anyone leave his homeland?'"
Gadhafi also spoke specifically about Obama. According to Amanpour:
Libya's longtime dictator called Obama a "good man" but said he might have been given "misinformation."
"The statements I have heard from him must have come from someone else," Gadhafi said. "America is not the international police of the world."
During the interview, which Amanpour says took place over the course of an hour in a restaurant on Libya's coast, Gadhafi repeated his accusation that the demonstrators protesting his rule were merely on some type of hallucinogenic drugs.
He also maintained that he had not used military air power against civilians, but instead had bombed military and ammunition depots.
Gadhafi, who reportedly agreed to the interview to get his side of the story out to the world, "simply refused to accept that there were any demonstrations against him," Amanpour said.
"So, he seems to be unaware, or in denial, about the protests against him, and the fact that other big cities in Libya, to the east particularly, have been taken by his opponents," Amanpour told Sawyer.
The interview took place on the same day that Clinton spoke out against Gadhafi during a meeting of the U.N. Human Rights Council. Clinton told the group that by his actions, Gadhafi had "lost the legitimacy to govern."
And as we reported earlier, Libya's ambassador to the U.N. gave an emotional speech Friday afternoon. In his address, Abdurrahman Mohamed Shalgham said, "Moammar Gadhafi and his sons are telling the Libyans: 'Either I rule you, or I kill you.'" Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.