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Gadhafi: ' Who Gave You The Right To Intervene?'


Moammar Gadhafi today warned Britain, France and the United Nations they'll regret it if they attack his country. This is the voice of a Libyan government spokesman, reading Gadhafi's letter to reporters a short while ago.

MOAMMAR GADHAFI: Who gave you the right to intervene in our internal affairs? You will regret it if you take the step towards intervening in our internal affairs.

SIMON: That's Libyan government spokesman Ibrahim Moussa in Tripoli, speaking to journalists including NPR's David Greene who joins us on the line. David, thanks for being with us.

DAVID GREENE: Good to be here, Scott.

SIMON: And is this just "I dare you," from Gadhafi?

GREENE: It sure sounds that way. I mean, it certainly sounds, at least, like Gadhafi is bracing for what he thinks will be attacks from France, Britain, perhaps others.

GADHAFI: And so a different story coming from them and from Gadhafi himself.

SIMON: Help us understand what, I gather, is a second letter that Mr. Gadhafi addressed to President Obama.

GREENE: Yeah. That was a strange moment in this press conference. And I want to play you a little more tape from that government spokesman. So this is reading a letter from Gadhafi to President Obama.

GADHAFI: To our son, his Excellency, the President of the United States, Barack Hussein Obama. I have said to you before that even if Libya and the United States of America enter into a war, God forbid, you will always remain my son, and I have all the love for you as a son.

SIMON: David, I just don't know what to make of that.

GREENE: In that letter, Scott, Gadhafi said that all of Libya is with him. He - Gadhafi - is prepared to die, and all the Libyan people - including women and children - are prepared to die.

SIMON: Help us understand where we stand now. Because we heard a cease-fire announced by Libya, and then today defiance from Gadhafi, and of course the continued military action that you mentioned.

GREENE: But you know, these mixed messages coming from Gadhafi, he has said nothing yet that would suggest he can convince President Obama, France, Britain and others to do anything but come at him. And so I think this is a country that is waiting to see if it is attacked, if these - if the international community acts on the no-fly zone that was approved by the United Nations Security Council. And what President Obama and France and Britain have said is that they want to give the Libyan people the chance to meet their aspirations for a different leader, and that they're going to do anything to make that happen.

SIMON: So what's the mood of people in Tripoli as you can talk to them? Bracing themselves? Resigned?

GREENE: But obviously, there are a lot of critics of Gadhafi who are just not really speaking out to reporters right now. I think they're very fearful.

SIMON: NPR's David Greene in Tripoli, thanks so much.

GREENE: Thank you, Scott. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.