'My People Love Me': Moammar Gadhafi Denies Demonstrations Against Him Anywhere in Libya


He said the people who have taken over Benghazi in eastern Libya are terrorists and al Qaeda operatives. He doesn't believe people are demonstrating against him anywhere in Libya, and repeated the charge that those who are have been given hallucinogenic drugs -- a claim he first made in his televised speech broadcast last week.

Though he spoke mostly in Arabic, at times he became passionate and broke into excited English.

When I asked him about international fears that he might use chemical weapons or launch a scorched-earth campaign against vital oil supplies, Gadhafi responded with laughter.

"We solved all these WMD issues with the U.S. and Britain years ago. It's not reasonable to use against your enemy, let alone your own people," he responded. "The terrorists will try. At night, they try and go into the oil fields."

Gadhafi, who has ruled Libya for 41 years, said he felt betrayed by the United States.

"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."

Libya gave up its weapons of mass destruction in 2003, after the invasion of Iraq, and the United States lifted sanctions and restarted business relations with Libya.

In 2008, then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice visited Libya, marking the first such visit for an official of her position since 1953, and in 2009, Gadhafi visited the United States.

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."

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice called Gadhafi's assertion that the Libyan people are behind him "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," Rice said.

ABC conducted the interview with two other reporters from the BBC and the Sunday Times of London.

Read Christiane Amanpour's earlier reporter's notebook from Libya here.

Follow Christiane Amanpour on Facebook and Twitter.

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