'This Week' Transcript: Target Libya


AMANPOUR: Saif, President Obama very explicitly gave your father an ultimatum and said cease fire, stop, and this won't happen. He then had to say that the attacks continue and the United States cannot sit idly by while a leader says that there will be no mercy. Why did your father continue the attacks in Benghazi? Why didn't he have a cease fire?

GADHAFI: First of all, our people went to Benghazi to liberate Benghazi from the gangsters and the armed militia. So if you -- if the Americans want to -- want to help the Libyan people in Benghazi, so go to Benghazi and liberate Benghazi from the militia and the terrorists. So do it.

AMANPOUR: My question, though, is, there is now missile strikes and an air attack against Libya. Will Colonel Gadhafi step down? Will he step aside?

GADHAFI: Step aside why? I mean, to step -- again, there's a big misunderstanding. The whole country is united against the armed militia and the terrorists. You asked -- simply, the Americans and other Western countries, you are supporting the terrorists and the armed militia. That's it.

AMANPOUR: Saif, will there be Libyan retaliation against, let's say, commercial flights around the Mediterranean or other targets?

GADHAFI: No, this is not our target. Our target is how to help our people in Libya, especially in Benghazi. Believe me, they are living a nightmare, a nightmare, really, a nightmare. They have no freedom, nothing under the rule of the armed militia.

So we urge the Americans either to go there themselves and help our people there or let the Libyan people help their brothers in Benghazi. But believe me, one day, you wake up and you will find out that you were supporting the wrong people. And you are being a big mistake with supporting those people. It's like the WMD in Iraq. It's another story.

AMANPOUR: Saif al-Islam, thank you very much, indeed, for joining us from Tripoli.

GADHAFI: Thank you.

AMANPOUR: So that's the view from the Gadhafis in Tripoli. Let's go to eastern Libya, the rebel stronghold where ABC's Alexander Marquardt joins us live.

So what is the mood there where you are?

MARQUARDT: Good morning, Christiane. We are in Tubruq, in eastern Libya, where an opposition spokesman told us this morning that morale is sky high. They've been pleading for military intervention for weeks. They now feel that there's a level playing field, that the rebels will be able to push the Gadhafi forces out of the east, away from cities like Ajdabiya and Benghazi that have seen heavy fighting over the last few days. Eventually, they want to make their way to Tripoli, where they plan to oust Gadhafi.

We spoke with people on the streets. They're understandably very happy, thanking the coalition for what they've done, specifically France and the U.K., for introducing the resolution at the U.N. They believe that this intervention will lead to victory and eventually to a free Libya.

But with this change in tide comes a period of insurgency. The opposition spokesman said that this is the scary part, because of how illogical Gadhafi is and because of -- because of what he calls his thirst for blood.


AMANPOUR: Alex, thanks.

And now let's go to the capital Tripoli, again. That could soon be ground zero in this conflict. Moammar Gadhafi is there, and so is the BBC's Allan Little, who joins us now live.

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