Qaddafi Blames Uprising on bin Laden; Says al Qaeda Leader Drugged Libyans' Coffee
The Libyan revolution has moved within 30 miles of Tripoli, the nation's capital, according to the New York Times, with "[t]housands of mercenary and other forces [striking] back at a tightening circle of rebellions around the capital."
The report, filed from the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi by Kareem Fahim and David D. Kirkpatrick, quotes the nation's leader, Gen. Muammar el-Qaddafi, talking by phone to Libyan television, as blaming the uprising of Libyans against his 40-year rule on Osama bin Laden, whom he says has drugged the Libyan people. From Fahim and Kirkpatrick:
In a rambling discourse, he blamed the uprising on the leader of Al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, saying he had drugged the people, giving them “hallucinogenic pills in their coffee with milk, like Nescafe.”
“Those people who took your sons away from you and gave them drugs and said let them die are launching a campaign over cellphones against your sons, telling them not to obey their fathers and mothers, and they are destroying their country,” he said.
Meanwhile, concerns about the economic consequencesof continued instability in the oil-producing region saw global markets dipping. The Dow, at one point earlier in the day, sank below the 12,000 mark before rallying a bit later in the day, for a total daily loss of 29 points. (Over the two previous days, the Dow lost 300 points.) Oil prices remain volatile: at one point today, the New York price topped $100 per barrel, before closing at $97.