Nightly News   |  March 02, 2011

Defiant or delusional, Gadhafi holds on

Moammar Gadhafi, the Arab world’s longest-serving leader, chose the anniversary of his revolution to lay out what he thought of Libya’s uprising. NBC’s Jim Maceda reports

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> >> reporter: i'm jim maceda in tripoli. moammar gadhafi , the longest-serving leader chose this day, the anniversary of his ref lieution and this crowd, packed with supporters and dozens of journalists to set the record straight . here is what he said about libya 's uprising. there is no uprising, no power struggles and no internal problems in libya . it's the kind of head-snapping response the world has come to know. gadhafi in his flowing robes, head held high and speaking for two and a half hours hardly looked like a spent force. he's always been eccentric, female bodyguards, a ukrainian nurse and the bed wynn tent even in new york. some call him defiant others delusional. which is it in.

>> you don't get to run a country for four decades by being a flake.

>> reporter: gadhafi has survived through patronage keeping control through brutality. there is a conspiracy to control the libyan oil and to control the libyan land and colonize libya again, he said. in this room, at least, he knew he was adored and safe. every pen had been checked. some of the experts even talk about gadhafiism, a kind of socialist philosophy with a manic twist. however long he lasts, they say, he'll be a tough act to follow.

>> jim, maceda, steve.

>> goss starting our coverage, and