Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan continued Thursday in his role as Moammar Gadhafi's only outspoken friend in the United States.
Even Gadhafi's own ambassador to the United Nations has denounced him, comparing the Libyan leader to former Cambodian strongman Pol Pot. But Farrakhan told a packed house at his Chicago headquarters that he considered Gadhafi a brother, and that if there was any "gangster" on the world stage, it was the United States.
"I don’t care what Gadhafi has done wrong. He's not the mad dog of the Middle East," Farrakhan thundered. "The mad dogs are growling and biting in Washington, D.C."
It was billed as a press conference, but Farrakhan’s opening statement lasted a stem-winding 90 minutes. He cited abundant housing in Libya, advanced medical care, and a water pipeline from the desert which he helped switch on.
The Black Muslim leader has been friends with Gadhafi for decades.
Indeed, the very building in which Farrakhan spoke, the gold encrusted "Mosque Maryam" on south Stony Island, was acquired with Gadhafi's help. He provided the Nation of Islam with a $3 million loan, which they used to acquire the facility, a former Greek Orthodox Church.
Later, Gadhafi provided Farrakhan with another $5 million loan, which Farrakhan has previously said was forgiven in full.
"It’s a terrible thing for me to hear my brother called all of these ugly and filthy names," said Farrakhan. And he warned the United States that their continued adventures in Africa were about to bring on the violent wrath of an angry God.
"Death and destruction is on the way to all of us, and we are worse prepared than the Japanese," he said.
The Nation of Islam leader bashed President Barack Obama, who he suggested was being duped by white advisors.
"We all fell in love with him during the campaign. He's not the same man today," said Farrakhan.
Some of the topics of Farrakhan’s speech were familiar themes: Jewish control of the news media and American colonialism around the world. But interwoven throughout, was a steadfast defense of Gadhafi, and even an admission of his sometimes brutal repression of the Libyan people.
"They suffered because he's a revolutionary," Farrakhan declared. "You say he's a dictator and a repressive man. Maybe so. I know something about repression."