- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 6, 2011

WASHINGTON (AP) — Libyan leader Col. Moammar Gadhafi has appealed directly to President Obama to halt what the Libyan leader called “an unjust war” — and wished Mr. Obama good luck in his bid for re-election next year.

In a rambling, three-page letter to Mr. Obama obtained Wednesday by the Associated Press, Col. Gadhafi implored Mr. Obama to stop the NATO-led air campaign, which the Libyan called an “unjust war against a small people of a developing country.”

“You are a man who has enough courage to annul a wrong and mistaken action,” Col. Gadhafi wrote in the letter, which was sent to the State Department and forwarded immediately to the White House, according to a U.S. official who has seen the letter. “I am sure that you are able to shoulder the responsibility for that.”

“To serving world peace … Friendship between our peoples … and for the sake of economic, and security cooperation against terror, you are in a position to keep Nato [NATO] off the Libyan affair for good,” Col. Gadhafi wrote.

White House press secretary Jay Carney confirmed that the White House had received a letter from Col. Gadhafi.

As for Col. Gadhafi’s call for a cease-fire, Mr. Carney appeared to dismiss it for now.

“The conditions the president laid out are clear,” Mr. Carney told reporters traveling with Mr. Obama to New York on Wednesday afternoon.

In the letter, received earlier Wednesday, Col. Gadhafi, addressing Mr. Obama as “our son” and “excellency,” said that his country had been hurt more “morally” than “physically” by the NATO campaign and that a democratic society could not be built through missiles and aircraft. He also repeated his claim that his foes are members of the al Qaeda terrorist network.

The letter, composed in formal but stilted English, includes numerous spelling and grammatical errors.

“Our dear son, Excellency, Baraka Hussein Abu oumama, your intervention is the name of the U.S.A. is a must, so that Nato [NATO] would withdraw finally from the Libyan affair,” Col. Gadhafi wrote. “Libya should be left to Libyans within the African union frame.”

Col. Gadhafi said his country already had been unfairly subjected to “a direct military armed aggression” ordered by then-President Ronald Reagan, who famously called the leader the “Mad Dog of the Middle East,” in 1986, as well as earlier rounds of U.S. and international sanctions.

Although he listed a litany of complaints, Col. Gadhafi said he bears no ill will toward Mr. Obama.

“We have been hurt more morally (than) physically because of what had happened against us in both deeds and words by you,” he wrote. “Despite all this you will always remain our son whatever happened. We still pray that you continue to be president of the U.S.A. We Endeavour and hope that you will gain victory in the new election campaigne.”

The letter, dated April 5, 2011, in Tripoli is signed by “Mu’aumer Qaddaffi, Leader of the Revolution.”