16 May 2011

Gaddafi's Libya - Part I

Muammar Gaddafi has, for over four decades, evoked extreme reactions, both within Libya and without. After dethroning King Idris in a coup d'etat in 1969, the crazy colonel, who styles himself as the 'Leader of the September 1 Revolution', has turned Libya into a nation where fear stalks every person in every walk of life. For dictators fear has always been a handy tool - a kind of policy statement. 

Gaddafi brooks no dissent, a trait reflected in the lack of any political freedom in Libya. As Lord Acton had said, 'power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely', Gaddafi's rule comes with no accountability toward Libyans, something that has only made him a power-crazed autocrat.

Gaddafi's Libya is characterised by widespread corruption, high rates of unemployment, nepotism, and human rights abuses.

Libya's enormous energy wealth - it has the 10th largest proven oil reserves in the world - has long propelled the dangerous rule of Gaddafi, who has imprisoned thousands of political activists at home. Further he has often used petrodollars to finance terror campaigns carried out by Islamist organisations in foreign lands.

International condemnation stung Gaddafi, albeit briefly, after Libya carried out the bombing of the 1988 Pan Am flight over the Scottish town of Lockerbie, killing over 265 persons, including several Americans, and also the bombing of a disco in Germany. Retaliation came swift: the U.S. Air Force bombed Tripoli, the Libyan capital, killing the adopted daughter of Gaddafi.

Gaddafi has long played the anti-colonial and pan-Arab rant to rally ordinary Libyans behind him and to prolong his rule; it seems the ordinary is fighting back, though with his back to the wall, against the might of a brutal dictator.

Tomorrow's post will focus on the latest developments in Libya.


srinath said...

heard italy has rights over 25% of oil reserves of libya. can this be reverted if gaddafi is defeated and democracy comes up in libya?

The King of Kings said...

'Fear results in suppression and unquestioned toeing the line' is the principle Gaddafi seems to have indoctrinated ever since he came to power in a coup.But with revolutions sweeping across the Islamic world and when the cries for democracy have been ringing loud and clear,it was only time before the long harassed Libyans stood up to Gaddafi.Which he's trying to promptly suppressed with an iron fist.Given the might of the Libyan armed forces under his command,but for the intervention of NATO forces,it would have been an absolute carnage.Atleast the rebels managed to capture Benghazi and are holed up outside of Tripoli.

The King of Kings said...

And the saddest part was the main accused in the Lockerbie bombing incident, a certain Abdelbaset al-Megrahi,was allowed to walk scot free on compassionate grounds after serving only 8-and-half years of his life sentence.But the CIA and MI6 claim they have sufficient evidence that Gaddafi personally ordered the bombing to get rid of 5 US intelligence officers on-board,including a CIA station chief in Beirut,Lebanon.And they even have the testimony of a former Justice Minister of GAddafi's regime to count upon.Maybe the NATO strikes are a way of retaliation under the guise of helping the rebels.