Colonel Moammar Gaddafi (who has about 100 versions of his name out there - here, he will go by MG) was something else. The traveling tent with his camel, the crazy outfits, and he was a dictator. Dictator derives direct negative connotations today. Oh no! Bad man rules a country and no one can stop him! Did you know Saudi Arabia is under dictatorship? Oh wait, they are of noble blood, it's "monarchy". I have a problem with anyone who isn't privileged being labeled a tyrant off the bat (like the US did when he took over the country in the first place). Apparently, having loads of cash can buy you favor in the world too! In fact, there are quite a few countries left in rule of a monarchy or dictatorship, but they are too strong, give us free stuff, or their country doesn't have anything cool so we don't want to deal with them.
Quick Libya HistoryThe former King Idris was put in place essentially by Europe. The surrounding countries hated King Idris. The people of Libya hated him and didn't want him in power. What did he do for the Libyan people after being put in power? Negotiate the lovely settlement of 50% proceeds from Libya's own oil as a "thank you" to Europe for putting him in power and granted an air force base (Wheelus) to the US. Yes, a country's own export, their only commodity, and they got half and gave up part of their lands for US troop occupation to stage other battles. There were reports airing on CNN news that showed the people of Libya, towards the end of Idris reign that even the Devil would be better than him. The reporter made the comment, "But the devil is who they got." Because of the mortality rate left from the King's reign, a large majority of Libya wasn't even born or aware of his reign or what the country was under.
Brief history of Moammar GaddafiMG was a genuis. Geniuses can commit bad actions. He had no formal education until he started a school at age 10 and completed six grades in four years. He went to military school and excelled in his own country and received training in Europe for a brief period of time. He listened to Arabic radio and became fluent in speaking it in a couple of years.
During Moammar Gaddafi 's time in LibyaHe found a loophole in the current monarchy rules and basically walked in and took over from the current established monarchy. Not a single drop of blood was shed. Non-violently walked up and the people backed him. Probably didn't hurt that he wasn't exactly an ugly fella. He shut down the US base, and should have since he had no formal agreement and occupation of the US would have only continued if he agreed to the same paltry pittance the former King Idris kept, at a 50/50 oil profit share. He demanded - and got - an 80/20 profit to pull money back into his country. I look at this objectively. Would we ever just say "it's okay, I'll let you stay in my country and let you keep half my profits"? Absolutely not. Name a full base of any other country in the US. We don't have any. We have some guys stationed here, but no full bases. Do we export for such a low profit? Nope.
The former Royal family then got Britain involved and were in the final stages of getting MG back out of power just after his coup. It was very close to completion when we waved our fingers, said, "tsk tsk tsk - he's anti-Marxist, he's cool.".
A few years later, he dropped all the current laws and implemented Sharia law. The very same laws the current Council charged with rebuilding Libya want. We can't even agree on law here. (See abortion, gay marriage, forced healthcare premiums less ye be taxed, immigration reform.)
He was staunchly against political parties (/sarcasmon I can see his point given our political climate /sarcasmoff). "I could at any moment send them to the People's Court … and the People's Court will issue a sentence of death based on this law, because execution is the fate of anyone who forms a political party," - Tripoli on November 9, 1974. This would seem rather preposterous to most. However, we must not only reflect the times of the 70's - think of things like Hoffa and the unions. Political leaders in our country were afraid of a party coming out of the union leaders as shown in released documents. Now remember that by and large, Africa is a third world continent. Throughout, the large majority live in poverty, under dictatorships or monarchies. Blood diamonds and blood oil abound. Africa is one of the richest continents in natural resources, yet it's people are disproportionately poor. You think we have it bad here? Spend a few weeks there outside of a couple tourist destinations.
He had a thing for Condi Rice. No, not a thing... that's an understatement. He was like a teen girl and Bieber. Creepy guy shrines. It was his meeting with Rice that finished the push for him to compensate victims of two decade old terrorist attacks.
Even when under threat and at his own ego, he stopped any notion of having WMD's. He sympathized and actually gave some kind words to the US after 9/11. Saddam paid him $3.5 billion to help him out in case of his own coup or war with America. MG did not participate. He denounced the attacks and said the ensuing war played a part in his decision to stop the production of WMD's. Our media, our Congressmen and our Presidents (past and present) hailed him along with the leaders of other UN countries. He actively participated - on our side - in the "War on Terror" campaign. He basically gave the US his WMD program and contents.
Achievements of Moammar GaddafiIntelligence and Arrest Warrant for Bin Laden - In the 1990's, while Islamic Terrorists were wanting to get rid of MG, he gave exclusive intelligence to our CIA and Britain's MI6 on Bin Laden and other terrorists. MG was the first to issue an arrest warrant for the terrorist actions of Al-Qaeda and the leader based on the intelligence he received. Interpol approved this warrant after anti-terror agents from Germany were killed in Tripoli. Shortly after sharing his intelligence on upcoming attacks and the arrest warrant, Al-Qaeda attacked two of our embassies. You know what we did as a thank you? Britain funded a terrorist organization so they could partake in an assassination attempt on MG. Oh, by the way - that terrorist organization that participates with Al-Qaeda - The Libyan Islamic Fighting Group. Yes, the same group that changed their names to Libyan Islamic Movement and got in the panties with the Interim Libyan government. The same group banned worldwide for being connected to terrorists. They make up a good portion of the revolution (while others are ordinary Libyan citizens as well). While we cried out that MG was killing these "protestors" - he knew all along they were the same group that tried to off him 15 years prior and was still conducting terrorist activities. Did you know that in Britain if you were on their soil, just being *IN* the group was punishable by 10 years in prison? Yeah, NATO funded them again this time around. Wonder when they got off the banned list?
Amazonian Guard - An all female badass group of bodyguards. Sometimes wearing heels, all reportedly virgins taking a vow of chastity to protect him. No other country in history has had an all female guard. I'd expand on how badass these girls are, but click the link and check them out. There is some evidence to suggest that MG may have had some feminist ideas. He made the ironic statement that some women should be having a place in the home with a comment along the lines of "Okay, if they are all exactly equal, let's get pregnant women to parachute out of airplanes". I do find it kind of funny, he has a point to a small extent.
Infrastructure - Journalists in Europe and North America are continually painting Libya as if it was this giant desert with cobblestone or sand roads and their people completely poverty-stricken. While they do have poverty (so do we), under MG, he took funds and built roads, hospitals, schools, and funded the expansion of technology infrastructure to allow the Libyan people to get wired. Several of the major cities had high speed internet and a majority of populated areas had cell phone availability. While he's painted as being so far behind, he's barely 15-20 years behind the US in this aspect of getting the nation wired. Not bad for a country that until 40 years ago, was considered third world. Since 2003, there was a major push to update many buildings, build new ones and overall improve systems.
The African Union - Africa generally didn't have a consensus on what to do about... really anything. He unified the countries to get started working towards being a whole continent helping each other. The AU named him honorary King of Kings (that same dictator/monarchy equals bad/good) for the works he had done to unite the countries. The purpose of the AU is to help combat malaria and AIDS, work on a unified government and help with continental infrastructure.
Improving to the Highest Human Development Index in Africa by 2009 - The HDI compares things like quality of life, benefits for the people, mortality and life expectancy and all that. The US has .902. By comparison, Libya has .775 and was one of the fastest growers over the decade (when adjusting for the new calculation method introduced). Libya's literacy rate rose from 60% in 1984 to 89% in 2009. Up until sanctions interfered with funding, in 1999, Libya had some of the highest school enrollment rates across Arab nations and also comparatively with Africa. In 20 years, mortality rates had fallen by 50%. When he started, he increased doctors medical facilities and workers by 800%. The infant mortality rate under MG has fallen to the lowest in Africa, reducing it by 900% to 15 per 1,000. Tripoli's former small airport left behind by the British RAF was transformed to an international airport in the 70's to accommodate larger flights and the tourist sector was increasing by the thousands. The airport operated at max capacity in 2008 and had plans to open other terminals this year. If MG was squandering all the people's money from oil exports - where did all this stuff come from? Not to say he didn't spend foolishly, but hell, I think Gates and Trump are foolish for 8 homes and none used. He was vain, he bought lots of silly looking clothes and a gold gun - but given international studies on his country (not figures he released himself), there had to be some spending for the country, right?
Improving to the 4th highest GDP country in Africa by 2010 - Libya is 64th ahead of countries like Turkey, Venezuela, Brazil, Jamaica, and Egypt in the IMF. With the World Bank, they are rated 50th. CIA Factbook pegs them at 62nd. This is a 10% increase over the last decade. 97% of urbanites had access to modern plumbing.
Compensated All Victims of Crimes Both Realized and Alleged To Be His (no links here, search any of the acts and compensation, there's about a dozen with good information but none with full disclosures) - Some details are sketchy, some are not. We do know however, he put billions into several funds for victims of attacks carried out in his name or with him. The US has never compensated victims of suspected politically connected international attacks.
Overthrowing Himself? - MG had publicly commented he intended to get rid of the glut of those who surrounded him and work towards having elected officials, inviting international voting monitors in to guard and ensure election parity. There is other pieces of evidence from 2010 that he was in motion to do this. Even after Tripoli was taken this year, he was still trying to get people to cooperate in holding monitored elections.
Horrors of Moammar GadaffiDeath of British Police Woman Yvonne Fletcher - April 1984 - Sent to monitor the protest outside the Libyan embassy in London. The embassy was staffed by MG loyalists and those who opposed MG were protesting. The official word is that they began firing when the protesters either attempted to storm the embassy or get in real close for some reason. The Libyans responded by protesting at the UK embassy in Libya. No one has been charged in her death and MG has compensated her family. There is some debate if she was even shot from the embassy as ballistic experts note that the angle and range of the shot isn't consistent with the official report. The examiner also initially noted she was shot from an upper floor of a nearby building, however, at inquest, changed his position to state she'd been shot from the embassy. Libya also offered to extradite the suspected shooter, the UK declined. Americans have shot on crowds outside their own embassies.
Bombing of Berlin Club - April 5th, 1986 - A few weeks before this, the US Navy and Libya clashed in the water. 35 Libyans were killed by our forces in the Gulf of Sidra. MG said this is my water, we said "Oh no you din't". We sent in "5 cruisers, 6 frigates, 12 destroyers, 250 aircraft and 27,000 personnel conducting 3 carrier operations near the gulf" and crossed the line MG gave to taunt him. From Wiki: "According to US Secretary of State George P. Shultz, America's position was quite clear; there would be no restriction on US naval movements through international waters." Can anyone tell me what would happen if anyone else in the world said that? We go where we go when we want to? You think China can sail that kind of fleet next to the US coastline and say "you can't touch me, neener neener neener!". MG called for attacks on American interests abroad. The best evidence we have to tie MG to this is a cable that says "Good job". There is no existing evidence to show that MG directly knew about the specifc attack as per the official inquiry. This bombing was the catalyst in the US retaliating (why we are retaliating for London, I don't know) by bombing MG's house and killing his daughter in April 15th, 1986.
Lockerbie Bombing - December 1988 - After the US bombed his house and killed his 15 month old daughter, and basically being the scapegoat for every terrorist action in the 1980s (after further inquests, we know now that at least some of those attacks were done by groups completely unaffiliated with MG), Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland was blown up. 270 died in the explosion and resulting deaths on the ground. The US had intelligence that a Pan Am flight was going to be targeted. Bulletins posted while Pan Am started charging a $5 surcharge as a safety precaution to increase security by screening everyone and everything. The original destination of Frankfurt had set the memo aside (but not the surcharges) and was found the next day.
Assassinations - This is a long list. It could be a whole other blog. In attempt to keep his power as soon as he took over, he had all political rivals killed who wanted to overthrow him. A set of troops went on a mutiny and they were killed. In 1973, dissent was made illegal and the punishment was death. A bit more murky is the attacks abroad in the 80's. There is a list of 25 people who were ill-speaking of Libya and MG himself. This is where the murky comes in. There are supposed to be bounties on the heads of these people. Increasing evidence shows that in exchange for Extraordinary Rendition where we bypass international law and illegally move prisoners about to interrogate them, the US and CIA provided MG directly with information related to the dissenters and their whereabouts.
Berbers - Almost to a T, he did to Berbers and treated Berbers of his country the same way we treated Native Americans. Government housing, forcing them off their land, any opposition to be shot.
Mad Dog - Reagan famously nicknamed MG as the Mad Dog of the Middle East. Are our actions any better? We stormed in because of attacks unrelated to us, killed a kid (among the other hundreds of Libya people) and he would retaliate, we would retaliate, he would do something, we would do something. Somehow, we managed to keep going on a grander scale... who the hell sends that kind of Naval fleet? A President drunk with wielding his power.
Gaddafi's Capture and Murder - Yes, MurderI think we should be casting light on the Transitional Council's contradictions in their official statements. I realize that as a leader dies, especially in battles that facts change. However, they were continuing to issue "official press releases" on MG's death that only changed when the world started seeing the gruesome photos and videos from his capture. Their initial release stated that he was shot when he was trying to flee, while armed and his protectors were in a gunfight. This was the farthest thing from the truth. We came to find out his guys weren't firing. They stated then that he was wounded in that battle and died in a car on the way to the hospital. That was false. There are multiple releases from this government that only changed after we started seeing video evidence of the facts. Here's what we do know now:
He was in a concrete culvert, came out saying "Don't shoot". He did not try to flee or run away when he was being taken. He was completely unharmed. He was put on the hood of a truck and then yanked off. The next visual we have is he is shot in the arm. He was being beaten up, his hair pulled, spit on, pistol whipped, and he's obviously dazed and confused. He's pulled into the back of the truck, still alive saying "What's happening? What's going on? Don't hurt me.". He represented no threat at that time. We have video of all this. The next video and images we have show a very telling bullethole, in the side of the head, execution style.
He should have had a trial, by his peers or at least on an international scale.
(No links for the video/photos - if you want them, you can find them easy, but I won't post on the blog for the sake of other readers.)
SympathyNow, here's where I truly sympathize with him. He was considered an ally to the US and Europe. He lost an infant child when we bombed him (where's our humanity for that?), he had supporters and he believed the people of Libya did adore him - whether he was right or wrong, he believed this. He was betrayed by the very countries who invited him over for dinner after he made a ton of concessions during the sanctions of the UN with threats of harm to any country who participated or engaged in activity with Libya. We policed him so bad that for several years, the Libyan people also suffered and we did nothing. With this knowledge of betrayal, he was taken, beaten, brutalized, in front of his hometown crowd, with the full betrayal of the UN and NATO, and eventually some of his own people. Bleeding profusely, they continue to savagely attack him until he's shot in the arm and eventually in the head. The current coroner's report states shots to the head, back and arm. I can only imagine it must feel like a child cowering the corner while one of your parents beats the crap out of you for a duration and eventually you see the front of a barrel of a gun.
We took him out of power because of his atrocities. The Libyan people claimed to be tired of the brutality and violence of his dictatorship. Yet, we have cheers and fluff pieces in the media hailing his death? As a human, as someone with an ounce of compassion, I have to say that we are supposed to be better than this, better than the man we mean to diffuse, better than the Neanderthal activities we hate. Look at the people around MG in the videos, laughing, joking, and thoroughly enjoying his torture. It disgusts me.
I have an addiction to all things morbid. Death photos rarely shock me. I wanted to see these videos. I was appalled, not over the video, but the people's actions in it. Then I saw the US and Europe's response and I just... I don't think there's a word for how horrible we are acting.
There is a good read at Global Research, at the least food for thought in that NATO forces were the actual captors, who turned MG over to the rebels for torture. The evidence is there, but it still rings a bit conspiracy-ish. It does make sense since the Rebels were unable to break into Sirte before this attack.
So while the Transitional Council implores the Libyan people to be patient and honest, they apparently can't afford anyone they don't like the same courtesy. Even now, they refused to allow any international or third parties to view the autopsy. Can we expect a better country from leaders who apparently have some shady stuff going on themselves?
Bin Laden was arguably much worse, yet he was given his burial in accordance with his beliefs, but people are going to parade MG around, while he sits in a freezer and deny him his religious burial. MG is laying, in a freezer, dead on a mattress while people gawk.
Where I Find Hypocrisy
- We railed him for attacking other countries that had done something to him first. (Uh, Hiroshima anyone?)
- We railed him for attacking rioters/protesters/groups that wanted him out when they were also armed and violent. Hell, they celebrate by shooting guns! Do you think if anyone marching towards Washington with guns and mob mentality would just get "held back" by barricades? They'd be shot on sight as a threat to our President. You can't even make an internet joke about it without Secret Service busting down your doors.
- We killed his baby daughter. If anyone had murdered any of the President's children, you think we'd just go "Golly, that sucks"? Nope, we'd be in there as fast as our bombers would fly, blasting the hell out of anything remotely close to the guy. His terrorist actions were about all he could muster since he couldn't exactly invade Europe or North America. We sit here in America and post comments on child murder stories (current example: Lisa Irwin, whose parents haven't been arrested or convicted) and what we would do to those child killing <insert horrible name here> and list out the tortures we could do.
- Madagascar has been in turmoil since 2009 over dictatorship, killing of protestors, their own military coup and hundreds of civilians dead. Why aren't we over there? Because they have nothing of value and represent no threat to thought or action of the US. Around 85% of the countries lives on $2 per day. They are blowing wealth and rank highest in mortality rates and lowest (yes, lower than Libya) on human rights. Oh we condemned it all, but you know what we said? "Don't be violent, let's chat and work this out with talking." Obama has authorized force in three other African countries. I'll let you be the judge and find out why.
- We paid a terrorist group to off him, they fail, the world banishes the terrorist group until they decide to fund them again to try to off MG again. I repeat - we funded a terrorist organization to assassinate the head of a country. What if Russia did that to us?
- People blasted him for invading Chad and Egypt. In the last 40 years, we've invaded Afghanistan, Iraq (several times), Bosnia, Kosovo, Vietnam, Panama, Somalia, Pakistan, Haiti, Kuwait, Iran (several times, including once to defend Iraq), Lebanon, Cambodia, and that's the bigger conflicts. For a complete list of all nations where we had military mobilization, click here. There are 51 different major military operations among almost as many countries in 40 years. We want to blast a guy for a few of his own?
- We gave him billions in military enforcements and intelligence. I am reminded of a paragraph in the book Utopia by Thomas More. First you make thieves, then you punish them. We gave him arms then attacked him because he was armed?
I also think it a bit rude of us to go around the world telling people that our way is best and they must live like us. Does anyone realize how young the US is? We are a tiny baby, barely a month old compared to some of the other countries out there. The people of these other countries look at us like a tantrum throwing child, meddling in other's business insisting MY way is best. We don't have circumstances like other countries. If someone tried to stage a coup against the President, everyone would shout "No no, let us all take a vote - 6 months from now, if Congress approves the investigation". Does anyone remember how long it took to get the Clinton deal done and over with? Congress has made it essentially impossible to remove anyone in elected positions (judges have lifetime tenure once elected, barring a very very long drawn out trial for incompetence, hence the poem writing judge in Texas still is seated today).
I know this largely comes off as "MG was a good guy". He wasn't - he tried to kill anyone who opposed him in the start - but I won't sit around and pretend that he just sat around thinking up diabolical schemes while we (and the UN/NATO) didn't do anything to him either. He was constantly provoked and betrayed at every turn. Our provocations in asserting our US is awesome!!!111!! F#%^ yeah philosophy didn't help matters. We wouldn't stand for anything done to us, as the same we did to him either. I believe in my country, I love my country but to pretend we are infallible, no matter what we do is just as disgraceful as some of MG's comments and actions. We need to learn from this disaster and learn from how our actions affect other people and other countries instead of "shoot first, ask later". If it were me, I wouldn't want to take credit for his overthrowing, capture, torture and murder.
We are all humans, it's time to start acting like it.