Muammar al-Gaddafi

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Muammar al-Gaddafi

Head of State of Libya
In office
September 1, 1969 – October 20, 2011

Born c. June 7, 1942
Qasr Abu Hadi, Italian Libya
Died October 20, 2011 (aged 69)
Sirte, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya

Colonel Muammar Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi (Arabic: معمر القذافي, b. 1942 – d. October 20, 2011) was the Head of State of Libya, a partial socialist and leader until the 2011 Libyan civil war. He rose to power through a coup that he led in 1969, and he ruled Libya for more than forty years ending with his capture and death. Once he became the leader of Libya, he renamed all the months in the calendar and published the Green Book, which was a series of pamphlets on democracy, economics, and sociology.

Early life

Gaddafi was born around 1940 at an uncertain date, his parents were Mohammad Abdul Salam bin Hamed bin Mohammad,(also Abu Meniar) and Aissha al-Gaddafi, twenty miles south of the town of Sirte.[1]

Rise to power

In the 1970s, Gaddafi attempted to assume the leadership of a pan-Arabic movement, a position left open by the death of President Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt; however, other Arab nations mostly ignored him. He attempted to extend his influence in Africa by supporting Uganda's Idi Amin in the Uganda-Tanzania War with military aid and equipment, including Tu-22 jet bombers. In the 1980s, Gaddafi became a sponsor of terrorism and President Ronald Reagan ordered a retaliatory bombing of his palace and key Libyan targets (Operation El Dorado Canyon). (In August 2003, Libya agreed to pay $2.7 billion to families of the 270 killed on board flight 103, when it blew up in December 1988 over Lockerbie, Scotland. Just six months after the settlement, Gaddafi was visited by British Prime Minister Tony Blair in Tripoli.) [2]

In 1989 Gaddafi founded the Al-Gaddafi International Prize for Human Rights.

Relations with Israel and Palestinians

Gaddafi was a lifelong enemy of Israel and under his reign, Israel was not recognized by Libya. He also expelled Palestinian Arabs from Libya.[3]

Restoration of relations

Cockpit of Clipper "Maid of the Seas" (Pan Am 103).

In the 1990s, Gaddafi changed course and severed all ties with terrorism to normalize relations with the West. He formally renounced terrorism in a letter to the UN Security Council in August 2003 and publicly condemned al Qaeda for the September 11, 2001 attacks.[4]

In 1999, the Libyan government surrendered two Libyans suspected of involvement in the Pan Am 103 bombing, leading to the suspension of UN sanctions. On January 31, 2001, a Scottish court seated in the Netherlands found one of the suspects, Abdel Basset al-Megrahi, guilty of murder in connection with the bombing, and acquitted the second suspect, Al-Amin Khalifa Fhima. Megrahi's conviction was upheld on March 14, 2002, but an appeals hearing was granted in June 2007 by the Scottish High Court.

UN sanctions were lifted on September 12, 2003, following Libyan compliance with its remaining UNSCR requirements on Pan Am 103, including acceptance of responsibility for the actions of its officials and payment of appropriate compensation. Libya paid compensation in 1999 for the death of British policewoman Yvonne Fletcher, a move that preceded the reopening of the British Embassy in Tripoli, and paid damages to the families of the victims in the bombing of UTA Flight 772. With the lifting of UN sanctions in September 2003, each of the families of the victims of Pan Am 103 received $4 million of a maximum $10 million in compensation. After the lifting of U.S. IEEPA-based sanctions on September 20, 2004, the families received a further $4 million.

On November 13, 2001, a German court found four persons, including a former employee of the Libyan embassy in East Berlin, guilty in connection with the 1986 La Belle disco bombing, in which two U.S. servicemen were killed. The court also established a connection to the Libyan government. The German Government demanded that Libya accept responsibility for the La Belle bombing and pay appropriate compensation. A compensation deal for non-U.S. victims was agreed to in August 2004. U.S. victims continue to pursue their claims in federal court.

War on Terror

By 2003, Libya appeared to have curtailed its support for international terrorism, although it may have retained residual contacts with some of its former terrorist clients. In August 2004, the Department of Justice entered into a plea agreement with Abdulrahman Alamoudi, in which he stated that he had been part of a 2003 plot to assassinate Saudi Crown Prince Abdallah (now King Abdallah) at the behest of Libyan government officials.

Soon after the 9/11 terror attacks in the U.S., American and British intelligene agencies forged a partnership with Muammar Gaddafi to spy on Libyan dissidents in the Western world, in exchange for permission to use Libya as a base for extraordinary rendition.[5][6][7][8][9]

During the 2005 UN General Assembly session, Foreign Minister Shalgam issued a statement that reaffirmed Libya's commitment to the statements made in its letter addressed to the Security Council on August 15, 2003, renouncing terrorism in all its forms and pledging that Libya will not support acts of international terrorism or other acts of violence targeting civilians, whatever their political views or positions. Libya also expressed its commitment to continue cooperating in the international fight against terrorism. On June 30, 2006, the U.S. rescinded Libya's designation as a state sponsor of terrorism.

In 2006 the BBC reported, the "decision of the US to restore full diplomatic relations with Libya marks the crowning success of his efforts to have his country accepted back into the international community." [10]

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice praised Libya for its "excellent co-operation" in the US-led war on terror.[11] Full diplomatic relations with the United States were restored in 2006, and the Gaddafi regime's turnaround has been heralded by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as a model for others to follow.

Relations with Africa

Brother in arms with Nelson Mandela

Nobel Peace Prize recipient Nelson Mandela speaking of the values he shares with Gaddafi, said,
Nobel Peace Prize winner Nelson Mandela greets an old friend and ally, Muammar Gaddafi. Gaddafi was murdered in a violent coup in 2011 sponsored by Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and NATO allies Nikolas Sarkozy and David Cameron.
In a world where the strong may seek to impose upon the more vulnerable; and where particular nations or groups of nations may still seek to decide the fate of the planet - in such a world respect for multilateralism, moderation of public discourse and a patient search for compromise become even more imperative to save the world from debilitating conflict and enduring inequality. When we dismissed criticism of our friendship with yourself, My Brother Leader, and of the relationship between South Africa and Libya, it was precisely in defence of those values.[12]

African Satellite Control Center

An observer spelled out one of Gaddafi’s motivations for proposing an African Union:

It began in 1992, when 45 African nations established RASCOM (Regional African Satellite Communication Organization) so that Africa would have its own satellite and slash communication costs in the continent. This was a time when phone calls to and from Africa were the most expensive in the world because of the annual US$500 million fee pocketed by Europe for the use of its satellites like Intelsat for phone conversations, including those within the same country.

An African satellite only cost a one-time payment of $400 million and the continent no longer had to pay a $500 million annual lease. Which banker wouldn't finance such a project? But the problem remained – how can slaves, seeking to free themselves from their master’s exploitation ask the master’s help to achieve that freedom? Not surprisingly, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the USA, Europe only made vague promises for 14 years. Gaddafi put an end to these futile pleas to the western ‘benefactors’ with their exorbitant interest rates. The Libyan guide put $300 million on the table; the African Development Bank added $50 million more and the West African Development Bank a further $27 million – and that’s how Africa got its first communications satellite on 26 December 2007.[13]

Domestic affairs

Schoolboys chant pro-Gaddafi slogans, Photograph: Reuters.

The Libyan people thrived under his leadership. A delegation of medical professionals from Russia, Ukraine and Belarus wrote in an appeal "Russian President Medvedev and Prime Minister Putin that after becoming acquainted with Libyan life, it was their view that in few nations did people live in such comfort".

"China is a different kind of competitor. It is a rising economic power and America is unable to stop it. It has an unprecedented human wealth. In addition, it is a nuclear-weapon state and a permanent member of the Security Council. Everywhere in the world, China is making economic, human and political inroads. Unlike America which unwisely has chosen the harsh military approach, China is making those inroads using soft power. America continues its brazen interference in the internal affairs of states in the name of democracy and human rights. Africom is a case in point. Such interference is no longer acceptable. America itself is condemned in the field of human rights. It makes a habit of taking losers as allies... America is aware of the danger China poses. China..America..The inevitable Confrontation."

Libyan Central Bank

In an article posted on the Market Oracle, Eric Encina observed:

One seldom mentioned fact by western politicians and media pundits: the Central Bank of Libya is 100% State Owned.... Currently, the Libyan government creates its own money, the Libyan Dinar, through the facilities of its own central bank. Few can argue that Libya is a sovereign nation with its own great resources, able to sustain its own economic destiny. One major problem for globalist banking cartels is that in order to do business with Libya, they must go through the Libyan Central Bank and its national currency, a place where they have absolutely zero dominion or power-broking ability. Hence, taking down the Central Bank of Libya (CBL) may not appear in the speeches of Obama, Cameron and Sarkozy but this is certainly at the top of the globalist agenda for absorbing Libya into its hive of compliant nations.[14]

Ellen Brown adds,

Libya not only has oil. According to the IMF, its central bank has nearly 144 tons of gold in its vaults. With that sort of asset base, who needs the BIS (Bank of International Settlements), the IMF and their rules.[15]

Gaddafi’s proposal to introduce a gold dinar for Africa contravenes IMF rules and is designed to bypass them.

Capture and murder

Gadafi was brutally murdered by NATO-armed and -equipped jihadi rebels during President Obama's "humanitarian intervention" in the Libyan War of 2011.[16]

Personal Wealth

Like Hugo Chavez, when Gaddafi died we learned about his extraordinary wealth.[17] He was reported to be worth around $200 billion, which would have made him the richest man in the world.[18]

External links