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Saturday, October 22, 2011

REST IN PEACE MUAMMAR GADDAFI. THE IRON LEADER IN AFRICA.





NO ONE LIKE YOU GADDAFI

rest in peace muammar gaddafi
Muammar Muhammad Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi[1] (Arabic: مُعَمَّر القَذَّافِيMuʿammar al-Qaḏḏāfī About this sound audio ;[variations] (7 June 1942[2] – 20 October 2011), commonly known as Muammar Gaddafi play /ˈm.əmɑr ɡəˈdɑːfi/ or Colonel Gaddafi, was the autocratic ruler[3][4] of Libya from 1969, when he seized power in a bloodless military coup, until 2011 when his government was overthrown in a civil war which consisted of a popular uprising aided by a foreign intervention. His 42-year rule prior to the uprising made him the fourth longest-ruling non-royal leader since 1900, as well as the longest-ruling Arab leader.[5] He variously styled himself as "the Brother Leader" and "Guide of the Revolution"; in 2008 a meeting of traditional African rulers bestowed on him the title "King of Kings".[6]
After seizing power in 1969, he abolished the Libyan Constitution of 1951 and civil liberties enshrined in it. He imposed laws based on the political ideology[7] he had formulated, called the Third International Theory and published in The Green Book.[8][9] Rising oil prices and extraction in Libya led to increasing revenues. By exporting as much oil per capita as Saudi Arabia, Libya achieved the highest living standards in Africa. However, at the same time similarly oil-rich Gulf countries improved their living standards much further, and this fact was visible to ordinary Libyans.[10][11] Early during his regime, Gaddafi and his relatives took over much of the economy. Gaddafi started several wars and acquired chemical weapons.[12] The United Nations called Libya under Gaddafi a pariah state.[13][14] In the 1980s, countries around the world imposed sanctions against Gaddafi.[15] Six days after the capture of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in 2006 by United States troops,[16] Gaddafi renounced Tripoli's weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs and welcomed international inspections to verify that he would follow through on the commitment.[17] A leading advocate for a United States of Africa, he served as Chairperson of the African Union (AU) from 2 February 2009 to 31 January 2010.
In February 2011, following revolutions in neighbouring Egypt and Tunisia, protests against Gaddafi's rule began. These escalated into an uprising that spread across the country, with the forces opposing Gaddafi establishing a government based in Benghazi named the National Transitional Council (NTC). This led to the 2011 Libyan Civil War, which included a military intervention by a NATO-led coalition to enforce a UN Security Council Resolution 1973 calling for a no-fly zone and protection of civilians in Libya. The assets of Gaddafi and his family were frozen, and both Interpol and the International Criminal Court issued arrest warrants on 27 June for Gaddafi, his son Saif al-Islam, and his brother-in-law Abdullah al-Senussi, concerning crimes against humanity.[1][18][19][20] Gaddafi and his forces lost the Battle of Tripoli in August, and on 16 September 2011 the NTC took Libya's seat at the UN, replacing Gaddafi.[21] He retained control over parts of Libya, most notably the city of Sirte, to which it was presumed that he had fled.[22] Although Gaddafi's forces initially held out against the NTC's advances, Gaddafi was captured as Sirte fell to the rebel forces on 20 October 2011, and shot dead soon after.
Muammar al-Gaddafi was raised in a bedouin tent in the desert near Sirte (Sidra). According to many biographies, his family belongs to a small tribe of Arabs, the Qadhadhfa. They are mostly herders that live in the Hun Oasis. According to Gaddafi, his paternal grandfather, Abdessalam Bouminyar, fought against the Italian occupation of Libya and died as the "first martyr in Khoms, in the first battle of 1911".[24] Gaddafi attended a Muslim elementary school far from home in Sabha, during which time he was profoundly influenced by major events in the Arab world. He was passionate about the success of the Palestinians and was deeply disappointed by their defeat by Israeli forces in 1948. He admired Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser and looked to him as a hero during his rise to power in 1952. In 1956 Gaddafi took part in anti-Israeli protests during the Suez Crisis.[25] In Sabha he was briefly a member of Scouting.[26] He finished his secondary school studies under a private tutor in Misrata, concentrating on the study of history.
Gaddafi entered the Libyan military academy at Benghazi in 1961, and graduated in 1966. Both towards the end of his course and after graduation, Gaddafi pursued further studies in Europe. False rumours have been propagated with regards to this part of his life, for example, that he attended the United Kingdom's Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.[27] He did in fact receive four months' further military training in the United Kingdom, and spent some time in London.[28][29] After this, as a commissioned officer he joined the Signal Corps.[30] Although often referred to as "Colonel Gaddafi", he was in fact only a Lieutenant when he seized power in 1969.[31] He was, nonetheless, a holder of the honorary rank of Major General, conferred upon him in 1976 by the Arab Socialist Union's National Congress. Gaddafi accepted the honorary rank, but stated that he would continue to be known as "Colonel" and to wear the rank insignia of a Colonel when in uniform.[32]

Libyan revolution of 1969

In Libya, as in a number of other Arab countries, admission to a military academy and a career as an army officer only became available to members of the lower economic strata after independence. A military career offered an opportunity for higher education, for upward economic and social mobility, and was for many the only available means of political action. For Gaddafi and many of his fellow officers, who were inspired by Nasser's brand of Arab nationalism, a military career was a revolutionary vocation.
As a cadet, Gaddafi associated with the Free Officers Movement. Most of his future colleagues on the Revolutionary Command Council (RCC) were fellow members of his graduating class at the military academy. The frustration and shame felt by Libyan officers by Israel's massive defeat of the Arab armies on three fronts in 1967 fuelled their determination to contribute to Arab unity by overthrowing the Libyan monarchy. An early conspirator, Gaddafi first started planning the overthrow of the monarchy while a cadet.
On 1 September 1969 a small group of junior military officers led by Gaddafi staged a bloodless coup d'état against King Idris of Libya while the king was in Turkey for medical treatment. Idris's nephew, Crown Prince Sayyid Hasan ar-Rida al-Mahdi as-Sanussi, was formally deposed by the revolutionary army officers and put under house arrest; they abolished the monarchy and proclaimed the Libyan Arab Republic.[33]

Internal affair.


Gaddafi (left) with Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser in 1969
On gaining power he immediately ordered the shutdown of American and British military bases, including Wheelus Air Base. He told Western officials that he would expel their companies from Libya's oil fields unless they shared more revenue. In his warning, he alluded to consultation with Nasser. The oil companies complied with the demand, increasing Libya's share from 50 to 79 percent.[34] In December 1969, Egyptian intelligence thwarted a planned coup against Gaddafi from high-ranking members of his leadership. Many of the dissenters had grown uneasy with his growing relationship to Egypt.[35] In response to the failed coup, Gaddafi criminalized all political dissent and shared power only with his family and closest associates.[citation needed]
Gaddafi committed ethnic cleansing, expelling Italian settlers in Libya in 1970.[36] Despising the Christian calendar, he replaced it as the country's official with an Islamic calendar.[37] He renamed the months of the calendar. August, named for Augustus Caesar, was renamed Hannibal, and July, after Julius Caesar, was renamed Nasser, for Gamal Abdel Nasser. From 1971 to 1977, Gaddafi approved the Arab Socialist Union, modeled on Egypt's Arab Socialist Union (Egypt), to function as a political party in Libya.[38]
Gaddafi increasingly devoted himself to "contemplative exile" over the next months,[7] caught up in apocalyptic visions of revolutionary pan-Arabism and Islam locked in a mortal struggle with what he termed the encircling, demonic forces of reaction, imperialism, and Zionism. As a result, routine administrative tasks fell to Major Jallud who became prime minister in place of Gaddafi in 1972. Two years later Jallud assumed Gaddafi's remaining administrative and protocol duties to allow Gaddafi to devote his time to revolutionary theorizing. Gaddafi remained the commander-in-chief of the armed forces and the effective head of state. The foreign press speculated about an eclipse of his authority within the RCC, but Gaddafi soon dispelled such theories by imposing measures to restructure Libyan society.

Elimination of dissent

In 1969, Gaddafi created Revolutionary committees to keep tight control over internal dissent. Ten to twenty percent of Libyans worked as informants for these committees. Surveillance took place in the government, in factories, and in the education sector.[39] People who formed a political party were executed, and talking about politics with foreigners was punishable by up to 3 years in jail.[citation needed] Arbitrary arrests were common and Libyans were hesitant to speak with foreigners.[40] The government conducted executions and mutilations of political opponents in public and broadcast recordings of the proceedings on state television. Dissent was illegal under Law 75 of 1973, which denied freedom of expression.[39][41] In 2010, Libya's press was rated as 160th out of 178 nations in the Press Freedom Index by Reporters Without Borders.[42]
During the 1970s, Libya executed members of the Islamist fundamentalist Hizb-ut Tahrir faction, and Gaddafi often personally presided over the executions.[43][44] Libya faced internal opposition during the 1980s because of its highly unpopular war with Chad. Numerous young men cut off a fingertip to avoid conscription at the time.[45] A mutiny by the Libyan Army in Tobruk was violently suppressed in August 1980.[46]
From time to time Gaddafi responded to external opposition with violence. Between 1980 and 1987, Gaddafi employed his network of diplomats and recruits to assassinate at least 25 critics living abroad.[39][47] His revolutionary committees called for the assassination of Libyan dissidents living abroad in April 1980, sending Libyan hit squads abroad to murder them. On 26 April 1980 Gaddafi set a deadline of 11 June 1980 for dissidents to return home or be "in the hands of the revolutionary committees".[48] Gaddafi stated explicitly in 1982 that "It is the Libyan people's responsibility to liquidate such scums who are distorting Libya's image abroad."[49] Libyan agents have assassinated dissidents in the United States,[50] Europe,[51] and the Middle East.[39][49][52] As of 2004 Libya still provided bounties on critics, including $1 million for one journalist.[53] During the 2005 civil unrest in France, Gaddafi called Chirac and offered him his help in quelling the resistors, who were largely North African.[54] There are growing indications that Libya's Gaddafi-era intelligence service had a cozy relationship with western spy organizations including the CIA, who voluntarily provided information on Libyan dissidents to the regime in exchange for using Libya as a base for extraordinary renditions.[55][56][57]
Following an abortive 1986 attempt to replace English with Russian as the primary foreign language in education,[58] English has been taught in recent years in Libyan schools from primary level, and students have access to English-language media.[59]

Campaign against Berber culture

Gaddafi often expressed an overt contempt for the Berbers, a non-Arab people of North Africa, and for their language, maintaining that the very existence of Berbers in North Africa is a myth created by colonialists. He adopted new names for Berber towns, and on official Libyan maps, referred to the Nafusa Mountains as the "Western mountains".[60] In a 1985 speech, he said of the Berber language, "If your mother transmits you this language, she nourishes you with the milk of the colonialist, she feeds you their poison" (1985).[61] The Berber language was banned from schools and up until 2009, it was illegal for parents to name their children with Berber names.[62] Berbers living in ancient mud-brick caravan towns such as Ghadames were forced out and moved into modern government-constructed apartments in the 1980s.[7] During the 2011 civil war, Berber towns rebelled against Gaddafi's rule and sought to reaffirm their ancient identity as Berbers.[63][64][65] Gaddafi's government strengthened anti-Berber sentiment among Libyan Arabs, weakening their opposition.[66]

Economy

Libya enjoys large natural resources, but the high gross domestic product was concentrated on Gaddafi's family and his elites, who amassed vast fortunes.[67] Most of the business enterprises were controlled by Gaddafi and his family.[68] Meanwhile, a large section of the population lives in poverty. One of the worst situations is in the eastern parts of the country.[69][70]
When the rising international oil prices began to raise Gaddafi's revenues in the 1970s, Gaddafi spent much of the revenues on arms purchases and on sponsoring his political projects abroad.[71] Gaddafi's relatives adopted lavish lifestyles, including luxurious homes, Hollywood film investments and private parties with American pop stars.[72][73]
The Economy of Libya was centrally planned and followed Gaddafi's socialist ideals. It benefited greatly from revenues from the petroleum sector, which contributed practically all export earnings and 30% of its GDP. These oil revenues, combined with a small population and by far Africa's highest Education Index gave Libya the highest nominal GDP per capita in Africa. Between 2000 and 2011, Libya recorded favourable growth rates with an estimated 10.6 percent growth of GDP in 2010, the highest of any state in Africa. Gaddafi had promised "a home for all Libyans" and during his rule, new residential areas rose in empty Saharan regions. Entire populations living in mud-brick caravan towns were moved into modern homes with running water, electricity, and satellite TV.[7] A leaked diplomatic cable describes Libyan economy as "a kleptocracy in which the government — either the al-Gaddafi family itself or its close political allies — has a direct stake in anything worth buying, selling or owning".[20]


At the time Gaddafi died, some of the worst economic conditions were in the eastern parts of the state.[69][70] The sewage facilities in Banghazi were over 40 years old, and untreated sewage flowed into ground and coast.[11] 97% of urban dwellers have access to "improved sanitation facilities" in Libya, this was 2% points lower than the OECD average, or 21% points above the world average.[74] In the first 15 years of Gaddafi rule, the number of doctors per 1000/citizens increased by seven times, with the number of hospital beds increasing by three times.[75] During Gaddafi's rule, infant mortality rates went from 125/1000 live births, about average for Africa at the time, to 15.04/1000, the best rate in Africa.[76] Libyans who could afford it often had to seek medical care in neighboring countries such as Tunisia and Egypt because of lack of decent medical care in Libya.

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