Letters and Editorials 5849 Views by Derek Skinner

Libya: Colonel Muammar Al Gaddafi - The Real Story

Gaddafi's story is a tragic mix of ideals, hubris and overreaching ambition. The following is condensed from a Wikipedia article, his Green Book Manifesto written in 1988, Reuters and miscellaneous articles.

Gaddafi developed Libya from an ex-colony of Italy with feudal tribes ruled by a King into the most civilised and wealthy State in Africa in the period from 1960 to 2011 based on oil revenues and Islamic Sharia Law which he authorised in 1973.

The 4 major Banks in Libya are government run. Loans are made without interest charges. There are a few offshore banks with minor representation offices. It is a cash or barter society with very little credit card use.

With oil revenues to provide 30% of GDP and no need for IMF Loans the government was debt free. Interest was considered unethical in civil society.

Prior to the NATO invasion he was proposing a Pan-African National Bank with an initial reserve based on the Libyan Treasury gold bullion valued at $6billion plus multi $billion investments and accounts offshore. In 2011 the offshore assets were frozen and subsequently released with the bullion and transferred to the Provisional Government in Benghazi .

Islamic Banking based on Sharia Law may be introduced under the new regime.

97% of the Libyan population is Sunni Muslim which lines it up with Egypt , Turkey , Syria , Jordan , Palestine and Kuwait . Gaddafi promoted Islam aggressively into Chad and Sudan and had bad relations with Shia led States.

He promoted a Pan-Arabic Union across the North African coast up until 1998 when he recognised it was futile and turned his attention to a Pan-African Union which was well received with him as Chairman in 2008.

He denounced Capitalism as slavery and Communism as atheistic and developed his own Third Universal Theory of Socialism based on Direct Rule by Peoples Committees -- the Jamahiriya. This requires multiple, regional, "Peoples Conferences" proposing policies on health, housing, agriculture etc. to "Peoples Committees" which bring these considered opinions to the "General Peoples Conference" for resolution and execution by the "General Secretariat". In this way, the power of the people is brought directly to the centre of government which represents the people as a whole rather than through Party structures as in Western democratic Parliaments or Congresses whereby a few elected delegates resulting from power struggles are mandated to represent the entire population.

Socially, Gaddafi opined that the State had to have one religion in order not to be divided.

He was very concerned that any divisive forces would weaken the State and reacted violently against any groups that threatened solidarity.

Over the years he was alternately the darling of the West, as in the 1970s when he was regarded as a freedom fighter, and then, in the 1980s, as the devil, for his expulsion of the Jews after the 6 day Israeli War, his support for Idi Amin and military juntas from Serbia to Columbia, his funding of the IRA in Ireland and hit squads and assassination teams from Germany to Indonesia in support of revolutionary factions, and his proposal for an Atlantic Treaty Organisation between Africa and South America to rival NATO. He attempted to obtain nuclear weapons from China and Pakistan and stockpiled chemical weapons.

The Western media portrayed him as unstable and erratic and in 1986 the Reagan Administration bombed his family enclave in Tripoli killing his adopted daughter.

Nevertheless the CIA, during the Bush Administration sent prisoners to him for "extraordinary rendition".

Then, in the period 2007 to 2010 he was the darling again with cooperation treaties with France , Russia and Italy . In 2008 he paid $billions into compensation funds for victims of his bombing attacks and support of the IRA and President Bush signed Executive Order 13477 restoring the Libyan Government's immunity from terrorism related law suits.

In 2008 he participated in the G8 summit as Chairman of the African Union and in 2009 addressed the U.N. General Assembly.

By 2010 in Libya , literacy was 90%, life expectancy was 80 yrs., the infant mortality rate was the lowest in Africa , it had a welfare system that provided free education and university scholarships, free healthcare, free electricity, financial assistance for housing and marriage and many other social advancements.

Gaddafi excoriated wages as demeaning and promoted worker participation in management with distribution of revenue from product in lieu of wages.

The largest irrigation project in the world constructed by Brown Root brought water in 2000 miles of pipe from the Nubian Fossil Aquifer in the Sahara Desert to the Mediterranean coast. This aquifer will supply water for the next 50 to 100 years. The majority of Libyan people recognised the benefits he had brought to Libya

In 2011 to Canada 's everlasting shame it supplied ships and planes to participate in the overthrow of the Gaddafi regime on behalf of oil and banking interests.

I have provided this summary of the situation in Libya in order to make the point that the capitalist economic doctrine leads inevitably to the forceful domination by powerful states over weaker but resource rich countries in order to satisfy the need for growth, resources, survival and the demands of investors for increasing returns.

Stability is anathema to a capitalist society which has to have activity in order to grow.

On a macro-scale it is evident that the world is being divided into power blocs that are accumulating territory and energy resources in order to ensure survival now that the predatory major powers have finally realised that energy resources like oil are indeed finite. The inevitable conflict may result in Armageddon and back to the Stone Age instead of the Age of Aquarius.

About the writer:

Derek Skinner is a retired civil engineer and project manager. He has lived all around the world. This submission is an extract from his forthcoming book with the proposed title The Magical Money Machine.


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