In September 1969, Moammar Gadhafi rose to the leadership of Libya. Gadhafi was armed with a vision of Arab unity and anti-colonialism. With this vision, Gadhafi led a group of fellow officers who called themselves the Free Officers’ Movement. During the 30 years since this vision, Gadhafi has become known as a charming and complicated leader. Gadhafi is considered by Westerners to be bizzare and irrational. He has also been noted as a terrorist and a swindler.
Gadhafi was born during World War II in a tent in the middle of the desert. This desert was about 20 miles south of the town of Site. His parents were herders of camels and goats. Gadhafi attended a Koranic elementary school and then went on to high school in Fezzan. In my essay I will outline many of the different aspects and trials and tribulations in which Gadhafi experienced throughout his lifetime. Since 1969, Gadhafi has dominated Libya’s policies by the force of his personality and leadership and he has grasped every opportunity he has been given to acheive his revolutionary philosophy.
He has devoted Lybia’s wealth in oil to building roads, schools and hospitals. Villages have been startled and the desert has been weakened. He has done just as much as any other Arab leader when dealing with women’s rights. As chairman of the Revolutionary Command Council (RCC), Gadhafi controlled both the legislative and executive aspects of the goverment. He also experimented with the liberal policies in Nasser, Egypt. But beginning in 1973, Gadhafi became dissatisfied with the revolutionary passion that was being displayed by the people of Libya and he decided to launch his own cultural revolution.
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Gadhafi dismembered the traditional organization of the government and he also reorganized the country’s political structure. He did this so that the people of Libya would follow his Third Universal Theory. This theory was a disapproval of capitalism and communism in favor of socialism, popular democracy, Arab unity and advanced Islam. Gadhafi set up what he viewed as a direct democracy. With this direct democracy, the positions of government were placed in the hands of the people. Although Gadhafi abandoned all official posts and titles in 1979, he has still continued to dominate the political scene.
This is because Gadhafi has been announced as the leader of the revolution. The Gadhafi regime’s security forces are often accused by international human rights organizations of murder, torture and intimidation. Gadhafi has an inner circle which is made up of his long-time revolutionary colleagues. No one outside Libya knows for sure who controls exactly what. Gadhafi has had a disagreement with his second hand man and he has replaced Abdel Sale Jal loud with Abdallah al-Sanus si. People who sit back and watch Libya have decided that Gadhafi’s decision-making process is disorganized and rarely follows any real theory.
Gadhafi’s ideology is constantly changing in different directions. The revolution of today is unlike the revolution of 10 years ago, and almost certainly unlike what it will be 10 years from now. On December 21, 1988, Pan Am Flight 103 exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing all 259 people on board as well as 11 on the ground. Though it was almost immediately evident that a bomb had caused the disaster, it took more than eleven years to bring anyone to trial. Pan Am Flight 103 left the gate at Heathrow Airport in London at 6: 04 p.
m. on December 21, 1988. The 243 passengers and 16 crew members were preparing themselves for an extremely long flight to New York. Flight 103 took off at 6: 25 p. m. They had no idea that they only had 38 more minutes to live.
By 6: 56 p. m. , the plane had reached 31, 000 feet. At 7: 03 p. m.
, the plane exploded. Though the flight held passengers from 21 countries, the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 hit the United States especially hard. Not only because 189 of the 259 people on board were Americans, but because the bombing shattered America’s sense of safety and security. As revenge for the bombing of a Berlin nightclub where two U. S. personnel were killed, President Ronald Reagan ordered the bombing of Libya’s capital Tripoli and the Libyan city of Benghazi in 1986.
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Some people think that bombing Pan Am Flight 103 was in revenge for these bombings. The bomb was made out of the plastic explosive Semtex and was activated by a timer. The bomb was hidden in a Toshiba radio-cassette player and was placed inside a brown Samsonite suitcase. The two men whom investigators believe are the bombers were in Libya. The United States and the United Kingdom wanted the men tried in an American or British court, but Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi refused to extradite them. The US and the U.
K. were angry that Gadhafi would not turn over the wanted men, so they approached the United Nation’s Security Council for help. To pressure Libya into turning over the two men, the Security Council imposed a sanction over Libya. Libya continually refused to turn over the men.
In 1994, Libya agreed to a proposal that would have the trial held in a neutral country with international judges. The U. S. and the U.
K. refused the proposal. In 1998, the U. S. and the U.
K. offered a similar proposal but with Scottish judges rather than international ones. Libya accepted the new proposal in April 1999. After eleven years of waiting, we will soon see whether or not the court finds that these two men were the terrorists. Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi has said there is no evidence to prove his country is behind any acts of terrorism. When he spoke out on July 11, 2002, he said Libya was at the forefront of the battle against terrorists.
“We term them heretics, actually. They are non-Muslims. They are outside Islam,” Gadhafi told CNN Johannesburg Bureau Chief Char layne Hunter-Gault. “These are terrorist people, and actually they are crazy and mad… They are really dangerous and they don’t use law, they do not accept law, they do not allow you even to talk to them, and they should be really dealt with accordingly.” These are all words that escaped from the mouth of Moammar Gadhafi while being interviewed by CNN. While in Durban for a meeting of the new African Union, Gadhafi, who has been long accused by the West of sponsoring terrorists, said Libya’s role in terrorism has not been proved.
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“As a matter of fact, actually, we are only the victims of terrorism and Libya is against terrorism,” Gadhafi said. “I’d like also to reassure the Americans and non-Americans that Libya plays a very important role in combating and fighting terrorism.” Gadhafi referred to a number of incidents from Afghanistan that he said stirred Libya and caused quite a lot of trouble and he held that as one of his reasons for not harboring groups like Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda terrorist network or allow them to take refuge in Libya. “Actually, we are not in need of bin Laden,” Gadhafi said. “We don’t need his money, we don’t need his protection, we don’t want to use him or be used by him. We just want to defend ourselves.” If any members of al Qaeda are found in Libya, he said, “We shall arrest them and they shall be put on trial.” Gadhafi said he wants and needs to have good relations with other countries, particularly the United States, because sharing technologies would help in Libya’s development. He said that American reasons are to blame for U.
S. sanctions against Libya. Washington has said it will not lift these sanctions until Libya accepts responsibility for the 1988 Lockerbie bombing. Libya has continued to refuse that they are responsible for this bombing and that is one of the remaining obstacles as to why they have not yet established good U. S.
relations. At one time, some observers referred to Libya as one of the most dangerous countries from the aspect of the extent of weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons. But more recently, concerns about Libyan nuclear ambitions have faded. There are still apprehensions about Libyan chemical weapon efforts.
Libya is in no position to obtain access to nuclear weapons in the future. In 1975, Libya had passed the United Nations Nuclear NonProliferation Treaty signed by the Idris regime in 1969. In 1980, an agreement was reached with the International Atomic Energy Agency which placed all of Libya’s nuclear findings under international inspection. In the late 1970 s, Gadhafi repeatedly announced that his country was still determined to gain nuclear weapons. Gadhafi’s interest in gaining access to nuclear weapons came primarily from the thought that his enemy Israel had achieved such a military power.
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Gadhafi looked for help in attempting to obtain nuclear technology from a number of countries, including the People’s Republic of China. Libya appeared to be providing financial assistance to Pakistan and later there were deliveries of uranium yellow cake originating in Niger which was in turn eventually supposed to be produced by weapons from Pakistan. In an interview with an Indian newspaper in March 1986, Gadhafi announced that Libya would never help Pakistan produce an atomic bomb. Gadhafi said: “We consider nuclear weapons production a great mistake against humanity.” Gadhafi, today, is an elusive and lively individual who meddles in Middle-east and African affairs.
He is reported to never sleep in the same place two days in a row, ever since the American air-raid on his camp. During this raid at least one relative of Gadhafi’s was allegedly killed. Gadhafi trusts almost no one. The most dangerous thing about Gadhafi is his unpredictability. Some allege that he may be mentally unbalanced, while others say he is as crazy as a fox.
Very few people can predict his next course of action, but most are certain of the fact that he has almost total control of Libya. He is also firmly confirmed with control of the army and political aspects there. It is believed that Gadhafi is still a supporter of Islamic and pro-Palestinian causes. His unpredictability, however, could lead him to take whatever action he feels necessary to remain in power and maintain his position in the Arab world.