Muammar al Qaddafi Muammar al Qaddafi is a very dangerous man. He promotes terrorism, and radical causes. He is committed against the U.S, and will help almost anyone who is also against the U.S. He is very intelligent and crafty. In 1969 he led a coup against the Libyan government.
He succeeded, and became head of state. He is a devoted Muslim. Qaddafi is a person to be read about and learned about. As I mentioned above, one of his greatest successes was leading a bloodless coup against the Libyan monarchy. He became head of state. He is still in power today.
Another success is that fact that most Libyans lead good lives. All Libyans have a house or an apartment, a car, and most have televisions, phones, and recording equipment. The young people are well dressed and fed. He has survived many coup attempts against him. His face and picture are in most buildings in Libya.
He always was devoted to school as a kid. He would take a long hike from the desert to school. He would come home only every Thursday, the beginning of the Muslim weekend. Then he would go back to school. He was the first in his family to be well educated.
One of his first goals when he was a child was to join the Libyan army. He slowly moved up in rank. It was surprising they even let him in the army; he had a long police record. He eventually joined the King’s police. This was when the idea of a coup attempt came.
He did succeed. Qaddafi was born in a tent in the desert 20 miles south of the sea. This is a desolate place- burning hot in the summer, and freezing cold in the winter. Most people would consider this place to be uninhabitable. His father was at the bottom of social level in this very poor country. The name of tribe Qaddadfa means in Arabic, ” Spitter or vomiter of blood.” In Qaddafi’s early years, in the 1940’s there were tank battles in the desert and thousands of bombing raids by Germans in Libya.
Besides this, in the 1920’s the Italians under Mussolini had conquered Libya for the second time and had killed large numbers of women, children and old people. They trampled on copies of the Koran, threw men out of airplanes and raped and disembowelled women. So the Libyans of Qaddafi generation grew up full of hatred and misery. All this helps to explain his mental state. In 1970 Qaddafi and his foreign minister travelled to the Arab countries to try to get them to agree to attack Israel because he felt he was he was a real leader for all Arabs.
He supported the use of terrorism. At that time he was friendly with the Egyptian leader Nasser, but after Nasser died the new Egyptian leader Anwar Sadat did not like Qaddafi and thought he was sick and possessed of the devil. When Qaddafi went to Egypt in 1973 he lectured the Egyptians that women should stay in the home and that everybody should behave like strict Muslims. The Egyptians didn’t like this because they were more liberal. So the visit was a disaster.
But Qaddafi really believed that the masses of Egyptian people were with him so he organized 20,000 Libyans to march to Cairo and he thought they would be joined by Egyptian people. The Egyptian government blocked all the roads between Libya and Egypt with railroad carriages, and allowed only a tiny group to go to Cairo. The same thing happened when Qaddafi went to Tunisia and spoke at a rally and told the people to unite with Libya. The president of Tunisia was listening at home on the radio and rushed to the rally, grabbed the micro phone, and “trashed” Qaddafi’s unity idea, so to speak. These setbacks made him pull away from dealing with established governments and deciding to support revolutionaries including the IRA, and Black Power move- ments, and all Palestinian terrorists. In the beginning of his power, he used to drive around town in an old battered-up Volkswagen, and pick up groceries.
But after many coup and assassination attempts, he gradually disappeared from public life. After the raid of U.S troops in 1986, he was seldom heard from. There were many rumors such as that he was dead, or deposed in a coup, or under mind- controlling drugs. Libyans told U.S reporters that they no longer had cash or food. Slowly Qaddafi was disappearing from everyone’s view.
His big dream of uniting all the Arab world under his power was flushed down the tubes. He had flunked the leadership course. His main weakness is that he thinks he conquer all the Arab world. He doesn’t realize that he is really alone without much support. He has some strange personal habits.
The CIA reported such things as taking too many sleeping pills, wearing make-up and carrying a teddy bear, and refusing to sleep on hotel bed- sheets. His physical illnesses include depression, difficulty with walking, and various pains. He is not at all faithful to his wives. His strength is that he is able to inspire people to follow him. He did try to provide food and shelter for the poor people of Libya.
He weaknesses far outweigh his strengths especially these days because he has not been able to reach his goals for Libya and he seems to get more unstable all the time.