Archive | January 24th, 2017

LIBYA, 2016: Three ‘Governments’, Foreign Intervention & the Return of Gaddafi

NOVANEWS

Saif Al-Islam

A couple of months ago when the UN-sponsored ‘Government of National Accord’ (GNA) was sent to take control of all national institutions, Libya was already being ruled by two different, rival parliaments: the Islamist-dominated ‘National Salvation’ government in Tripoli and the internationally recognised parliament based in Tobruk in the east.

The actual result of this painstaking UN brokered peace process is that Libya now has three rival governments instead of two: and none of them appears capable of governing or unifying the once stable nation. But the UN-backed GNA might be the least capable of the three and has just suffered an embarrassing vote of no confidence: members of the Libyan House of Representatives have voted against the UN ‘Government of National Accord’ by 61 to 1 (source).

Not that this is necessarily surprising; on its arrival in Tripoli at the end of March, the GNA leaders found Tripoli’s airspace closed to them and had to arrive by boat. So much for all of the UN’s diplomatic efforts: the same UN, remember, that didn’t bother to send any fact-finding operations to Libya in 2011 to try to ascertain whether there was really any basis for authorizing the NATO military intervention to force regime change.

So, to recap. The UN-backed government appears to have already failed. There are now 3 separate ‘governments’ in Libya. And the US has just begun military operations in ISIS-held Sirte, with France recently having to admit to having already been carrying out secret operations in the country.

Making sense of post-Gaddafi Libya is very hard work.

From 2014, the plethora of armed militias at large in the chaos-riddled country due to the 2011 mercenary war seemed to have gathered around either the Libyan National Army (backed by the secular ‘House of Representatives’) or the Libyan Dawn Coalition (dominated by the Islamist parties). That said, there are also roaming factions of jihadists and terror groups in various places, seemingly answerable to no one.

And it is against this confused, chaotic backdrop that reports emerged some months ago suggesting that Saif al-Islam Gaddafi – the eldest son of the late Libyan leader and one-time ‘Golden Boy’ of Libya’s political future – had been released from his detainment, having previously been sentenced to death.

It is difficult to work out whether this story is true. It was broadly reported at the time (albeit in a very low-key manner, with mass media reticence), but most news out of Libya has become increasingly difficult to verify or cross reference.

So is Saif Gaddafi at large? And how relevant would that be to the bigger picture mentioned above?

Saif Gaddafi’s lawyer reported that Saif had in fact, “been given his liberty on April 12, 2016″, this being in accordance with an amnesty law passed by the Tobruk parliament. Saif had been captured by the Zintan militia shortly after his father and brother were murdered by NATO’s Libyan death squads in Sirte in October 2011. The International Criminal Court had demanded Saif be handed over to them; but the Zintan refused.

After fierce fighting, when the Islamist Libya Dawn faction took control of Tripoli, Saif, along with dozens of other officials of Gaddafi’s former state were put on trial for their life. However, the Zintan militia – allied to the more secular Libyan National Army – again refused to hand him over.
Libya-saifgaddafi-supporters

After a cowboy trial dominated by the Libya Dawn militias and condemned by human rights groups, Saif was sentenced to execution, along with eight other former officials of Gaddafi’s Socialist Arab Republic. But the trial was never recognised by the government in Tobruk.

It was reported that in the 24 hours after word has gotten out of Saif’s recent release, Green Libyan loyalists across different cities and towns were holding up images of Saif and shouting out his name: evidence, if any were needed, that even five years on from the French/American-led NATO destruction of Libya, there is still massive support (pictured above) from the Libyan people for the former Libyan republic.

A British lawyer seemed to confirm Saif’s release, saying that his death sentence had been quashed. Karim Khan QC said he was now petitioning the international criminal court to drop its charges against Saif, which would allow him to travel abroad without facing arrest.

The Guardian noted, however, that ‘The claim could not be independently verified, and neither the UN-backed government in Tripoli or Zintan authorities has yet commented on the report, while some disputed it.’

And according to the Tripoli Post, Libyan officials were denying it.

According to Al-Monitor, however, Saif ‘has already started contacting people inside Libya and abroad who are supporting him, trying to come up with his own plan to salvage the country.’

The report continues, ‘The majority of tribes that supported his father in the 2011 civil war see him as a savior, and they are willing to support him as their de facto leader in any political process to bring about national reconciliation and reunify the country. This is especially true since the United Nations-brokered political dialogue and the Government of National Accord have so far failed to deliver stability and security, let alone anything tangible to alleviate the hardships Libyans are facing on a daily basis, which include power cuts, shortage of money in the banking system and soaring prices.’

Al-Monitor goes further and claims to have ‘learned, by having been part of these discussions’ that ‘tribal leaders who support Seif are willing to accept him as their only representative, or what is known in tribal customs as “next of kin”.’

This is a highly significant suggestion: could Saif Gaddafi, sentenced to death by Libyan militias and wanted on spurious ‘War Crimes’ charges by the ICC, be seen as the only national figure suitable as a unifier?

The going-full-circle irony of this state of affairs would be immense.

Mass rallies of pro-Gaddafi Green loyalists were occurring all throughout the violent, bloody events of the 2011 war and NATO intervention, including one march that was estimated to have been the largest protest in world history. Such rallies even continued on after Muammar Gaddafi’s murder, but the reign of terror that ensued by NATO-backed criminal gangs and death-squad militias suppressed such public gatherings or displays of loyalty to the former Libyan state.

This forced many Gaddafi supporters and Green Libyans into hiding, while many thousands were rounded up by the militias and some hundreds are estimated to have been summarily executed. That hasn’t, however, stopped a slow, steady resurgence of pro-Gaddafi activity and public displays of loyalty to the former Libya.

When word about Saif’s release broke some months ago, an RT journalist distills the essence of Saif Gaddafi’s liberty; ‘What is so significant about his release… is what it represents: the recognition, by Libya’s elected authorities, that there is no future for Libya without the involvement of the Jamahiriya movement.’

In a tribal society like Libya, the tribes — particularly the major tribes such as Warfalla and Tarhuna — are absolutely crucial for establishing any successful settlement in the ravaged country. This is a key fact that those behind the initial Libyan intervention in 2011 and those trying to maneuver its aftermath have utterly failed to appreciate, with clueless Western officials frequently displaying a completely dismissive attitude towards the tribes.

This isn’t just some quaint quirk of Libya either, but a key factor in various other Middle Eastern or African societies, such as a Western/American ally like Jordan.

As many British political experts noted in light of the Chilcot Report and the Americans’ utter lack of respect or understanding of Iraqi society in their post-war planning, the Americans have absolutely no idea about Arab societies whatsoever.

The British, by comparison, have traditionally been much better informed and able to think more intelligently, going back to even the imperial days and the role and influence of famous ‘Arabists’ like T.E Lawrence and Gertrude Bell, among others; but, as veteran Conservative politician Ken Clarke recently argued in response to the Chilcot Report, the Americans – going into Iraq – completely dismissed any need for such experts in the region; the British were also largely sidelined from post-war planning in Iraq, allowing the Americans to completely dismantle every element of the Iraqi state (and dismiss all those who had worked for it) and create the sectarian quagmire that exists to this day in that country.

The same extraordinary levels of ignorance occurred in Libya, with Hillary Clinton and others in her sphere completely dismissing any significance to Libya’s tribal make-up: and neither the French nor the British, in their blind rush to remove Gaddafi, appeared to have given the matter any thought either.

There are thought to be something like 140 tribes or clans in Libya, with 30 or so of these being particularly influential. Even in the early months of the 2011 ‘uprising’, it was reported widely that several hundred tribal elders gathered in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, for what was described as widespread show of support for Gaddafi.

It is interesting that, of the many Libyan refugees in Tunisia, almost all of them still hold onto great love for the former republic under Gaddafi and are from tribes that were loyal to the regime, such from Sirte, Bani Waled or Warshefana. A young woman speaking in this 2014 article from The World Weekly – and who spent months in various prisons after the fall of Gaddafi, in which she describes being beaten with pipes and repeatedly raped by a militia leader – essentially says she was waiting for the return of Saif al-Islam, who was seen as the only hope.

Saif Gaddafi has the loyalty of many, many Libyans – that is to say, natural, indigenous Libyans, as opposed to the foreign jihadists and the foreign-backed militias or internationally imposed ‘governments’. He, crucially, also has respect from many of the tribes.

I noted with curiosity as well that internationally recognised authorities in Libya recently allowed Muammar Gaddafi’s widow (and Saif’s mother), Safia (pictured below with the late Libyan figurehead), back into the country as part of a new attempt at ‘national reconciliation’. This would be the first time Safia has set foot in her homeland since her husband’s murder. This also might suggest a wind change in Tobruk.
gaddaf-wife

Ever since the day Muammar Gaddafi was brutally murdered in Sirte in October 2011, there has been nothing but continuous failure in Libya to establish any kind of unity or workable future; and some of this has to be down to Western sponsors’ failure to respect the tribal nature of Libya. And it may be, if some experts are to be believed, that Gaddafi’s eldest son, Saif, emerges from the brink of execution as the one figure who might be able to make the difference.

That he could also garner mass support is very likely.

When the Islamist militia court passed the death sentence for Saif last year, people in multiple Libyan cities and towns came out onto the streets in protest, holding up pictures of Saif and his father; this even happened in places under ISIS or Al-Qaeda control, where doing this was extremely dangerous.

But this also somewhat echoes the unconfirmed report earlier in the year that the late Libyan figurehead’s daughter, Ayesha Gaddafi, was secretly maneuvering to return to Libya and announce herself leader of a Libyan people’s resistance and movement for national unity. The claim about Ayesha Gaddafi (pictured below) was difficult to validate and international media entirely ignored the story; the story now concerning Saif Gaddafi appears much more substantial, but the media has mostly downplayed this story too.

This could be because Western mainstream media and Western governments alike do not want any ‘Return of the Gaddafis’ or resurgence of Green Libya; they do not want any reversal of the collapse that was accomplished in 2011.

ayesha-gaddafi

In part, this might also be because the corporate media went to such lengths to help bring about that collapse by propagating the false narratives and fake stories about what had really gone on in Libya in 2011. And having engaged in all of that deception – and having also gloried in the downfall of Gaddafi himself – to now, five years on, have to report on normal Libyans supporting or calling for a return to the old republic and chanting the name of Gaddafi’s eldest son would be not just counter to Western policy and geopolitical needs, but also just downright embarrassing.

Saif was long regarded a reformer and democracy advocate in Libya, prior to the 2011 catastrophe: in fact, a WikiLeaks document in early 2011 suggested Libya was headed towards further democratic reforms and possible elections just prior to the foreign-orchestrated bloodbath.

Many Libyans – even those who might’ve had reservations about Saif beforehand – came to respect him even more when, instead of fleeing or trying to protect his own career, he remained in Libya in 2011 and supported his father. More than that, he had actually been abroad when the trouble had started and had gone home specifically to help defend the Socialist Republic. He had even openly admitted that he bore some guilt and responsibility for having been so involved with Western and European leaders and institutions and thus allowing Libya to lower its guard and become vulnerable to international duplicity: and yet, when that betrayal was in process, he came home to try to protect and preserve the country, at risk to his own life.

Saif himself, who in the midst of the 2011 crisis (pictured below greeting Green Libya loyalists in 2011) was openly bitter about the extent to which he felt he had been betrayed by his many Western and European friends and allies, would probably not be someone most Western policy makers would want to see reemerge: not just because he is a Gaddafi and not just because he would seek to restore the country and expel all of the imported terrorists, mercenaries and jihadists, but because he is someone who has been wined and dined by the Western elites and powers and is intimately aware of them (Saif was, at one point, being befriended by everyone from Tony Blair to the Rothschilds) – and moreover, having been so comprehensively betrayed by them, he is not likely to cooperate with their agendas ever again.
libya-saif-tripoli

In short, he could never be the puppet leader that the West wants. One suspects even ISIS would be preferable to Saif. The irony is that, had the 2011 conspiracy never happened and had the Western governments simply waited for things to develop organically, Saif probably would’ve been very amenable to Western influence and interests in his steering of the political situation in Libya.

All of this forces me to wonder how Western, particularly American and French, policy makers will react if not only Assad survives in Syria, but Saif Gaddafi emerges as the most potent figurehead for re-unifying Libya.

Imagine if Assad continues to preside over a re-unified and sovereign Syria and a Gaddafi begins to gather mass support to move towards not only unification, but restoration of the former Libyan republic. Then the brutal covert, regime-change wars that were inflicted on both nations in 2011 will have ultimately failed – albiet, only after several years of vast bloodshed and destruction.

Somehow, I can’t imagine Washington putting up with that.

And it is unfortunate that these turns of events are happening just as Hillary Clinton presidency might be imminent. Hillary – especially given that she was a central player in the wars on both Libya and Syria (and was famously filmed celebrating Gaddafi’s violent killing) – will most likely seek to take measures to prevent both scenarios. She has already stated her intention to ensure Assad doesn’t remain in Damascus as being one of her “first priorities” when she comes into office. We can safely imagine that she wouldn’t tolerate either Saif or Ayesha Gaddafi – or anyone else connected to them – gaining momentum in NATO’s and Hillary’s Libya.

Which brings us to the matter of renewed military intervention in Libya.

US forces are already active in Libya again, and official statements have suggested there is “no end” currently foreseen for those operations. So are US forces just there to fight ISIS? Or are they also there to stick around and make sure the Green Libyan movement doesn’t experience its second coming?

There are question marks over what the US raids in Sirte are really about, along with the French military presence in general. They could legitimately be trying to weaken or drive out the ISIS presence (which is only there in the first place thanks to French, American and other Western military efforts, remember) for the sake of the weak, ineffective and corrupt puppet ‘government’ it has put in place to preside over the chaos as foreign entities finish siphoning off all of the country’s former wealth and resources.

Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook has said they don’t see “an end point at this particular moment in time.”

Libya’s unity government has faced backlash from the parliament and its rival government in the east for calling in US airstrikes in the jihadist stronghold of Sirte – Gaddafi’s birthplace and a town which ISIS has been allowed to virtually take over, also thought by some to be the location of the Islamic State’s so-called ‘caliph’ or global leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Protests also in July erupted in Libya over French military operations conducted inside the country without local authorities’ consent.

In fact, it seems all of the major players in the 2011 conspiracy are again active in Libya.

Leaked reports have suggested the British SAS may have been on the ground in Libya for months already – just as they had been in the early weeks of the 2011 crisis, when they had been secretly hunting for Gaddafi and aiding ‘rebel’ militias at a time when British and international officals had been insisting they weren’t interested in regime change or assasination, only a ‘ceasefire’. And earlier this year senior Conservative politicians in Britain attacked what they saw as a ‘disastrous’ plan to station some 1,000 UK troops in Libya.

Which, again, could all genuinely be for the sake of fighting ISIS and other jihadists and cleaning up their own mess. But given the extraordinary levels of blood-soaked deception and duplicity all three governments – and much of the international community – employed in 2011 to topple Gaddafi’s government and install jihadists into Libya in the first place, it is almost impossible for us now to not be very suspicious about motives.

Vijay Prashad argues that the GNA only authorises foreign military operations in Libya because the UN and Western governments are denying them $67 billion of Libyan money that it will only give back to Libya if the foreign agenda is served. He writes, ‘When the Libyan government requests US airstrikes, it does so not of its own volition but because of the conditions for the release of its own money.’

But again, could this renewed Western military presence be more to do with halting any movement back towards the old Libyan national identity? Hushed talk of this resurgence of Green Libyan loyalists or ‘Green Resistance’ isn’t just about rallies or chants.

On January 18th, when a group of armed fighters assaulted an air-force base outside the city of Sabha and expelled the forces of Prime Minister Ali Zeidan’s government (we can use the word ‘government’ loosely), reports spread that the Green Flag of the Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya was raised again in a number of cities. International media was virtually silent on the matter, while the ‘government’ was reticent in providing details.

When writing about Libya in general, we have to be very careful; as there is a constant absence of verifiable information. These days there are always rumours or unconfirmed reports of things, but everything is a sea of uncertainty.

The Green Resistance is reported by some to be becoming an increasingly influential force within the Libyan National Army, which serves the country’s elected House of Representatives, and there have been suggestions that the LNA has been recruiting from among tribes loyal to Gaddafi. But if the Sabha story was true, it serves as a reminder that ‘Green Resistance’ fighters can be a significant force, particularly in the south – which is where there is the most popular support. Given time, and with enough organisational ability, a movement could coalesce in the south of Libya that could potentially claim and hold territory.

It could even lead to the creation of an independent state of sorts in the south. A major figurehead – like a Saif or Ayesha Gaddafi – could make that happen. And from there, anything could happen – and the old, sovereign nation of Libya could be restored.

The question is, in relation to that possibility: what would the US, France and the rest of the ‘international community’ do if that started to happen? And might they, in fact, be taking measures already to prepare for that?

Wherever Saif Gaddafi is – if he is free from detainment now – I hope he has very good protection being given to him. In fact, it actually struck me as being possible that the reason Libyan authorities and even the Zintan seemed to deny Saif’s release might’ve been to protect him and throw observers off the scent.

Related: Is Ayesha Gaddafi Leading a Secret Resistance in Libya?‘ ‘Saif Gaddafi: The Man Who Could’ve Brought Liberty to Libya‘, ‘The Story of Sirte: From Proud Libya to ISIS Caliphate‘, ‘The Libya Conspiracy: A Guide to the Crime of the Century‘, ‘Libya After Gaddafi: The Humiliation of the Failed State‘…

 

Posted in LibyaComments Off on LIBYA, 2016: Three ‘Governments’, Foreign Intervention & the Return of Gaddafi

Jordan: Zionist King to visit Russia to discuss ‘counter-terrorism’ 

NOVANEWS
Image result for KING OF JORDAN CARTOON
Zionist Puppet of Jordan

Zionist puppet Abdullah will visit Moscow on Jan. 25 and discuss steps to combat terrorism in the Middle East and North Africa with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Kremlin said on Tuesday.

The two leaders also plan to talk about economic cooperation, the Kremlin said in a statement.

Posted in Jordan, RussiaComments Off on Jordan: Zionist King to visit Russia to discuss ‘counter-terrorism’ 

‘THE LIBYA CONSPIRACY’ – Free, Exclusive Book Download For All Readers

NOVANEWS
The-Libya-Conspiracy_S-Awan(Book-Cover-2015)
In 2011, an international crime was committed that was so vast, so immoral, that the mainstream media even now  refuses to address it in truthful terms. It was a crime carried out by deception and subterfuge and amid a sea of misinformation, and it involved virtually every major Western government or media organisation.
This book, ‘The Libya Conspiracy’, is the definitive exposure and analysis, in its full scope and all its ugliness, of what truly was the crime of the century. This is a freedownload for all readers or subscribers to this blog.

The product of over a year’s (mostly open-source) research, this is a decisive study of the 2011 Libya ‘intervention’ and the so-called Libyan ‘Civil War’ and beyond; a vast and immoral deception that has major implications for every one of us and the entire world.

A big shout-out has to go to my good friend Mumra2k for doing the mega formatting job on the files – he burnt the midnight oil so that there could be multiple formats of the book.

The book is available for download in three formats;

To download the basic PDF, use this link here.

To download the version for your Kindle or e-book reader device, click here.

To download the version for your mobile device, click here.

Or if you prefer to read the book on-line, you can read it in Google Docs using this link.

Or you can email me directly via the contact page to request a copy and I will send it to you.

 

Although this e-book is free for anyone who wants it and I did not wish to turn it into a profit enterprise, please do consider leaving a tip or making a small ‘donation’ via the Paypal link below. You can either make a one-time contribution or do it as a regular thing. Some of the work I undertake on this blog is very time-consuming: especially something that took as much time to research, write and put together as this e-book did. Any support you might provide will help to make that time and work more beneficial to me and help me to do more and to keep this site running. Thank you.

 

Why, you might ask, should you need to understand what happened in Libya in 2011…?

Because understanding what happened in Libya means understanding what the nature of the world in geopolitical terms now is; it means understanding who the criminals are, and most of all understanding how the criminal conspiracy works. And make no mistake: a vast criminal conspiracy was carried out in Libya and was covered up by a mainstream media that was itself part of the conspiracy.

The postscript to the NATO intervention in Libya is still going on now. Europe is facing a mass migration crisis, while thousands of desperate people are drowning in the Mediterranean Sea from the Libyan coast. Terrorists and extremist militias are flourishing like never before in history and are using the fallen Libya as a staging area to wage terror on multiple nations. We are being drawn towards the brink of an engineered, continent-spanning crisis and sectarian ‘Clash of Civilisations’ that may eventually engulf the entire world. Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed amid several collapsing nations, including Syria, with Libya itself now declared ‘a failed state‘ in mainstream commentary.

And most of it goes back to 2011, the NATO-led ‘humanitarian intervention’ in Libya and the brutal and sadistic assassination of Muammar Gaddafi.

All of this, coupled with the lies *still* being told even now by our political leaders about the 2011 intervention, convinced me that a thorough, comprehensive and clear chronicle of what really did happen in Libya in 2011 still needs to be laid down. Everyone needs to see beyond the fog of confusion and misinformation; needs to understand what really happened, how it happened, and *why* it happened; who caused it, who planned it and what the intention was.

This document is essentially a criminal investigation.

Please share this book far and wide. Across 140 pages, it can be demonstrated beyond doubt that; (1) the NATO powers are War Criminals that need to be brought to account for their actions in 2011, (2) that key officials of the governments of the US, the UK, France, several European nations and the Gulf States need to be tried in an international court for these crimes, including Hilary Clinton, Nicolas Sarkosy, and David Cameron, (3) that the alliance of governments, corporations and military agencies that currently control the Western world are morally bankrupt and need to be thoroughly investigated as criminals.

And (4) that the mainstream/corporate media and news broadcasters are entirely complicit in aiding and abetting an international criminal conspiracy and should also be either investigated or boycotted.

In doing so, it will also be demonstrated;

(1) that there was no ‘Civil War’ in Libya in 2011, (2) that there were no mass civilian ‘demonstrations’ against Gaddafi or the Libyan government in 2011, (3) that wholesale lies and fabrications were concocted by our governments and by the corporate news-media and that neither Gaddafi nor the Libyan regime was guilty of the ‘crimes’ they were accused of, (4) that NATO and the Western governments deliberately installed Al-Qaeda and other terrorist/extremist groups into Libyan cities, (5) that the entire operation was illegal under international law, and (6) that NATO, France, Britain and America, committed mass murder in Libya.

Most importantly, this book also comprehensively demonstrates how it was all done, every bloodstained step of the way, from the obscured beginning to the horrific end.
From the vast corporate media deception campaign, the Social Media sleight-of-hand and the ‘persona management software’, to the secret assassination plot, the Obama Letters, the Pentagon tapes, the Russian satellite data and everything in-between, this is the real story of the international ‘intervention’ in Libya… and there should be no ambiguity or doubt anymore about what really happened and what it was about.

Download ‘The Libya Conspiracy’ for free, using the links provided. And feel free to share the information and also to distribute this work freely, so long as no alterations are made to the files.

And thank you for supporting this blog and for supporting independent journalism in general.

___________________

List of Main Contents

Gaddafi’s Libya: Before the Crisis
The Obama Letters

February 2011: The Beginning of the End
Gaddafi and the Media

Collapse of a Nation: How it (Really) Started
The ‘Day of Rage’
Ultra-Violence & the State of Terror
‘Peaceful, Pro-Democracy’ Protesters
Bernard Levy

Mass Deception: Enter the Corporate Media
The Media Deception Campaign
Saif Gaddafi
The Russian Satellite Data

Utilising Social Media: The Propaganda Masterstroke
Persona Management Software
The You-Tube Strategy
A Nation ‘Destabilised by Al-Jazeera’

The Brink of the Abyss: “We are the People of Libya!”

Rebels, Mercenaries, Terrorists, Proxy Militias
‘Everyone is Terrified’
Al-Qaeda’s Day in the Sun
Billion-Dollar Mercenaries
A Word About ‘Captagon’
Guantanamo Bay

The UN Resolution and NATO’s Imperialist War
UN Resolution 1973
The UN Charter
The War on Libya Begins

‘Disguised as Arabs’ – The ‘Fifth Element’ in Libya
Boots on the Ground
Special Forces, MI6, Qatar & Criminal Warfare
The 2010 Unconventional Warfare Manual of the US Military

The Corporate Media Fiction & the ‘Crimes of the Regime’
The Benghazi Narrative
The Viagra Stories
The African Mercenaries
Amnesty International & International Crisis Group
BBC, Al-Jazeera, CNN & co Go to Town
The Information War

Timeline of Destruction: March – October 2011
Operation Destroy Libya
NATO War Crimes

‘Criminals and Barbarians’ – NATO’s Civilian Casualties
Piles of Bodies…’
The Fall of Tripoli
Operation Target Gaddafi
The Osama bin Laden Ruse
The ‘Nazi-Fascist Role’
Gaddafi’s Last Stand

The End of Gaddafi & the End of Libya
The ‘Largest Demonstration in World History’
Sirte & the Brutal Murder of Gaddafi

End-Game: The Gaddafi Check-Mate
Citizens Commission on Benghazi Report

Further Information to Convict Hilary Clinton, Sarkosy & Possibly Others of Murder…
The ‘White-Flag’ Convoy
The ‘Return to Barbarism’
Sarkozy and the French Connection
Three Decades of ‘Operation Assassinate Gaddafi’

After Gaddafi: The ‘National Transitional Council’
Ethnic Cleansing, Torture, Persecution & Murder
Who the ‘Opposition’ Leaders Really Were
Revolution or ‘Counter-Revolution?
Jalil’s Confession
The War in Syria

Libya NOW: A ‘Failed State’
Warlords, Terrorists, Rival Militias, & No Government
‘Islamic State’, Sharia Law, the Persecution of Women
2011 ‘Civil War’ as ‘Battle of the Sexes’
Mass Migration & the Mediterranean

The Case for the Prosecution: The Crime & the Criminals
Obama, Hilary, David Cameron & the Whole Mafia
The Mass Media Warfare
The Pentagon Tapes
Decades of Propaganda
Lockerbie
The Berlin Disco Bombing
The Failure of the UN

The Motive: Why Libya Was Targeted
The Gold Dinar & African Development
The Gold Heist of the Century
The Lockerbie Reimbursements
The ‘World Revolution’
The ‘Islamic State’, the ‘Clash of Civilisations’ & the ‘Perpetual War’

Posted in Libya, LiteratureComments Off on ‘THE LIBYA CONSPIRACY’ – Free, Exclusive Book Download For All Readers

US-led coalition air raids breach Syria sovereignty

NOVANEWS
Press TV 

Cuba has denounced US-led coalition airstrikes in Syria, saying they violate the Arab country’s sovereignty as they are not permitted by Damascus.

Cuban Ambassador to the United Nations Humberto Rivero made the criticism during a UN Security Council meeting in New York on Wednesday.

“We demand the cessation of the violations of Syrian sovereignty and the foreign military presence without the consent and the coordination of operations with the Syrian government, the only legitimately elected authority in the country,” Rivero said.

He further condemned the “politicization” of the crisis in Syria and “the tampering of the humanitarian crisis and the suffering” of people in the Middle Eastern country.

Those who are “supplying weapons, money and patronage to terrorist groups are responsible for the thousands of civilian victims of the conflict and the humanitarian situation,” the Cuban diplomat said, expressing his opposition to “the promotion of an interventionist agenda” in Syria.

The US-led coalition has been conducting air raids against what are said to be Daesh terrorists inside Syria since September 2014 without any authorization from the Damascus government or a UN mandate. Analysts have assessed the strikes as unsuccessful as they have led to civilian deaths and failed to counter terrorism.

The US Air Force is also carrying out airdrops of weapons, ammunition and other equipment to militants fighting against the pro-government forces in Syria.

UN chief optimist on ‘conflict freeze’

Separately on Wednesday, United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres warned that the consequences of the Syria crisis had become “too dangerous.”

Speaking in a briefing at the UN office in the Swiss city of Geneva, Guterres stressed that the conflict had fueled instability in the Middle East region and terrorist attacks across the globe.

Touching on the upcoming Syria peace talks in the Kazakh capital Astana, the UN chief further expressed hope that the discussions could “lead towards a consolidation of the ceasefire and a freeze in the conflict.”

The cessation of hostilities took effect on December 30, following an agreement between Syria’s warring parties.

Mediated by Russia and Turkey with the support of Iran, the truce is the first of its kind that has been largely holding in Syria for almost three weeks now. Earlier attempts by the US to broker such a long-lasting ceasefire had failed.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Guterres underlined that the success of the Syria talks could “help create the conditions for a political process” regarding the Syria crisis.

The Astana talks, which are scheduled to be held on January 23, were brokered by Moscow, Ankara and Tehran.

Posted in USA, CUBA, SyriaComments Off on US-led coalition air raids breach Syria sovereignty

Colombian Human Rights Leader Assassinated

NOVANEWS

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Colombian human rights defender Emilsen Manyoma | Photo: Conpaz
teleSUR 

On Tuesday police in the Pacific coast city of Buenaventura announced they had discovered the body of Afro-Colombian human rights activist Emilsen Manyoma, 32, and her partner Joe Javier Rodallega, who had been missing since Saturday.

A prominent leader in the Bajo Calima region since 2005, Manyoma was an active member of the community network CONPAZ where she was an outspoken critic of right-wing paramilitary groups and the displacement of local by international mining and agribusiness interests.

For the past year Manyoma played a key role in documenting attacks on human rights leaders in the region as part of the recently created Truth Commission.

The police said they had found the bodies in an advanced state of decomposition in a jungle area beside the highway. The Justice and Peace Commission, an ecumenical human rights group, reported that both bodies were severely wounded, with Rodallega’s hands reported tied. Radio Contagio reported that both bodies were beheaded.

While police did not release the names of any suspects, just days before their disappearance on Saturday, Rodallega reported being threatened and said a truck had been circling Manyoma’s house.

According to the human rights organization Front Line Defenders, at least 85 human rights defenders were murdered in Colombia in 2016 alone.

Posted in Colombia, South AmericaComments Off on Colombian Human Rights Leader Assassinated

‘Facebook deals first blow in the fake war against fake news’

NOVANEWS

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Governments are using media organizations as proxies in an effort to control the information citizens can get from the Internet, says former MI5 officer Annie Machon. The fake war against fake news is predicated on a big lie, she added.

RT has been blocked from posting content to its Facebook page during the live broadcast of Barack Obama’s final news conference over an alleged copyright infringement.

The suspension was triggered by one of the social network’s algorithms, which is alerted according to what’s being submitted.

RT has a contract with the Associated Press and streamed a news feed. The agency has confirmed RT had the right to retransmit the video, so the problem must lie with Facebook.

The head of Russia’s telecoms watchdog is warning of “active response measures” if RT’s work is restricted by the American media or the social networks.

Facebook has not replied to inquiries, and the restrictions on posting remain.

RT: The news outlet was mentioned as triggering a Facebook alert and says it’s not them. So just how sensitive has Facebook’s media clampdown tool become?

Annie Machon: I think this is the first blow in Facebook’s self-proclaimed war against so-called fake news. Both Facebook and Google in the wake of the shadowy PropOrNot list of 200 news organizations around the world that are supposedly peddling fake news, but actually just offering an alternative to the corporate US media, and RT was included in that. Facebook and Google in the aftermath said that they would start to censor all these outlets. I think that is what we are seeing with Facebook now is that they are using the excuse of copyright to censor legitimate news channel and stop them from covering a world event that the rest of the world is going to watch without any problem on other channels.

RT: At the World Economic Forum in Davos the Facebook representative said that their organization is dedicated, as they put it, to tackling so-called fake news and the whole phenomenon that we’ve heard of lately. Do you think this is part of that?

AM: I think it is part of that. And it is not just Facebook and Google who said they are going to take on the so-called fake news. It is also the European Union who issued a diktat last November saying that they were going to set up a body to counter fake news. We see countries like France and Germany already peddling this idea that there is going to be hacking and counter-democratic activity in the run up to their elections this year. So, they are using this. But I think it is interesting to see that the copyright has been used as a pretext for this censorship. I’ve been saying for years that the media organizations are being used by the governments as proxy organizations in terms of trying to control the information we can ingest over the internet and the information we can actually access over the internet.

RT: The suspension is imposed ahead of Trump’s inauguration and won’t be lifted until the day after it. What do you make of that? Is it a coincidence?

AM: Absolutely not. It is a first blow in the so-called battle – fake battle against fake news. And let’s just remind ourselves how this so-called concept of fake started. Somehow information was leaked from the DNC last year and the people who received that information, WikiLeaks said very clearly it was not a hack, it was actually a leak. And yet the corporate media in America has said again, “No, this was Russia hacking the DNC.” And then somehow it became Russia hacking the American elections, Russia hacking voting computers, Russia hacking the energy grid in America. None of this has been proven. Some of it has been actively proven to be false. But when Obama expelled the 35 Russian diplomats from America back to Russia before Christmas, that sort of solidified as fact that the Russians had done something wrong. There is no proof whatsoever. So this fake war against fake news is predicated on a big lie.

I think there are strings have been pulled in the background, shall we say. Particularly, in America. And the big media and internet corporations in America have been proven year after year to be very much in bed with the US state and with the US secret state. We know this of course because of the revelations of Edward Snowden. You know, all the big social media giants signed up to allow access to their databases by the secret agencies in America, starting with Microsoft back in 2006. We know that they are complicit; we know that they have been compromised. So, who can tell where this is going to go. There is a sort of all-out fight between the president-elect anyways and his so-called intelligence agencies.

RT: The original source mentioned as alerting Facebook denies it raised a copyright flag. AP confirmed RT had the rights for transmission. Facebook is the only entity yet to answer. Why isn’t it being more pro-active to remedy this considering this being a pretty big media news?

Chris Bambery, political analyst: It is pretty big media news, and I am really puzzled. Donald Trump is about to become President, and he is painted by much of the world’s media and spy agencies as being President Putin’s chum. And yet there is this continuing escalation of the Cold War with Russia, even hours before Trump is elected. Facebook is a giant American transnational. It is not known for its own transparency over these things. It does lead one to suspect that there are sections of our US elite who really do not like Donald Trump and want to create difficulties between the incoming presidency and Russia.

RT: RT’s troubles with Facebook come a day after the online news alert service Dataminr refused to renew our contract with them. That stems back to the CIA also being denied access and saying the same should apply to RT claiming we’re tied to Russian intelligence. Is that the real reason, do you think?

CB: On that basis, if you are being blocked because you receive state funding, the BBC World service is funded by the British Foreign Office, so why would that not be blocked? And I am sure Radio Free Europe and various other outlets have received funding from the American state. So, if that is to be criteria than a lot of leading news agencies would be off social media, and off air. This is going to feed into the conspiracy theories because it is so bizarre and strange.

Well, the biggest fake news story I’ve seen was the so-called dossier about Donald Trump, and they didn’t seem to be blocking that, which was all over Facebook. Again, I find it rather strange.

Read more:

Facebook blocks RT from posting until after Trump inauguration
Dataminr terminates RT access to Twitter news discovery tool, gives no official reason

Posted in MediaComments Off on ‘Facebook deals first blow in the fake war against fake news’

Neocon mouthpiece Ayaan Hirsi Ali exposed as mythomaniac

NOVANEWS

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By Brandon Martinez 

The vulgar Neocon-Zionist agent Ayaan Hirsi Ali, darling of Zionist media venues for her anti-Muslim invective and genocidal calls for a “war on Islam,” is exposed thoroughly in this Dutch documentary as a mythomaniac who fabricated entire parts of her past to gain fame and fortune in the West.

The documentary shows that she opportunistically married a Somali-Canadian man in Kenya and then used him to pay her way to Europe where she promptly ditched him and demanded a divorce. Ali invented a story about being a civil war refugee from Somalia when she in fact lived out her childhood peacefully in Kenya. She did this so that she’d meet the requirements to gain residency in the Netherlands. She further invented a fable about fleeing a ‘forced marriage,’ an outright lie she told to a slew of media outlets which has earned her fame and book deals.

All of her sanctimonious fibbing eventually paid off when she became an MP in Holland in 2003.

Despite all of her past lies and debauchery, American neocons and Zionist-controlled media outlets (Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, FOX News’ The Megan File, AEI, The Guardian, Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report, The Daily Caller, The Richard Dawkins Foundation, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Times, and The Economist) have promoted her as a legitimate commentator. She is nothing more than an extremely mercenary opportunistic megalomaniac who will say anything to get attention. She is a willing tool of the neocon, Zionist warmongers and their agenda for world domination.

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The Balancing Act is Overe

NOVANEWS

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What Elor Azaria Taught Us about Israel
By Ramzy Baroud 

For some, the ‘manslaughter’ conviction – following the murder by Israeli army medic, Elor Azaria, of already incapacitated Palestinian man, Fattah al-Sharif – is finally settling a protracted debate regarding where Israelis stand on Palestinian human rights.

Nearly 70 percent of the Israeli public supports calls to pardon the convicted soldier who is largely perceived among Israelis as the “child of us all.”

Israeli leaders are also lining up to lend their support to Azaria and his family. These sympathetic politicians include Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and ministers Naftali Bennett and Miri Regev, among others. Leading opposition leaders are also on board.

Pro-Israeli pundits, who never miss an opportunity to highlight Israel’s supposed moral ascendency, took to social media, describing how the indictment further demonstrates that Israel is still a country of law and order.

They seem to conveniently overlook palpable facts. Reporting on the verdict, The Times of Israel wrote that “last time an IDF soldier was convicted of manslaughter was in 2005, for the killing of British civilian Tom Hurndall two years earlier.”

Between these dates, and years prior, thousands of Palestinians were killed in the Gaza Strip alone, mostly in the Israeli wars of 2008-9, 2012 and 2014. Although thousands of children and civilians were killed and wounded in Gaza and the rest of the Occupied Territories and, despite international outcries against Israel’s violations of international law, there is yet to be a single conviction in Israeli courts.

But why is it that some commentators suggest that the Azaria trial and the show of unity around his cause by Israeli society is an indication of some massive change underway in Israel?

Yoav Litvin, for example, argues in TeleSur that the “precedent set by this case will further solidify the complete dehumanization of Palestinians and pave the way for further ethnic cleansing and genocide in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.”

In an article, entitled: “Like Brexit and Trump, Azaria verdict exposes a moment of transition in Israel”, Jonathan Cook also eluded to a similar idea. “The soldier’s trial, far from proof of the rule of law, was the last gasp of a dying order,” he wrote.

Neither Litvin nor Cook are suggesting that the supposed change in Israel is substantive but an important change, nonetheless.

But if the past and the present are one and the same, where is the ‘transition’, then?

The creation of Israel atop the ruins of Palestine, the ethnic cleansing that made Israel’s ‘independence’ possible, the subsequent wars, occupation and sieges are all devoid of any morality.

Indeed, Israel was established with the idea in mind that a “Jewish state” is [im]possible without the ethnic cleansing and genocide of the Palestinian Arabs.

In a letter to his son in 1937, David Ben Gurion, Israel’s first Prime Minister after the country’s establishment in 1948, wrote: “We must expel the Arabs and take their places and if we have to use force, to guarantee our own right to settle in those places ­ then we have force at our disposal.”

In the year that Israel was established, the United Nations defined genocide in Article 2 of the ‘Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide’, as follows:

Any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part…

In other words, there is nothing new here since the ‘mainstreaming of genocide’ in Israel took place before and during the founding of the country, and ever since.

Fortunately, some Israeli leaders were quite candid about the crimes of that era.

“Jewish villages were built in the place of Arab villages. You do not even know the names of these Arab villages, and I do not blame you because geography books no longer exist,” former Israeli leader, Moshe Dayan said while addressing the Technion as reported in Haaretz on April 4, 1969. “There is not a single place built in this country that did not have a former Arab population.”

But throughout these years, Israel has managed to sustain a balancing act, generating two alternate realities: a material one, in which violence is meted out against Palestinians on a regular basis, and a perceptual one, that of a media image through which Israel is presented to the world as a ‘villa in the jungle’, governed by democratic laws, which makes it superior to its neighbors in every possible way.

Former Israeli President, Moshe Katsav, demonstrates the latter point best. “There is a huge gap between us (Jews) and our enemies,” he was quoted in the Jerusalem Post on May 10. 2001. “They are people who do not belong to our continent, to our world, but actually belong to a different galaxy.”

In fact, Israeli commentators on the Left often reminisce about the ‘good old days’, before extremists ruled Israel and right wing parties reigned supreme.

A particular memory that is often invoked was the mass protest in Tel Aviv to the Israeli-engineered Sabra and Shatila massacres of Palestinian refugees in South Lebanon in 1982.

Protesters demanded the resignations of then-Prime Minister, Menachem Begin, and his Defense Minister, Ariel Sharon. Both men were accused of allowing the massacres of Palestinians by Christian Phalange to take place. An Israeli commission of investigation found Israel guilty of ‘indirect responsibility’, further contributing to the myth that Israel’s guilt lies in the fact that it allowed Christians to kill Muslims, as Sharon complained in his biography, years later.

At the time, it did not occur to Israeli protesters as odd the fact that Begin, himself, was the wanted leader of a terrorist gang before Israel’s founding and that Sharon was accused of having orchestrated many other massacres.

Many in Israeli and western media spoke highly of the moral uprightness of Israeli society. Palestinians were baffled by Israel’s ability to carry out war crimes and to emerge in a positive light, regardless.

“Goyim kill Goyim and the Jews are blamed,” Begin had then complained with a subtle reference to what he perceived as a form of anti-Semitism. Aside from Sabra and Shatila, tens of thousands of Lebanese and Palestinians were killed in the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982.

Historical fact shows that Israel is not experiencing a real transition, but what is truly faltering is Israel’s balancing act: its ability to perpetrate individual and collective acts of violence and still paint an image of itself as law-abiding and democratic.

Zionist leaders of the past had played the game too well and for far too long, but things are finally being exposed for what they really are, thanks to the fact that Jewish settlers now rule the country, control the army, have growing influence over the media and, therefore, define the Israeli course and PR image.

“This new army (of settlers) is no longer even minimally restrained by concerns about the army’s ‘moral’ image or threats of international war crimes investigations,” wrote Cook.

And with that new-found ‘freedom’, the world is able to see Israel as it is. The balancing act is finally over.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, Human RightsComments Off on The Balancing Act is Overe

Syria Rejects Qatar, Saudi Chairs in Astana Talks: No Place for Terrorism Sponsors

NOVANEWS

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Syrian deputy Foreign Ministry rejected on Wednesday the participation of Saudi Zio-Wahhabi and Zio-Wahhabi Qatar in the Astana peace talks on Syria next week, stressing that negotiations should not include every party that supports, arms and funds terrorism.

“Once Qatar and Saudi Arabia halt their support to terrorism, then we can discuss their participation in the talks,” he said.

Speaking to Al-Mayadeen TV, Moqdad said that Washington should prove its sincerity to deal with solutions for the Syrian crisis, prevent the support of armed terrorist groups, and exert pressure on Turkey to close its border with Syria.

On the participation of the United States in Astana negotiations, the Syrian official said “anyone who wants to work in good will to resolve the crisis in Syria can take part,” calling to “punish those who finance and arm terrorism, including Saudi Arabia and Qatar.”

Posted in SyriaComments Off on Syria Rejects Qatar, Saudi Chairs in Astana Talks: No Place for Terrorism Sponsors

GADDAFI: A Psychological Profile of Man, Myth & Reality

 NOVANEWS

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He walked up to the podium to address the UN General Assembly.
All eyes in the chamber were on the strange, eccentric figure, whose invitation to New York had been the subject of great controversy and coverage. Staring out at all the delegations of world government, he acted out ripping up the UN Charter, calling it “worthless”.

He proceeded to condemn the UN for its failure to prevent “65 wars since 1945”, and to rally against the dictatorial control of the Security’s Council’s five permanent members and the domination of “the Super-powers”. “How can we be happy about global peace and security if the whole world is controlled only by five countries?” he complained. Some delegations walked out. Others looked embarrassed or uncomfortable.

The year was 2009 and the speaker was Muammar Gaddafi; then acting not just as the symbolic ‘head of state’ for Libya but as Chairman of the African Union. It was the first and last time he would ever be invited to address the UN. He would be dead less than two years later, murdered brutally by a terrorist mob being armed and supported by the very same “super-powers” and UN Security Council he had condemned in 2009. The bitter, ugly irony wouldn’t have been lost on him in those final weeks and days.

Hours later, he was in the CNN  studio being interviewed by veteran presenter Larry King; it was a very odd, stilted interview, partly undermined by a language barrier and partly by Gaddafi’s strange, off-kilter manner at the time. In that one moment in time, we saw two sides of the Libyan leader: in the General Assembly we saw the incisive protester and world figure, while in the TV studio we saw the slightly strange, disheveled man who Western audiences had such a hard time relating to.

That juxtaposition in fact probably characterised Western perception of Muammar Gaddafi for most of his life.

So what is there still to be said about Gaddafi? Loved. Hated. Demonised, vilified. Lionised. Mocked. Condemned. Celebrated. Revolutionary. Dictator. Visionary. Tyrant. Terrorist. Socialist. And finally murdered.

The list of words used to define or describe one of the most notorious world figures of the late 20th century goes on and on. Those words, those semantics, change depending of course on who is doing the talking. They changed also depending on what year it was or what the weather was like that day. But, as a few weeks ago marked the fifth anniversary since his brutal murder in Sirte, this seemed an appropriate time – as promised – to reflect on the life and character of one of the twentieth century’s most interesting and debated figures.

I already wrote here at length on the downfall of Gaddafi and Libya in 2011 and also about the Gaddafi era itself in Libya from 1969 to 2011; now, finally, was the appropriate time to reflect more squarely on Gaddafi himself, as a person. To try to understand his psychology, his motivations, his possible failings, and to try to deal with some of the enigma and contradiction. He was, to my mind, one of the three or four most fascinating world figures of the 20th century, and also the most important socio/geo-political martyr of the 21st century so far; and there is a great deal to process when trying to understand who he was.

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The one thing you could never do was define him in a simple sentence.

In life, and beyond death, Gaddafi remains difficult to make any blanket statements about. I don’t generally lionise people when it comes to politics or world affairs, and I would never claim Gaddafi was a ‘hero’ in any absolute sense; he was certainly a hero in 2011 and he died a hero. But life is too complicated and international affairs too nebulous and mired in corruption and agendas to make general statements about political figures.

Gaddafi was certainly a visionary and a revolutionary. In some ways he was an echo of the kind of world-changing, groundbreaking figures that existed in long gone times; a modern, Libyan or Arab equivalent of an Augustus or of an ancient Greek styled ‘Statesman-Philosopher’ type. In some ways he was also just another Arab dictator; but of course that wouldn’t contradict the Augustus analogy at all, as the founder of the Roman Republic had been a dictator for life, however much he had tried to dress it up in different terms. For that matter, you would have to go back to Roman times to find the last even vaguely famous Libyan before Gaddafi: since the days in which Romans were sailing the Mediterranean and warring with Carthage over 2,000 years ago, no ‘Libyan’ had ever made an impact on history or become known across the world until Muammar Gaddafi.

Tingba Muhammad, in an article in ‘The Final Call’, described Gaddafi as ‘a man whose progressive record of accomplishments very well may be unmatched by anyone who has ever led a nation in modern times.’

And he was also therefore a kind of leader most of us in the West can’t really relate to understand, given our highly institutionalized and regulated political systems and classes in which the power or will of individual figures to bring about vast change is extremely minimal, the individual subject by the vast, self-perpetuating systems and instruments of government and economics. That system, it is argued, protects us from madmen, protects us from overly ambitious or powerful individuals like Hitler or from cults of personality; which is probably true for the most part. It also hinders any possibility of revolution or of great change, it could be argued.

Gaddafi could be a riddle of contradictions. Who else could be named a frontrunner for Amnesty International’s poll for ‘Human Rights Hero, 2011’ and then just weeks later be labelled a ‘war criminal’ by Western government officials and accused of massacring civilian demonstrators?

Odd and eccentric are certainly other things you could describe Gaddafi as. And highly entertaining at times too. He unfortunately lent himself to ridicule, even when the ridicule wasn’t justified; though often the ridicule was probably justified. Here is a genuinely funny, but not mean-spirited, satire of Gaddafi from shortly before his death.

His eccentricities probably made it much easier for him to be caricatured as a ‘mad dictator’ much of the time; though most of those eccentricities probably didn’t emerge until later in his life, creating a sometimes jarring contrast between the serious, revolutionary nation-builder of the 1970s and the sometimes weird, outlandish figure of later years.

Here was a man whose downfall and death was celebrated by Western government officials and media, and yet was mourned by many across Sub-Saharan Africa, who celebrated him as a hero. For instance, a vigil was held in Sierra Leone. The Daily Times of Nigeria stated that Gaddafi, whether he had or hadn’t been a dictator, was the most benevolent in a region that only knew dictatorship and that he was “a great man that looked out for his people and made them the envy of all of Africa.”

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AllAfrica.com reported that while many Libyans and Africans would mourn Gaddafi, this would be ignored by Western media and that as such it “would take 50 years” before historians decided whether he was “martyr or villain.”

I think that is a very astute point actually; it may take 50 years for most people to really understand who Gaddafi was, what he accomplished, what he tried to do and what he was about. We can debate back and forth for hours over what Gaddafi was about; but the one thing he absolutely wasn’t is the two-dimensional Bond villain the Western governments and media made him out to be for so many years, even if some of his behavior did lend itself to that caricature.

He was a flawed person and a flawed leader, certainly; he was an egotist, yes. And some of his ideas, policies and actions were highly questionable. And like most Arab or African leaders, he can be said to have at various times presided over a repressive, sometimes violent, regime, even if he wasn’t the one guiding or endorsing the more oppressive behavior; this too, for that matter, is a subject of contention – the question of whether Gaddafi himself was directly to blame for the more oppressive behaviour of some of the Revolutionary Committees and other elements of the regime over the years. The jury is verymuch still out on that. The ‘jury’, for that matter, is still out in general, as the Western coalition chose to murder him instead of bringing him to a trial.

One of the reasons Gaddafi is so difficult to judge is because he changed so much. Across the four decades of his Libya, he seemed to reinvent himself and alter some of his views numerous times. If you study his history, there are periods in which you could legitimately call him a ‘dictator’ of course (but not necessarily any worse or different to various other Arab or African leaders – including the ones our governments support). But at other points you could also legitimately call him a true revolutionary, a champion of the people, a genuine Socialist. This practically impossible task of ‘defining’ Gaddafi is so complicated that people even now can’t state for certain whether he was a ‘dictator’ or merely a symbolic figurehead during the last few decades of his life.

But he was always an easy figure for the Western media and governments to make fun of. This wasn’t aided by his increasingly ostentatious dress sense as he got older, nor by some of the things he said and the way he said them. But then Gaddafi was a singular force, a self-made individual, who didn’t play the game by the international rule-book and who didn’t fit in to the prevailing world order.

And he didn’t mince words or ideas; didn’t do ‘politics’ in the sense that we understand it. Therefore he could say things like “There is no state with a democracy except Libya on the whole planet!” and do so in all seriousness; whether he meant that in a partly sarcastic way or not. He wasn’t, in truth, a great orator and often said things that didn’t translate very well (though he had a definite poetic flourish in his writings). That being said, there really aren’t many great ‘orators’ in the modern Arab world, where rhetoric and great oratory aren’t generally considered necessary qualities: by that standard, Gaddafi was different and can be said to have made at least a handful of very potent speeches in his time, in addition to written texts.

It helped that he always had the ability to shock or to provoke, of course; but also to be unintentionally funny when he was actually trying to be profound.

Who but Gaddafi would begin a speech at an Arab Summit with the sentence, “Firstly I would like to explain to you all why the Israelis and the Palestinians are both stupid…” But it was Gaddafi, and everyone knew who he was, knew what to expect, and some even came to enjoy it. When he made that statement about the Palestinians and the Israelis, the Palestinian Prime Minister was in the front row, laughing his head off and gesturing at the podium as if to illustrate that Mad Uncle Gaddafi was making his drunken X-Mas toast.

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Whether it was his support for various liberation movements in the 70s and 80s or whether it was the admittedly very odd custom he had of travelling everywhere with an elite unit of female bodyguards (the famous Amazonian Guard – many of whom were brutally hunted down and murdered after Gaddafi’s downfall). Or whether it was in his blunt statements, such as in that famous 2009 UN address in which he called the UN Security Council “the world terrorism council” and ripped up the UN Charter in front of the whole General Assembly, calling it ‘worthless’.

Sometimes this could be hilarious. When he visited Italy and met with Silvio Berlusconi, Gaddafi wore pictures of Libyan martyrs who’d died at the hands of Italian/Fascist Colonial occupation forces during World War II (over a million Libyans died in Italian concentration camps at that time; something that without doubt influenced a lot of Gaddafi’s attitude towards Colonialism and the West). It was a remarkably brazen thing to do, but he was making a statement on behalf of all Libyans (and the look on Berlosconi’s face, as he tries to pretend he hasn’t noticed, is priceless).

And among all of his visions, he also had some questionable ideas. And yes, Gaddafi proposed ‘SATO’; a ‘NATO of the South’ that would be set-up in opposition to NATO and would’ve been constituted by African and South-American nations forming a mutual defense initiative. It sounds facetious, but he may have had a serious underlying point about the imperialist North-Atlantic Treaty Organisation and the need for an equal and opposite organisation. For one thing, if he had built a ‘SATO’, then the NATO criminal enterprise of 2011 that resulted in his murder and the destruction of Libya might have encountered some serious opposition from the outset. Libya would’ve had allies. Instead, Libya was left to fend for itself against what Fidel Castro called “the Nazi-Fascist role played by America and its NATO allies”.

And yes, like Augustus, he also decided to rename the months. February was ‘Lights’, August was ‘Hannibal’ (that other great, mythic ‘hero’ of Libyan history, who had waged war on the Romans). These were all ‘quirky’, perhaps downright odd, aspects to his character and his life. He was also full of contradictions.

He was bitterly opposed to extremist ‘terrorists’, yet in his mission statement to support ‘freedom movements’ across the world he probably can be said to have at times supported ‘terrorist’ organisations; although there we do get into semantics and into questions of how you define a terrorist in one instance and a ‘freedom fighter’ in the other (case in point: he was substantially supporting Nelson Mandela and the ANC at a time when they were still being considered ‘terrorists’ by most Western governments).

He was also always keen to emphasise his humble Bedouin roots and would therefore receive dignitaries in his signature sprawling white tent, which he erected wherever he went: Rome, Paris and, after much controversy, New York, on a Westchester estate in 2009. Yet at the same time he increasingly started to attire himself in fine, ostentatious clothes. There were always such contradictions with Gaddafi, such was the complexity of his character. Unlike an archetypal ‘dictator’, he was subject to change, was in fact looking to change at various times and was looking to implement change as time moved on. His Libya was in an ongoing ‘state of revolution’; a continuous evolution going on over a long period of time, not a dictatorship set in stone.

Inside that tent of his, the quilted walls were printed with motifs like palm trees and camels. But however ostentatious and attention-seeking it may have been, there is also something charming and even endearing in seeing images of people like Vladimir Putin or Tony Blair having to meet Gaddafi in his tent. Modern, Western politicians always seemed so out-of-place, out of their comfort zone when having to do this. But likewise, Gaddafi himself always looked so out of place in the modern structures of global, Corporatist government on those few occasions he was invited; he looked like some exotic figure who’d been transported via a time-machine into the modern political world.

Libyan leader Moummar Gaddafi talks with Pan African Parliament President Gertrude Mongella from Tanzania during the family photo of the EU-Africa summit in Lisbon

When he came to the UN General Assembly in New York in 2009, some treated him like a rock star; even some of the usually composed, hum-drum officials and delegates seemed to be fascinated by his presence, as if their world had suddenly turned upside down.

Among two of the things most emblematically associated with Gaddafi’s work are the ‘Green Book’ and the Great Man-Made River project.

Gaddafi’s ‘Green Book’, which provided much of the basis for his ‘remaking of Libya’, has at times been ridiculed by Western commentators or dismissed as the quaint ramblings of a ‘madman’ or an eccentric. But numerous progressive academics worldwide have acclaimed The Green Book as a serious body of political thought, offering an incisive critique of Western parliamentary democracy, capitalism and Marxist socialism, and offering a viable, workable alternative.

The other ‘official’ books are a mixed thing. My Vision, published in the late 90s, is widely regarded as little more than a propaganda exercise by the Libyan state.

However, Gaddafi’s Escape to Hell & Other Stories is a fascinating insight into his mind; some of it has poetic flourish, while some of it is badly written to the point of being almost unreadable. But there are rich explanations of his passion for nature and the profundities of the living world, very sweet passages in relation to his parents, interesting insights into his own failings, frustrations and sense of limitation. There is also an insightful sense of Gaddafi’s sense of brotherhood with oppressed peoples and belittled cultures across the world, which explains the psychology behind his decades-long support for liberation movements from Nicaragua to Ireland to the Aborigines. And humour can be found in his vitriolic attacks on religious extremists and Islamist terrorism, which are full of sarcasm and put-downs.

Escape to Hell  is actually probably a much better insight into Gaddafi’s personality and mind (and a better read too) than The Green Book; the latter being a manifesto, the former being more of a free-flowing dialogue.

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The Great Manmade River has been written about at length elsewhere (and somewhat here): but is worth mentioning again here, as it was undertakings like this that gave Gaddafi the aura of those old-world visionaries and ‘nation builders’ and society-makers like in the legends of the classical Greek city states or of Roman builders like Augustus and Caesar, or Herod the Great.

He wasn’t just inspiring and forging the society on a political or ideological level, but was literally involved hands-on in building and transforming the landscape and infrastructure. Like a Herod the Great or an Augustus, he wanted to leave his mark for posterity, not just in the political and social landscape but in the physical landscape itself.

It is a little sad to think that he might’ve failed in that: the Great Manmade River – regarded a marvel in modern engineering, and rather boastfully called by Gaddafi himself ‘the eighth wonder of the world’ – has, in fact, been severely damaged by both the marauding Islamist rebels and the NATO bombers in 2011. And though some things will probably survive, monuments or projects relating to Gaddafi have been destroyed or town down all over Libya, and even swathes of some of the great cities and urban developments he oversaw the development of have been laid to waste or left in ruin by the NATO onslaught or the subsequent terrorist militias and warlords.

Even Tripoli, once a marvel of Gaddafi’s Libya, has been left in ruin and has been listed now as the ‘fifth most unlivable city’ in the world.

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The circumstances of Gaddafi’s birth, fittingly enough for someone who went to such lengths to mythologise himself, have the almost prophetic air of something out of scripture or myth.

The son of an impoverished Bedouin goat herder, Muammar Gaddafi was born in a tent near Qasr Abu Hadi, a rural area outside the town of Sirte in the deserts of western Libya. Curiously, Gaddafi’s date of birth is not known for certain, as his parents were Nomadic Bedouin and were illiterate and did not keep birth records.

These were the most humble of beginnings imaginable for a figure who end up a nation-builder, a one-time dictator and a cultural and national figurehead. Gaddafi was never embarassed of these roots, never tried to deny them or disavow his parents and upbringing. In fact, quite the opposite: he wore this Bedouin desert birth and upbringing almost as a badge of honour, as evidenced by – among other things – the fact that he would meet foreign dignitaries in his special tent and would even set up a tent to stay in when abroad, as he did in New York in 2009.

gaddafi-putin-tent

The contradiction in Gaddafi, as I mentioned earlier, is that while he was proud of this ‘humble’ roots and of the tribal and desert traditions of the country, he was also a city-builder who wanted to modernise and industrialise Libya, and he therefore often appeared to be oscillating back and forth between these two natures. His reverence of nature and the wilderness was undeniable and came through strongly in his writings, along with a disdain for modern, urban lifestyles – and yet he sought to build thriving, modern cities at the same time.

In 1945 at the conclusion of World War II, Libya was still occupied by British and French Colonialist forces.

Although Britain and France intended on dividing the nation between their empires (which they would again try to do in 2011, albeit in different terms and under different, more modern guises), the General Assembly of the newly-established United Nations granted the country independence. In 1951, the United Kingdom of Libya was created; a federal state under the leadership of the pro-western monarch, Idris, who banned all political parties and established an absolute monarchy. The monarchy was essentially a Colonialist vassal, serving foreign interests and keeping the population in poverty. This was essentially not a system at all interested in common society or in building up a nation, but mostly of simply holding the North-African nation as a vassal land of foreign interests.

The idea – wrongly perpetuated by critics – that Gaddafi’s regime had banned political parties was, technically, incorrect: there had never *been* any political parties.

Education in Libya was not free at that time, but Gaddafi’s father funded his son’s education despite the great financial difficulty. During the weeks, Gaddafi slept in a local mosque, having no home, and at weekends he walked some 20 miles to visit his parents in their traditional dwellings. Reportedly bullied for being a Bedouin, he was nevertheless proud of his identity and was said to have actively encouraged this same pride in other Bedouin children.

This same disposition of the child of humble origins being bullied for his ‘inferior’ background and responding with renewed pride in his roots would in fact play out all through Gaddafi’s life.

I believe – through reading and studying on Gaddafi at length – that he believed he was later looked down on and bullied by other Arab leaders and elite ruling families, particularly the Saudis, as being somehow a figure of ridicule simply because he was mere Bedouin from a poor African nation; moreover and more importantly, he perceived the same attitude towards him and his country from the broader international forces, particularly the Western and European governments who for so long refused to recognise his leadership or his country. Gaddafi (pictured below in the early 70s with PLO leader Yasser Arafat, with Egypt’s Nasser and the Saudi Royals on the right), may therefore have carried with him something of a persecution complex.

gaddafi-arafat-nasser-saudiroyals

This was, of course, entirely valid come 2011, when all of his longstanding views of the ‘Western, Colonialist aggression’ (and his mistrust of the Saudi and Gulf State monarchies) were proven absolutely true.

As a young man and student, he had a keen interest in Arab nationalist activism, but he nevertheless refused to join any of the banned political parties active at the time, including the Arab Nationalist Movement, the Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party, and the Muslim Brotherhood, this being because he rejected ‘factionalism’. He later claimed at this time he read voraciously on the subjects of General Nasser and Egypt, the French Revolution of 1789, the works of Syrian political theorist Michel Aflaq and curiously the biography of Abraham Lincoln.

“Lincoln was a man who created himself from nothing without any help from outside or other people. I followed his struggles. I see certain similarities between him and me,” he said in a book published by The Pittsburg Press in 1986 called Gaddafi: The Man the World Loves to Hate.

People could roll their eyes or make jokes about any comparison between Muammar Gaddafi and Abraham Lincoln, but the fact is that Gaddafi was entirely self-made. All that he accomplished in his own life he accomplished entirely without assistance from outside forces and without inherited privilege. Unlike the Royal Dictators of the Saudi and Gulf States, for example, who inherit immense and wealth and privilege, or like leaders of American or British governments, who come up through highly wealthy elite networks and major patronage from wealthy backers or from corporations, someone like Gaddafi literally came from nothing and *had* nothing except what he built himself.

And indeed the Libya that he built – the poorest nation in Africa at the time he inherited the helm and wealthiest and most successful within just the first decade of his rule – was also a self-made success story, built entirely independently, without any foreign loans, without any involvement from Western companies or governments or the IMF or World Bank. Given all of that, Gaddafi could literally compare himself to Lincoln and be making a serious point. His Libya had also come into being as an entirely Libyan affair and wasn’t a foreign-backed or foreign funded coup.

Graduating in August 1965, the young Gaddafi had become an army communications officer. In April 1966, he was sent to Britain for further training; spending time undergoing military training in Dorset and Kent and an English language course at Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire.

One of his instructors from this time called him “hard working, conscientious” and “an amusing officer”, adding that he was an avid reader of books and also enjoyed playing football. Gaddafi disliked England, however, and later claimed that British Army officers had racially insulted him on a regular basis. He also claimed to have found it very difficult adjusting to the country’s culture. One wonders, with hindsight, whether these experiences might have had some impact on his later attitude towards the Colonialist powers, Britain in particular. The experience may have also caused him to retreat more into his Arab identity and his desert roots. Almost certainly, whatever racism he encountered would’ve left a bitter taste in his mouth.

gaddafi_in_londonpicadilly1966

There is a very amusing picture (above) of the young Gaddafi walking around Piccadilly Circus in 1966, dressed in traditional Bedouin robes, while two English old ladies look on, bemused.

There was very little time between Gaddafi walking around Piccadilly Circus in 1966 and he and his ‘Revolutionary Committee’ conducting the coup in Libya that ousted the monarchy and established a Socialist Republic.

Gaddafi and his Revolutionary Committees believed the monarchy and the ruling elite were opposed to the will of the people and the development of the nation, so they purged monarchists and members of Idris’ Senussi clan from Libya’s political world and armed forces.

Inspired by the Arab Nationalism that was going on across the Middle East, particularly the example set by President Nasser in Egypt, the Libyan Revolution led by Gaddafi successfully ousted King Idris in 1969. It was an entirely bloodless coup with no deaths and no violence; conducted with popular consent and broad support and carried out entirely by Libyan nationals serving a Libyan agenda. It had been entirely secular in character, with no sectarian interests. Contrast this to the foreign-funded 2011 uprising, which involved scores and scores of foreign terrorists and mercenaries and was backed and directly aided by foreign interference and foreign military bombing; it was an absolute bloodbath, mired in Islamist terrorism, Al-Qaeda atrocities, ethnic cleansings, and unbridled barbarity in many instances.

The difference between Gaddafi’s 1969 revolution and the Al-Qaeda/NATO-led 2011 ‘revolution’ is absolute.

Read more: ‘The Libya Conspiracy: A Definitive Guide to the Libya Intervention & the Crime of the Century…’

Following the military coup in 1969, the new Libyan government insisted that America and Britain immediately remove their military bases from Libya, with the 27-year-old Gaddafi saying Libya would “tolerate living in shacks while the bases of imperialism exist in Libyan territory.” The British left in March and the Americans in June 1970, despite both having tried to negotiate an agreement with the Libyans at this early stage. But with this clear statement and attitude, the tone and nature of the relationship between the new Libya and the Western superpowers was set for the decades that would follow.

burningbloggerofbedlam-muamargaddaffi

Gaddafi was recognised as Revolutionary Chairman of the Libyan Arab Republic from 1969 to 1977, and then later as the “Brotherly Leader” of the Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya from 1977 to 2011, the latter being supposedly a less executive and more symbolic role.

While many critics portrayed the Gaddafi family and the Libyan ‘regime’ as an immovable, dictatorial ‘establishment’ that would permanently rule over the people, it is clear that Gaddafi was considering other possibilities. Other critics would point to the ‘lavish lifestyles’ of the Gaddafi family, though in reality this was more to do with some of his sons and relatives and not so much Gaddafi himself. And more to the point, even if the Gaddafi family did live in ‘luxury’, it clearly wasn’t at the expense of the people.

And of course the whole critique becomes even less meaningful when we consider the luxury that other dictatorships, such as the Saudi and Gulf-State Royal Families live in (and the extraordinary wealth disparity with their populations), and who are nevertheless supported and well-regarded by Western governments. Even more pertinently, the political classes in America, France, Britain and most other developed nations aren’t exactly known for slumming it with the lower classes either, are they?

Gaddafi, let’s remember, was a peasant, born in the desert to impoverished Bedouin parents: he worked for and attained everything he had in life, having had the most humble beginnings imaginable. Our own Establishment simply has that luxury as a ‘birthright’.

Some of Gaddafi’s relatives, as well as some Libyan officials, did later adopt lavish lifestyles, including luxurious homes, Hollywood film investments and private parties with American pop stars; this was particularly the case with the younger generation, such as Gaddafi’s son Mot’assim.

How much this was true of Gaddafi himself (pictured below with wife Safia and son Saadi in the 70s: photo credit, Tyler Hicks, New York Times) is difficult to tell, but the evidence suggests he wasn’t particularly excessive in the context of other leaders or ‘dictators’. In democratic societies like ours, someone like Tony Blair, for example, earns millions in his post-office enterprises as well as receiving substantial amounts of tax-payer money for his personal security, etc. The same is true of former American Presidents like Clinton and Bush.

gaddafi-safia_tylerhicks_newyorktimes

The Gaddafi family compound had facilities for banquets and other public events, but was actually described by US intelligence reports published via Wikileaks as “not lavish in any way compared with the ostentation of the Gulf-oil-state families.”

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And what of Gaddafi, the ‘Brutal Dictator’?

It is, rather remarkably, still an unresolved question as to whether Gaddafi himself was personally responsible for any of the more brutal actions at various points by elements of the regime or whether these elements, particularly the Revolutionary Committees, were much more autonomous than that and essentially acted on their own authority and initiatives. It could be that when Gaddafi attacked those elements of the regime publicly or condemned their actions, he was simply performing an act to absolve himself in the people’s eyes. Or it’s possible he really wasn’t directly culpable in their activities.

The truth of the matter may lay somewhere in the hazy middle of those two possibilities.

burningbloggerofbedlam-muammar-gaddafi

There were also strong indications that his personal involvement with those aspects of the regime abated more and more in the later years as he adopted his more and more symbolic position in the society, and that by the last few years of his life he was hardly involved at all; but that the existential crisis of 2011 simply forced all the revolutionary forces to rally around the founder of the state once more and forced Gaddafi himself to return to a more aggressive stance in order to fight off the invading terrorists, mercenaries and foreign agents.

As Hugh Roberts notes in his article ‘Who Said Gaddafi Had to Go?’, days after Gaddafi’s death (and which I’ve referenced in previous articles, because it really is a worthwhile read): ‘Words such as ‘authoritarianism’, ‘tyranny’ (a favourite bugbear of the British) and ‘dictatorship’ have never really captured the particular character of this set-up but have instead relentlessly caricatured it. Gaddafi, unlike any other head of state, stood at the apex not of the pyramid of governing institutions but of the informal sector of the polity, which enjoyed a degree of hegemony over the formal sector that has no modern counterpart.’

Perversely, it also worth considering that much of Gaddafi’s alleged paranoia and the paranoia displayed by the Revolutionary Committees (which led to much of the oppressive treatment of political opponents) was a direct result of all the CIA/MI6/foreign assassination attempts and plots to subvert, infiltrate or overthrow the regime.

If Gaddafi was paranoid, it was for good reason. From the moment he’d ousted the monarchy 1969, Gaddafi had numerous and constant threats to both his position and his life – from the monarchists, from the Israeli Mossad, from Saudi and Gulf-State agents, from the CIA and MI6, from homegrown and foreign-backed groups like the National Front for the Salvation of Libya, the National Conference for the Libyan Opposition (NCLO), and finally from Al-Qaeda and the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group. He and his supporters had every cause for extreme defensiveness; all of which of course was proven entirely valid in 2011.

In regard to the widely circulated caricature of Gaddafi as a ‘mad, weird’ dictator, it could be legitimately suggested that Gaddafi did get stranger and stranger in his behaviour as the years went on.

Something happened with him that tends to happen to most men who experience great power for a long period of time; just as with Augustus and other emperors, and just as with various dictators over the centuries, being in power for so many years – and becoming the national figurehead and living symbol – undoubtedly did odd things to his mind and his self-perception. His ego clearly spiraled, to the extent that he openly thought of himself as the “king of kings” of Africa, having already considered himself a prophet. The thing is, had he walked away or stepped aside after the first decade or so of his rule, no one would question his accomplishments and what he did for Libya – that first decade was an extraordinary period of development, vision and success.

Read more: The Life & Death of Gaddafi’s Libya: A Study of the Libya That No Longer Exists

But most men, were they to rule for almost four decades, would probably develop significant psychological complexes. What is particularly fascinating in Gaddafi’s case is that, come the Arab Spring and violent uprising in 2011 – combined with the NATO-led assault – something seemed to snap back in him and the increasingly odd egotist and eccentric of the preceding decade-plus seemed to quickly be shaken off like moss.

Suddenly, something more like the Gaddafi of 1969 was back – the proud, defiant Libyan patriot and guardian of the society. If you observe Gaddafi in 2011, it was as if the sudden, bloody and urgent, existential threat to the nation he had built up was like a splash of cold water to wake him from what had been – at times – a long, increasingly self-obsessed daze.

pro-gaddafi32342

It was too late, in a sense. In another sense, however, it gave him one last chance to become something potent and vital again and to become in reality the kind of national symbol and hero that he had always tried to present himself as. But whereas, for many years he had artificially built up this mythology around himself, as many ‘great men’ do, in 2011 it was purely in his actions. In other words, where he had spent many years trying to, with no small amount of ego, portray himself as the great hero and defender of the society, he now, at the end, actually was the great hero and defender of the society -right to the bitter, bloody end.

Which is not to say that the various acts of egotism and self-aggrandizement over the years were ‘justified’ by the Gaddafi of 2011 – they weren’t. But, in the end, he entirely lived up to his image, however self-serving that image might’ve been at some stages of his life. Where most leaders, especially powerful ‘dictators’ with vast wealth or assets to protect, would’ve fled to safety, gone into exile or cut a deal, Gaddafi stood his ground and fought and prioritised saving the nation, the society and the people’s dignity.

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So, who was the ‘real’ or definitive Muammar Gaddafi?

The Gaddafi who, in a mad act of self-worship, allowed a delegation of minor African dignitaries to place a golden crown on his head and literally proclaim him “King of Africa”? Or the Gaddafi who, just weeks before his death – and at a time when the war was clearly lost and he knew his time in Libya was up – went out and rallied his people, telling them to go out into the streets with their flags and be unafraid of their enemies and to continue on as proud Libyans in their land?

It’s actually impossible to say.

The answer is probably that both were the ‘real’ Gaddafi; one was the Gaddafi that began to emerge when he grew psychologically fat and lazy from continuous prestige and power, while the other was the Gaddafi who quickly re-emerged when the life or death of the nation was suddenly at stake. One was the Gaddafi who it was difficult to have much sympathy for; the other was the Gaddafi who got to end his life as a hero and as the most potent symbol Libya had ever – and will ever have – produced, almost as if to make up for all those years of inflated self-aggrandizement and vanity projects.

Why was Gaddafi a hero in much of Africa and why was he so influential in the continent?

It’s important to remember that his original interests had been in the Arab world and not so much Africa. He had been a major proponent of Arab Nationalism and Pan-Arabism in the 1970s – that Arab nations should build mostly secular, progressive states and come together in common cause and brotherhood, instead of following their own petty interests or sectarian concerns. He had been the main proponent of the plan to unify Libya with Syria and Egypt in a common, secular Arab alliance.

assad-gaddafi

These endeavors ultimately failed, however, and, by the eighties, that Pan-Arab ideal had evaporated from most of the region.He still maintained a good relationship with Syria, which had remained an Arab Nationalist state and which like Libya was one of the few remaining nations on earth that was truly independent. But in general, Gaddafi was no longer on very good terms with most of the Arab world.

Instead, he turned towards Africa.

Gaddafi had opposed Apartheid in South Africa and forged a good relationship with Nelson Mandela, who named his own grandson after Gaddafi and called Gaddafi one of the 20th century’s “greatest freedom fighters”, and insisted the eventual collapse of the Apartheid system owed a great deal to Gaddafi and Libyan support. In turn, Mandela later played a key role in helping Gaddafi gain (brief) mainstream acceptance in the Western world later in the 1990s. Over the years, Gaddafi came to be seen as a hero in much of Africa due both to his epic revolutionary image and to what he had accomplished in Libya. This view was only amplified by the manner of his horrific death at the hands of Western, Imperialist-backed terrorists.

After Mr Mandela became South Africa’s first black president in 1994, he rejected pressure from Western leaders – including then-US President Bill Clinton – to sever ties with Gaddafi, who had in fact largely bankrolled his election campaign. “In the darkest moments of our struggle, when our backs were to the wall,” Mandela had said, “it was Muammar Gaddafi who stood with us.” In 1997, Mandela awarded Gaddafi the highest official honour in South Africa in recognition for his support of human rights and the struggle against white Apartheid.

This view of Gaddafi was shared by many others across Africa. “For most Africans, Gaddafi is a generous man, a humanist, known for his unselfish support for the struggle against the racist regime in South Africa. If he had been an egotist, he wouldn’t have risked the wrath of the West to help the ANC both militarily and financially in the fight against Apartheid,” said Jean-Paul Pougala, writing in the London Evening Post after Gaddafi’s death.
gadaffi-mandela-africa

Gaddafi was also one of the founders of the African Union (AU), created in July 2002, with its birthplace in his own place of birth (and death) – Sirte.

There are debates as to whether Gaddafi’s influence on Africa was positive or negative. There are highly critical views of Libyan involvement in other African states and in bloody skirmishes and Civil Wars in Africa; but, of course, these are the same sorts of geopolitical controversies that numerous other nations – the United States, Russia, Britain, France, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Iran, to name a few – have been, and still are, involved in too.

What is clear is that – particularly in the final years of his life – Gaddafi was, in essence, moving to free the entire African continent from the clutches of Western imperialism.

As is well attested, Gaddafi was establishing himself as the pioneer of African development and currency; establishing himself as the alternative to the IMF in Africa. In effect, he was setting himself up for conflict with the international central banks and monetary system. Just how significant Gaddafi’s presence was to Africa is something that Western media has always tried to downplay. But Gaddafi alone had allocated two-thirds of the $42 billion that was required to launch a public African Central Bank (based in Nigeria), an African Monetary Fund (based in Cameroon) and an African Investment Bank based in Libya.

The African Monetary Fund (AMF) would’ve meant no more borrowing from Rothschild Central Banks for African countries, but production of its own currency for Africa, interest-free and backed by Gold standard.

This was the reason Gaddafi was always portrayed and treated as such a threat to Western interests. Had he been a simple dictator, content to live out his reign in luxury as an all-powerful ruler in his own domain, the West would’ve left him alone – just like various other dictators are left alone. It was his continuous interest in pursuing anti-Imperialist agendas that made him unpalatable: whether it was ensuring Libyan independence and self-sufficiency in the early 70s, trying to establish a strong Arab federation in the mid-to-late 70s, financially supporting worldwide ‘liberation movements’ throughout the 70s and 80s, or trying to establish African currency and independence in the 21st century, the Western powers realised that he wasn’t inclined to just sit there, playing the fiddle like Nero.

While Gaddafi certainly took steps to reconcile with the West and to try to improve relations (led in part by his son, Saif al-Islam), he never entirely gave up his anti-Colonial, anti-Imperialist views and ideas. He always retained that same attitude that had driven the 1969 ousting of the King. As late as the Second Africa/South America Summit in Venezuela in September 2009, he joined Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez in calling for an “anti-imperialist front” across Africa and Latin America; this, in the same year he had made his controversial address to the UN General Assembly in New York.

By this point in time, it would’ve been clear to Western agencies that, for all his ‘reconciliation’ with the West in recent years, Gaddafi was still ultimately a problem and a nuisance.

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Where does all this bring us to in our search for the ‘real’ Gaddafi?

Nowhere definitive, probably. Just confirmation that he was a complex figure who can be viewed in many different lights depending on where you’re standing at any given time. probably lionised him a little too much when I compiled a book detailing the 2011 ‘Civil War’ and Western intervention; but I was really writing in the context of that year’s events and Gaddafi’s actions at that time.

It would be childish to call portray him as a faultless saint, as political affairs, particularly in such a troubled, unstable region, don’t create such figures. It is, by the same token, equally childish to portray Gaddafi as a cartoon Villain, which is what Western officials did for so long; a caricature that had very little basis in reality. Gaddafi was… simply Gaddafi; complex, enigmatic, flawed, but an extraordinary political, social and now historical figure, whose life, actions and legacy will inspire debate for generations to come.

In the end, in the final analysis, Muammar Gaddafi ends up a figure so difficult to pin down, so difficult to truly assess, that it may, as AllAfrica.com said, take “50 years” to truly come to a conclusion.

What the Western, NATO-led governments and their Islamist/Salafist terrorist friends did do in 2011, however, was inadvertently to make sure that whatever Gaddafi may or may not have been in his lifetime, he was an absolute hero in the final chapter. In 2011, Gaddafi was the great lion set upon and defeated by the corrupt alliance of wolves, jackals and vultures. He died a hero’s death, fighting a long, hero’s battle. Whatever else he may have been at any other time, he ended up the ultimate hero, the ultimate defender of his people and his country, waging one last, dying battle against corrupt, criminal forces of a morally-bankrupt global/financial Imperialism.

In essence, as I said earlier, the events of 2011 allowed Gaddafi to achieve an apotheosis as a natural end-point to the ‘revolutionary’ figure he had been in ’69 and the early 70s, almost erasing – to some extent -some of the less noble acts and periods in-between those times.

Fidel Castro summed up the 2011 crisis, saying, “If he (Gaddafi) resists and does not yield to their demands, he will enter history as one of the great figures.” Perhaps in some ways it was the only fitting end for the man who, in the first instance, had been the ultimate revolutionary.

Related: Gaddafi: Odd, Funny Facts – From Secret Pen-Pals to Piccadilly Circus‘, ‘Libya, 2016: Three Governments, More Foreign Intervention & the Return of Gaddafi‘, ‘The Story of Sirte: From Proud Libya to Extremist Caliphate‘, ‘Is Ayesha Gaddafi Leading a Secret Resistance?

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