- In-Country Power
- International Power
- Military Strength
- Special Skill: Murderous Mad Dog
- Official Title: Leader and Guide of the Revolution
- Government: Military Government/Dictatorship
- Years Left in Office: Life
- Political Classification: Extreme-right
- Education: BS in History
- Age: 79 (born June 7, 1942)
Muammar al-Gaddafi Facts and Information
- Gaddafi took power in a military coup in 1969, at the age of 27
- Gaddafi retains strict control over the media and military in Libya
- Gaddafi for decades pushed pan-Arabism: a unity of all Arab countries, both in economic and political spheres
- Gaddafi turned away from the fractured Arab world in the 1990’s and embraced himself and his country as “African,” and was a strong advocate of the now formed AU
- Gaddafi used to sponsor terrorism, but renounced it (as well as renouncing the pursuit of nuclear weapons) which brought Libya back into the international community
The man of many misspelling! Is it Gaddafi, Qaddafi, Gadhafi, Kazzafi, or Ghaddafy? Muammar, Moamar, Moammer? Hell, no one knows! There are a registered 112 ways to spell the dude’s name from the US Library of Congress and multiple news sources from around the globe, but all of them read C-R-A-Z-Y once you get to know the guy….
A former supporter of terrorism, a rabid egomaniac, a hyper hypochondriac, and a life-long tent-dweller with an all-female, all-virgin, ninja-skilled personal bodyguard, the man epitomizes the worst of the worst qualities that dictatorships have to offer. Former US President Ronald Reagan gave him the most recognized and descriptive name of them all: ‘Mad Dog’ Muammar! Ha! The dude is Libyan loco!
In power since 1969, Libya’s Colonel Muammar Gaddafi has been in charge of a sovereign state longer than anyone in Africa or the Arab world! He lead a bloodless military coup at the age of 27, overthrowing a crappy-ass monarchy, and replaced a crappy-ass king with his own crappy-ass dictatorship! He never took any official title (like President or Prime Minister), instead retaining his military pedigree and overt military backing by retaining the title of Colonel…seriously, he has all the power in the country, and only makes himself a Colonel? What a whack-job. He could have at least promoted himself to Generalissimo.
Anyways, Gaddafi was born in 1942 in a small Bedouin family in the Libyan desert region of Sirte. He graduated from the University of Libya (I think his major was ‘Insanity’) before pursuing a military education in the Libyan Army. During his early years, Gaddafi first planned a coup to overthrow the monarchy while still in military college. Gaddafi admired the pan-Arabism ideals of then Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser, and thus started his lifelong ambition to unite the Arab world via socialist and nationalist ideology…in other words, he thought Arab countries should all work together to help solve their problems, expel foreign influence, and work together economically. Hmmm…you know, that ain’t a bad idea, really. Too bad Muammar was nuts and the Arab world was terribly fractured; facts which are true to this day.
After grabbing power from King Idris, Gaddafi came up with this idea of pan-Arab, anti-imperialist philosophy with some aspects of Islam thrown in there for good measure. He then tried to merge Libya, Egypt and Syria into a federation. Do you remember how the Trade Federation from Star Wars ended? Yep, same thing here: the whole thing blew up! After that debacle, Gaddafi turned inward and changed the name of his country to “the Great Socialist Popular Libyan Arab Jamahiriyah.” Why? Who knows? But from henceforth Libya became a semi-isolated pariah state, 100% under the control of this military dictatorship madman.
The Libyan media is under strict control, nothing goes out to the public unless Gaddafi’s people hear about it first. The Libyan Congress is just a sham façade of a democracy as well. Gaddafi allows Libyans to voice their grievances in public at the People’s Congress – but do you think that he lets just anyone in the room? Hell no! Even though he doesn’t call himself President or Prime Minister (his official title is “Leader and Guide of the Revolution”) there are no free and open elections! This man represses civil society and ruthlessly crushes people who don’t agree with him. The group Human Rights Watch has said that he has imprisoned hundreds of people for violating the law – his laws – and sentenced some of them to death!
When you say this dude’s name to a Team West member, the first thing that comes to mind is the T word – TERRORISM! Gaddafi has funded terrorism in places from Colombia to Northern Ireland. The 1986 bombing of a Berlin nightclub? Yep, he financed it. That particular attack killed two American soldiers and prompted Ronald Reagan to nickname Muammar as the “Mad Dog”. Yep, Reagan threw down in the gauntlet and ordered US air attack on Tripoli and Benghazi, killing 35 Libyans. And how about the 1988 bombing of a Pan Am flight over Lockerbie, Northern Ireland? Yep; Muammar funded that one too.
After that little stunt, the UN imposed sanctions on Libya making them even more of a loner state then before. Muammar and crew were also trying to develop nuclear weapons at this time, which made them even more despised and mistrusted on the planet. Remember the movie “Back to the Future”? Remember who Doc Brown got the plutonium from? Yes! That’s right! The Libyans! “They found me! I don’t now how, but they found me! Run for it Marty!”
The international embargo and isolation took its toll on Libya over time, and Muammar eventually decided to try his hand at not being insane for a while: over a decade ago he renounces state support for terrorism, settled a lawsuit with the Lockerbie bombing victims to the tune of $2.7 billion, and even renounces the pursuit of nuclear weapons. At roughly the same time, he also renounces being an Arab! He was sick of the fractured in-fighting and failed policies of the Arab states, so he turned his back on his ‘Arab-ness’ and embraced himself and his country for their ‘African-ness’! What a nut! He even changed his wardrobe at this time from military fatigues to African tribal robes. Ha! Need a new image? Start with a wardrobe change I guess!
However, these moves did start the process moving forward for Libya to come in from the cold and become part of the international community once more. His embrace of Africa became a motivating force for the re-creation of the current form of the AU, that is, the African Union, modeled on the European Union structure. International trade and investment started flowing back into Libya, and there are currently high profits and high investments into the Libyan oil economy, which had floundered for years under the embargo. So perhaps you are thinking that maybe Muammar became sane…..well, let’s not go that far….
In 2009, Gaddafi gave a speech at the UN General Assembly. His speech was supposed to last for 15 minutes but it went on for 1 hour and a half! During his speech, he accused the Security Council of being a terrorist organization comparable to al-Qaeda! Then he demanded $7.7 trillion in compensation be paid to Africa from its past colonial rulers! Even better, is where this dude slept during his trip to the US; he tried setting up a tent in Central Park and flipped out when he was told that wasn’t allowed. His all-female bodyguard unit freaked out! Why a tent? To retain his bogus-ass image as a man of the people, Muammar has spent his entire life living in a tent, even when he travels. Of course, the tent is a million-dollar affair with central A/C, a wet bar, and a team of belly-dancers….but what Bedouin tribesman doesn’t have all that?
In summary, this loony tune has ruled Libya with an iron fist as its military man in command for over 4 decades….but it looks like his run is not to last too much longer. His insane antics, total disrespect for human rights and democracy, and plundering of the treasury to support his bizarre lifestyle are likely setting the stage for his imminent….and likely bloody…demise, as the Arab world unrest creeps to the town limits of Tripoli. And it will be a day to be celebrated when this dastardly dictator takes a permanent dirt nap. Viva Libya!
Plaidcasts Involving this Leader
- The GCC: the Arab Power Place to Be! Apr 1, 2012
- Russia Shields Syria…sez Nyet! to UN Feb 2, 2012
- In Other News…09.03.11 Sep 3, 2011
- In Other News…7.01.11 Jul 2, 2011
- Liberating Libya 4: Some Unanswered Questions Apr 19, 2011
- Time Magazine Interview with Muammar Gaddafi (9/25/09)
- 60 Minute Interview with Colonel Muammar Qaddafi (2001)
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