Becoming a ruler of a country at the age of 27 is not an easy task. However, 42 years ago Muammar Gaddafi, who was then a captain, achieved this task. Gaddafi came to power in a bloodless coup in a land of oil and a world of conspiracies He was able to fortify his power during the 70s. He collided with the west using the oil wealth and disclosed his ‘vision’ through his well-known ‘Green Book.’ He also played a leading role within the international arena. He was a conspicuous character during the oil crisis in 1973-74 that shook the world. When the ‘cold war’ occurred between the USA and the Soviet Union, Gaddafi was able to stand on his own without being a pawn of any power. For four decades he witnessed rulers of other countries being dragged down from power. He developed a strong military under his authority, played a part of a philanthropist thanks to oil money and used his robust personality to become a leading figure in the African Continent. Almost all countries in the African Continent sought help from him.
When the Arab world collided with western imperialism, Gaddafi was a leading figure in the struggle against the west. He had to pay for his role. The USA carried out air attacks on the cities of Tripoli and Benghazi. The attacks were intended to assassinate Gaddafi. Despite one of his adopted daughters being killed in the attack Gaddafi did not give in. However, the strategies he chose to clash with the west resulted in his falling into crisis. For example two Libyans were accused of the incident that killed 270 passengers when a Pan-am aircraft exploded over Scotland in Lockerbie. Libya had to face sanctions when the perpetrators were not handed over to Scotland for legal proceedings. This situation changed in 1999 not only when the two Libyans were extradited but it ended three decades of Gaddafi’s clashes with the west. Subsequently, Gaddafi attempted to strengthen his ties with the west.
He was forced to deal with the west for the stability of his regime. This also brought the degeneration of his rule. He was forced to trust only a small circle of his supporters so that he appointed his sons to senior posts in his army. He created brigades that he could trust. He was pushed towards the wrong calculation of depending on arms rather than masses. Despite believing his rule would be strengthened with the new relationship with imperialism what was really happening was that his image was disintegrating in his country. This is a common factor that is confronted with any ruler who believes in such tactics. While his rule was moving towards despotism, displeasure among the masses towards his regime grew in leaps and bounds. However, western powers including the USA that condemn Gaddafi now did not make any complaints regarding his dictatorship or suppression while they were enjoying his relationship. For, they believed Gaddafi was on their side.
The military power he developed could not protect him from the impact of the ‘Arab Spring’ that set out from Tunisia. The western imperialist countries for which he showed his alliance to abandoned him. Countries like China that were presented with more investing opportunities too were discarding him. The attempt to find solutions for mass risings through military means boomeranged on him. This is so when uprisings became armed and imperialists decided to support such uprisings on an agenda of their own. It seems western powers were careful to keep the leadership of the struggle against Gaddafi in their hands. This is how the mass struggles that commenced in February were supported by the NATO air strikes by March. Abandoning him by his African friends and the Arab world indicates the consequences any ruler who isolates himself from the masses who brought him to power is confronted with. With this the end of his regime was only a matter of time.
When the revolt that began in Benghazi spread throughout the country and captured the capital Tripoli Gaddafi had to retreat with his most loyal brigades and carry out a fight that limited only for several cities. However, carrying out isolated fighting from a city that is cut off from supplies was only a matter of pride and prestige.
When the media hinted that Gaddafi may have fled the country, he emphasized through recordings, that he was still in Libya and he would die in Libya. As he had predicted on the 20th of October, after 8 months of the beginning of the uprising, he died shedding his blood on Libyan soil. He was killed in a NATO attack after being captured in Sirte, his birthplace.
When the year 2011 began he or anyone in the world would not have thought he would come to such an end. The issue for the people was not the long years of Gaddafi’s rule but the disapproval that grew as a result of his political diversion. It is interesting to note that Fidel Castro ruling for 40 years never was an issue for Cubans though Gaddafi had to confront a brutal end at his 42 years of rule.
Also, it would be very interesting to hear what certain leaders who had issued photographs with Gaddafi having his hands around their shoulders now have to say. Anyone who longs to be fondled by imperialists would have to expect such an end whenever the imperialists decide time has come to abandon them.
It is advisable to have in mind that masses who have been burdened by rulers to please imperialists would never come to the aid of such rulers when they are abandoned by the imperialists and also they will not hesitate to push such rulers to the garbage heap of history.