“Libyans awake from a ludicrous nightmare: Gaddafi achieved nothing in his 42-year rule,” David Gardner wrote yesterday in the Financial Times. Others have expressed similar sentiments. Here are the facts:
Gaddafi Seized Power in Bloodless Coup: Muammar Gaddafi, aka Col. Gaddafi, seized power in 1969 in a bloodless coup by overthrowing King Idris of Libya — Idris achieved power with British backing in 1949.
Libya Ranks #1 on the Human Development Index: According to the United Nations Development Programme, Libya ranked first in Africa (53 globally) on the Human Development Index – ahead of Saudi Arabia at 55, Iran at 70, South Africa at 73, Jordan at 82, Egypt at 101, Indonesia at 108, India at 119, Afghanistan at 155.
It is reported that Libyans receive free housing, education, health care, substantial cash when they marry, and overseas education if they qualify.
Largest Oil Reserves in Africa: According to the U.S. Energy Information, “Libya has the largest proven oil reserves in Africa”.
Program to Privatize Oil: On February 21, 2011, five days after the Arab Spring broke out in Libya, Qaddafi launched a new program to privatize all Libyan oil to every citizen of Libya, initially providing $21,000 to every Libyan from a total of $32,000,000,000 in the Year 2011, so that the health, education, transport, and some other ministries could be abolished and individual Libyans could use the profits of their own investments, including from oil ownership, to obtain the relevant services.
This, Gaddafi said, is the best way to eliminate corruption, including the theft of Libyan oil by foreign oil companies, and to decentralize governmental power.
Great Man-Made River Project: The Great Man-Made River Project, begun in 1984 by Col. Gaddafi, has been called the 8th Wonder of the World. It supplies fresh water to the cities of Tripoli, Benghazi, Sirte and elsewhere.
The U.S. threatened to nuke this “chemical weapons factory”. Foreign companies covet the fresh water.
Rate your news media on a scale of 1 to 10. Assign 2 points for each of the five points above that you previously knew (1 point for partial knowledge). The resulting total is an indication of how well your news media covered the US/NATO backed civil war in Libya.
Are Libyans awakening from a “ludicrous nightmare”, or does the death of Gaddafi mark the beginning of a new era of imperial exploitation? We’ll know in a few years time.
2011 Copyright – Enver Masud