AS some people know, in September of 1969, Muammar al-Gaddafi, a Bedouin Arab soldier of unusual character and inspired by the ideas of the Egyptian leader Gamal Abdel Nasser, promoted within the heart of the Armed Forces a movement which overthrew King Idris I of Libya, almost a desert country in its totality, with a sparse population, located to the north of Africa between Tunisia and Egypt.
Libya’s significant and valuable energy resources were progressively being discovered.
Born into the heart of a Bedouin community, nomadic desert shepherds in the region of Tripoli, Gaddafi was profoundly anti-colonialist. It is known that a paternal grandfather died fighting against the Italian invaders when Libya was invaded by the latter in 1911. The colonial regime and fascism changed everyone’s lives. It is likewise said that his father was imprisoned before earning his daily bread as an industrial worker.
Even Gaddafi’s adversaries confirm that he stood out for his intelligence as a student; he was expelled from high school for his anti-monarchical activities. He managed to enroll in another school and later to graduate in law at the University of Benghazi, aged 21. He then entered the Benghazi Military College, where he created the Union of Free Officers Movement, subsequently completing his studies in a British military academy.
These antecedents explain the notable influence that he later exercised in Libya and over other political leaders, whether or not they are now for or against Gaddafi.
He initiated his political life with unquestionably revolutionary acts.
In March 1970, in the wake of mass nationalist protests, he achieved the evacuation of British soldiers from the country and, in June, the United States vacated the large airbase close to Tripoli, which was handed over to military instructors from Egypt, a country allied with Libya.
In 1970, a number of Western oil companies and banking societies with the participation of foreign capital were affected by the Revolution. At the end of 1971, the same fate befell the famous British Petroleum. In the agricultural sector all Italian assets were confiscated, and the colonialists and their descendants were expelled from Libya.
State intervention was directed toward the control of the large companies. Production in that country grew to become one of the highest in the Arab world. Gambling was prohibited, as was alcohol consumption. The legal status of women, traditionally limited, was elevated.
The Libyan leader became immersed in extremist theories as much opposed to communism as to capitalism. It was a stage in which Gaddafi devoted himself to theorizing, which would be meaningless to include in this analysis, except to note that the first article of the Constitutional Proclamation of 1969, established the “Socialist” nature of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya.
What I wish to emphasize is that the United States and its NATO allies were never interested in human rights.
The pandemonium that occurred in the Security Council, in the meeting of the Human Rights Council based in Geneva, and in the UN General Assembly in New York, was pure theater.
I can perfectly comprehend the reactions of political leaders embroiled in so many contradictions and sterile debates, given the intrigue of interests and problems which they have to address.
All of us are well aware that status as a permanent member, veto power, the possession of nuclear weapons and more than a few institutions, are sources of privilege and self-interest imposed on humanity by force. One can be in agreement with many of them or not, but never accept them as just or ethical measures.
The empire is now attempting to turn events around to what Gaddafi has done or not done, because it needs to militarily intervene in Libya and deliver a blow to the revolutionary wave unleashed in the Arab world. Through now not a word was said, silence was maintained and business was conducted.
Whether a latent Libyan rebellion was promoted by yankee intelligence agencies or by the errors of Gaddafi himself, it is important that the peoples do not let themselves be deceived, given that, very soon, world opinion will have enough elements to know what to believe.