Muammar Gaddafi

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Muammar al-Gaddafi
معمر محمد أبو منيار القذافي
Muammar al-Gaddafi at the AU summit.jpg
Brotherly Leader and Guide of the Revolution of Libya
In office
1 September 1969 – 23 August 2011nb 1
President
Prime Minister
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Mustafa Abdul Jalil (Chairman of the National Transitional Council)
Chairman of the Revolutionary Command Council of Libya
In office
1 September 1969 – 2 March 1977
Prime Minister Mahmud Sulayman al-Maghribi
Abdessalam Jalloud
Abdul Ati al-Obeidi
Preceded by Idris (King)
Succeeded by Himself (Secretary General of the General People's Congress)
Secretary General of the General People's Congress
In office
2 March 1977 – 2 March 1979
Prime Minister Abdul Ati al-Obeidi
Preceded by Himself (Chairman of the Revolutionary Command Council)
Succeeded by Abdul Ati al-Obeidi
Prime Minister of Libya
In office
16 January 1970 – 16 July 1972
Preceded by Mahmud Sulayman al-Maghribi
Succeeded by Abdessalam Jalloud
Chairperson of the African Union
In office
2 February 2009 – 31 January 2010
Preceded by Jakaya Kikwete
Succeeded by Bingu wa Mutharika
Personal details
Born Muammar Muhammad Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi
c. 1942
Qasr Abu Hadi, Italian Libya
Died 20 October 2011(2011-10-20) (aged c. 69)
Sirte, Libya
Political party Arab Socialist Union (1971–1977)
Independent (1977–2011)
Spouse(s) Fatiha al-Nuri (1969–1970)
Safia el-Brasai (1970–2011)
Children
Alma mater University of Libya
Benghazi Military University Academy
Religion Sunni Islam
Signature
Military service
Allegiance Libya Kingdom of Libya (1961–1969)
Libya Libyan Arab Republic (1969–1977)
Libya Libyan Arab Jamahiriya (1977–2011)
Service/branch Libyan Army
Years of service 1961–2011
Rank Colonel
Commands Libyan Armed Forces
Battles/wars 1969 Libyan coup d'état
Libyan-Egyptian War
Chadian-Libyan conflict
Uganda-Tanzania War
1986 United States bombing of Libya
Libyan Civil War

Muammar Muhammad Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi6 (/ˈm.əmɑr ɡəˈdɑːfi/; Arabic: معمر محمد أبو منيار القذافيAbout this sound audio ) (c. 1942 – 20 October 2011), commonly known as Colonel Gaddafi,nb 2 was a Libyan revolutionary and politician, and the de facto ruler of Libya for 42 years. Taking power in a 1969 coup d'etat, he ruled as Revolutionary Chairman of the Libyan Arab Republic from 1969 to 1977 and then as the "Brother Leader" of the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya from 1977 to 2011, when he was ousted in the Libyan civil war. After beginning as an Arab nationalist and Arab socialist, he later governed the country according to his own ideology, the Third International Theory. He eventually embraced Pan-Africanism, and served as Chairperson of the African Union from 2009 to 2010.

The son of an impoverished Bedouin goatherder, Gaddafi became involved in politics while at school in Sabha, subsequently enrolling in the Royal Military Academy, Benghazi. Founding a revolutionary cell within the military, in 1969 they seized power from King Idris in a bloodless coup. Becoming Chairman of the governing Revolutionary Command Council (RCC), he dissolved the monarchy and proclaimed the Republic. Ruling by decree, he implemented measures to remove what he viewed as foreign imperialist influence from Libya, and strengthened ties to Arab nationalist governments. Intent on pushing Libya toward "Islamic socialism", he introduced sharia as the basis for the legal system and nationalized the oil industry, using the increased revenues to bolster the military, implement social programs and fund revolutionary militants across the world. In 1973 he initiated a "Popular Revolution" with the formation of General People's Committees (GPCs), a system of direct democracy, but retained personal control over major decisions. He outlined his Third International Theory that year, publishing these ideas in The Green Book.

In 1977, he dissolved the Republic and created the Jamahiriya, a "state of the masses" part-governed by GPCs. Officially adopting a symbolic role in governance, he retained power as military commander-in-chief and head of the Revolutionary Committees responsible for policing and suppressing opponents. Overseeing unsuccessful border conflicts with Egypt and Chad, Gaddafi's support for foreign militants and alleged responsibility for the Lockerbie bombing led to Libya's label of "international pariah". A particularly hostile relationship developed with the United States and United Kingdom, resulting in the 1986 U.S. bombing of Libya and United Nations-imposed economic sanctions. From 1999, Gaddafi encouraged economic privatization, pan-African integration, and sought better relations with the West. In 2011, an anti-Gaddafist uprising led by the National Transitional Council (NTC) broke out, resulting in civil war. NATO intervened militarily on the side of the NTC, resulting in the government's downfall. Retreating to Sirte, Gaddafi was captured and killed by NTC militants.

Gaddafi was a controversial and highly divisive world figure. Supporters lauded his anti-imperialist stance and his support for pan-Africanism and pan-Arabism, and he was decorated with various awards. Conversely, he was internationally condemned as a dictator and autocrat whose authoritarian administration violated the human rights of Libyan citizens and supported international terrorism.

Early life

Childhood: 1942/43–1950

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.13 His family came from a small, relatively un-influential tribal group called the Qadhadhfa,14 who were Arabized Berber in heritage.15 His father, Mohammad Abdul Salam bin Hamed bin Mohammad, was known as Abu Meniar (died 1985), and his mother was named Aisha (died 1978); Abu Meniar earned a meagar subsistence as a goat and camel herder.14

Nomadic Bedouin, they were illiterate and kept no birth records.16 As such, Gaddafi's date of birth is not known with certainty, and sources have set it in 1942 or in the spring of 1943, although biographers Blundy and Lycett noted that it could have been pre-1940.16 His parents' only surviving son, he had three older sisters.16 Gaddafi's upbringing in Bedouin culture influenced his personal tastes for the rest of the life. He repeatedly expressed a preference for the desert to the city, and retreated to the desert to meditate.17

At the time of his birth, Libya was occupied by Italy, witnessing the conflict between Italian and British troops as a part of the North African Campaign of World War II. As a result, Gaddafi was aware of the involvement of European colonialists in his country from childhood.18 According to later claims, Gaddafi's paternal grandfather, Abdessalam Bouminyar, was killed by the Italian Army during the Italian invasion of 1911.19 At World War II's end in 1945, British and French forces had taken control of Libya, and although intending on dividing the nation between themselves, the General Assembly of the United Nations declared that the country be granted political independence.20 In 1951, the UN created the United Kingdom of Libya, a federal state under the leadership of a pro-western monarch, Idris, who banned political parties and established an absolute monarchy.20

Education and political activism: 1950–1963

Gaddafi's earliest education was of a religious nature, imparted by a local Islamic teacher.21 Subsequently moving to nearby Sirte to attend elementary school, he progressed through six grades in four years.22 Education in Libya was not free, but his father thought it would greatly benefit his son despite the financial strain. During the week Gaddafi slept in a mosque, and at weekends walked 20 miles to visit his parents. Bullied for being a Bedouin, he was proud of his identity and encouraged pride in other Bedouin children.22 From Sirte, he and his family moved to the market town of Sabha in Fezzan, south-central Libya, where his father worked as a caretaker for a tribal leader while Muammar attended secondary school, something neither parent had done.23 Gaddafi was popular at school; some friends made there received significant jobs in his later administration, most notably his best friend Abdul Salam Jalloud.24

Egyptian President Nasser was Gaddafi's schoolboy hero.

Many teachers at Sabha were Egyptian, and for the first time Gaddafi had access to pan-Arab newspapers and radio broadcasts, most notably the Cairo-based Voice of the Arabs.25 Growing up, Gaddafi witnessed significant events rock the Arab world, including the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, the Egyptian Revolution of 1952, the Suez Crisis of 1956, and the short-lived existence of the United Arab Republic between 1958 and 1961.26 Gaddafi admired the political changes implemented in the Arab Republic of Egypt under his hero, President Gamal Abdel Nasser.27 Nasser argued for Arab nationalism; the rejection of Western colonialism, neo-colonialism, and zionism; and a transition from capitalism to socialism. Nasser's book, Philosophy of the Revolution, was a key influence on Gaddafi; outlining how to initiate a coup, it has been described as "the inspiration and blueprint of [Gaddafi's] revolution."27

Gaddafi organized demonstrations and distributed posters criticizing the monarchy.28 In October 1961, he led a demonstration protesting Syria's secession from the United Arab Republic. During this they broke windows of a local hotel accused of serving alcohol. Catching the authorities' attention, they expelled his family from Sabha.29 Gaddafi moved to Misrata, there attending Misrata Secondary School.30 Maintaining his interest in Arab nationalist activism, he refused to join any of the banned political parties active in the city – including the Arab Nationalist Movement, the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party, and the Muslim Brotherhood – claiming he rejected factionalism.31 He read voraciously on the subjects of Nasser and the French Revolution of 1789, as well as the works of Syrian political theorist Michel Aflaq and biographies of Abraham Lincoln, Sun Yat-Sen, and Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.31

Military training: 1963–1966

Briefly studying History at the University of Libya in Benghazi, Gaddafi dropped out to join the military.32 Despite his police record, in 1963 he began training at the Royal Military Academy, Benghazi, alongside several like-minded friends from Misrata. The armed forces offered the only opportunity for upward social mobility for underprivileged Libyans, and Gaddafi recognised it as a potential instrument of political change.33 Libya's armed forces were trained by the British military, angering Gaddafi, who viewed the British as imperialists; he refused to learn English, was rude to the British officers, and failed his exams.34 British trainers reported him for insubordination and abusive behaviour, stating their suspicion that he was involved in the assassination of the military academy's commander in 1963. Such reports were ignored and Gaddafi quickly progressed through the course.35

Gaddafi in Piccadilly, London, 1966.

With a group of loyal cadres, in 1964 Gaddafi founded the Central Committee of the Free Officers Movement, a revolutionary group named after Nasser's Egyptian predecessor. Led by Gaddafi, they met clandestinely and were organised into a clandestine cell system, offering their salaries into a single fund.36 Gaddafi travelled around Libya gathering intelligence and developing connections with sympathisers, but the government's intelligence services ignored him, considering him little threat.37

Graduating in August 1965,38 Gaddafi became a communications officer in the army's signal corps.38 In April 1966, he was assigned to the United Kingdom for further training; over 9 months he underwent an English-language course at Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, a Royal Air Corps signal instructors course in Bovington Camp, Dorset, and an infantry signal instructors course at Hythe, Kent.39 Despite later rumours to the contrary, he did not attend the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.37

The Bovington signal course's director reported that Gaddafi successfully overcame problems learning English, displaying a firm command of voice procedure. Noting that Gaddafi's favourite hobbies were reading and playing football, he thought him an "amusing officer, always cheerful, hard-working, and conscientious."40 Gaddafi disliked England, claiming British Army officers racially insulted him and finding it difficult adjusting to the country's culture; asserting his Arab identity in London, he walked around Piccadilly wearing traditional Libyan robes.41 He later related that while he travelled to England believing it more advanced than Libya, he returned home "more confident and proud of our values, ideals and social character."41

Libyan Arab Republic

Coup d'etat: 1969

Gaddafi at an Arab summit in Libya in 1969, shortly after the September Revolution that toppled King Idris I. Gaddafi sits in military uniform in the middle, surrounded by President Gamal Abd al-Nasser (left) and Syrian President Nur al-Din al-Atasi (right).

King Idris' government was increasingly unpopular by the latter 1960s; it had centralised Libya's federal system to take advantage of the country's oil wealth, exacerbating traditional regional and tribal divisions.42 Corruption and entrenched systems of patronage were widespread throughout the oil industry.43 Arab nationalism was increasingly popular, and protests flared up following Egypt's 1967 defeat in the Six Day War with Israel; allied to the western powers, Idris' administration was seen as pro-Israeli.44

Anti-western riots broke out in Tripoli and Benghazi, while Libyan workers shut down oil terminals in solidarity with Egypt.44 By 1969, the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency was expecting segments of Libya's armed forces to launch a coup. Although claims have been made that they knew of Gaddafi's Free Officers Movement, they have since claimed ignorance, stating that they were monitoring Abdul Aziz Shalhi's Black Boots revolutionary group.45

In mid-1969, Idris travelled abroad to spend the summer in Turkey and Greece. Gaddafi's Free Officers recognized this as their chance to overthrow the monarchy, initiating "Operation Jerusalem".46 On 1 September, they occupied airports, police depots, radio stations and government offices in Tripoli and Benghazi. Gaddafi took control of the Berka barracks in Benghazi, while Omar Meheisha occupied Tripoli barracks and Jalloud seized the city's anti-aircraft batteries. Khweldi Hameidi was sent to arrest crown prince Sayyid Hasan ar-Rida al-Mahdi as-Sanussi, and force him to relinquish his claim to the throne.47 They met no serious resistance, and wielded little violence against the monarchists.46

Having abolished the monarchy, Gaddafi proclaimed the foundation of the Libyan Arab Republic.48 Addressing the populace by radio, he proclaimed an end to the "reactionary and corrupt" regime, "the stench of which has sickened and horrified us all."49 Due to the coup's bloodless nature, it was initially labelled the "White Revolution", although was later renamed the "One September Revolution" after the date on which it occurred.50 Gaddafi insisted that the Free Officers' coup represented a revolution, marking the start of widespread change in the socio-economic and political nature of Libya.51 He proclaimed that the revolution meant "freedom, socialism, and unity", and over the coming years implemented measures to achieve this.52

Consolidating leadership: 1969–1973

The 12 member central committee of the Free Officers proclaimed themselves the Revolutionary Command Council (RCC), the government of the new republic.53 Gaddafi became RCC Chairman, and therefore the de facto head of state, also appointing himself to the rank of Colonel and becoming commander-in-chief of the armed forces.54 Jalloud became Prime Minister,55 while a civilian Council of Ministers headed by Sulaiman Maghribi was founded to implement RCC policy.56

The Flag of the Libyan Arab Republic (1969–1977)

Although theoretically a collegial body operating through consensus building, Gaddafi dominated the RCC,57 although some of the others attempted to constrain what they saw as his excesses.58 Gaddafi remained the government's public face, with the identities of the other RCC members only being publicly revealed on 10 January 1970.59 All young men from (typically rural) working and middle-class backgrounds, none had university degrees; in this way they were distinct from the wealthy, highly educated conservatives who previously governed the country.60

The coup completed, the RCC proceeded with their intentions of consolidating the revolutionary government and modernizing the country.50 They purged monarchists and members of Idris' Senussi clan from Libya's political world and armed forces; Gaddafi believed this elite were opposed to the will of the Libyan people and had to be expunged.61 "People's Courts" were founded to try various monarchist politicians and journalists, and though many were imprisoned, none were executed. Idris was sentenced to execution in absentia.62

In May 1970, the Revolutionary Intellectuals Seminar was held to bring intellectuals in line with the revolution,63 while that year's Legislative Review and Amendment united secular and religious law codes, introducing sharia into the legal system.64 Ruling by decree, the RCC maintained the monarchy's ban on political parties, in May 1970 banned trade unions, and in 1972 outlawed workers' strikes and suspended newspapers.65 In September 1971, Gaddafi resigned, claiming to be dissatisfied with the pace of reform, but returned to his position within a month.55 In February 1973, he resigned again, once more returning the following month.66

Economic and social reform

With crude oil as the country's primary export, Gaddafi sought to improve Libya's oil sector. In October 1969, he proclaimed the current trade terms unfair, benefiting foreign corporations more than the Libyan state, and by threatening to reduce production, in December Jalloud successfully increased the price of Libyan oil. In 1970, other OPEC states followed suit, leading to a global increase in the price of crude oil.67 The RCC followed with the Tripoli Agreement, in which they secured income tax, back-payments and better pricing from the oil corporations; these measures brought Libya an estimated $1 billion in additional revenues in its first year.68

Increasing state control over the oil sector, the RCC began a program of nationalization, starting with the expropriation of British Petroleum's share of the British Petroleum-N.B. Hunt Sahir Field in December 1971. In September 1973, it was announced that all foreign oil producers active in Libya were to be nationalized. For Gaddafi, this was an important step towards socialism.69 It proved an economic success; while gross domestic product had been $3.8 billion in 1969, it had risen to $13.7 billion in 1974, and $24.5 billion in 1979.70 In turn, the Libyans' standard of life greatly improved over the first decade of Gaddafi's administration, and by 1979 the average per-capita income was at $8,170, up from $40 in 1951; this was above the average of many industrialized countries like Italy and the U.K.70

In 1971, Egypt's Anwar Sadat, Libya's Gaddafi and Syria's Hafez al-Assad signed an agreement to form a federal Union of Arab Republics. The agreement never materialized into a federal union between the three Arab states.

The RCC attempted to suppress regional and tribal affiliation, replacing it with a unified pan-Libyan identity. In doing so, they tried discrediting tribal leaders as agents of the old regime, and in August 1971 a Sabha military court tried many of them for counter-revolutionary activity.71 Long-standing administrative boundaries were re-drawn, crossing tribal boundaries, while pro-revolutionary modernizers replaced traditional leaders, but the communities they served often rejected them.72 Realizing the failures of the modernizers, Gaddafi created the Arab Socialist Union (ASU), a mass mobilization vanguard party of which he was president. The ASU recognized the RCC as its "Supreme Leading Authority", and was designed to further revolutionary enthusiasm throughout the country.73

The RCC implemented measures for social reform, adopting sharia as a basis. The consumption of alcohol was banned, night clubs and Christian churches were shut down, traditional Libyan dress was encouraged, while Arabic was decreed as the only language permitted in official communications and road signs.74 From 1969 to 1973, the RCC introduced social welfare programs funded with oil money, which led to house-building projects and improved healthcare and education.75 In doing so, they greatly expanded the public sector, providing employment for thousands.75

Compulsory education was expanded from 6 to 9 years old, while adult literacy programs and free university education were implemented; Beida University was founded, while Tripoli University and Benghazi University were expanded.76 These early social programs proved popular within Libya.77 This popularity was partly due to Gaddafi's personal charisma, youth and underdog status as a Bedouin, as well as his rhetoric emphasizing his role as the successor to the anti-Italian fighter Omar Mukhtar.78

Foreign relations

Gaddafi (left) with Egyptian President Nasser in 1969. Nasser privately thought Gaddafi "a nice boy, but terribly naive.".79

The influence of Nasser's Arab nationalism over the RCC was immediately apparent.80 The administration was instantly recognized by the neighbouring Arab nationalist regimes in Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Sudan,81 with Egypt sending experts to aid the inexperienced RCC.82 Gaddafi propounded Pan-Arab ideas, proclaiming the need for a single Arab state stretching across North Africa and the Middle East. In December 1969, Libya founded the Arab Revolutionary Front with Egypt and Sudan as a step towards political unification, and in 1970 Syria stated its intention to join.83

After Nasser died in November 1970, his successor, Anwar Sadat, suggested that rather than a unified state, they create a political federation, implemented in April 1971; in doing so, Egypt, Syria and Sudan got large grants of Libyan oil money.84 In February 1972, Gaddafi and Sadat signed an unofficial charter of merger, but it was never implemented as relations broke down the following year. Sadat became increasingly wary of Libya's radical direction, and the September 1973 deadline for implementing the Federation passed by with no action taken.85

After the 1969 coup, representatives of the Four Powers – France, the United Kingdom, the United States and the Soviet Union – were called to meet RCC representatives.86 The U.K. and U.S. quickly extended diplomatic recognition, hoping to secure the position of their military bases in Libya and fearing further instability. Hoping to ingratiate themselves with Gaddafi, in 1970 the U.S. informed him of at least one planned counter-coup.87 Such attempts to form a working relationship with the RCC failed; Gaddafi was determined to reassert national sovereignty and expunge foreign colonial and imperialist influences. His administration insisted that the U.S. and U.K. remove their military bases from Libya, with Gaddafi proclaiming that "the armed forces which rose to express the people's revolution [will not] tolerate living in their shacks while the bases of imperialism exist in Libyan territory." The British left in March and the Americans in June 1970.88

Moving to reduce Italian influence, in October 1970 all Italian-owned assets were expropriated and the 12,000-strong Italian community expelled from Libya alongside a smaller number of Jews. The day became a national holiday.89 Aiming to reduce North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) power in the Mediterranean, in 1971 Libya requested that Malta cease to allow NATO to use its land for a military base, in turn offering them foreign aid. Compromising, Malta's government continued allowing NATO use of the island, but only on the condition that they would not use it for launching attacks on Arab territory.90 Orchestrating a military build-up, the RCC began purchasing weapons from France and the Soviet Union. The commercial relationship with the latter led to an increasingly strained relationship with the U.S., who were then engaged in the Cold War with the Soviets.91

A 1972 anti-Gaddafist British newsreel including an interview with Gaddafi about his support for foreign militants.

Gaddafi was especially critical of the U.S. due to their support for Israel. Gaddafi supported the Palestinians in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, viewing the 1948 creation of Israel as a Western colonial occupation forced on the Arab world.92 Calling on the Arab states to wage "continuous war" against Israel, in 1970 he initiated a Jihad Fund to finance anti-Israeli militants.93 In June 1972 Gaddafi created the First Nasserite Volunteers Centre to train anti-Israeli guerrillas.94

His relationship with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat of Fatah was strained, with Gaddafi considering him too moderate and calling for more violent action.95 Instead he supported militia like the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, As-Sa'iqa, the Palestinian Popular Struggle Front, and the Abu Nidal Organization.96 He funded the Black September group who perpetrated the 1972 Munich massacre of Israeli athletes in West Germany, and had the killed militants' bodies flown to Libya for a hero's funeral.97 Gaddafi also welcomed the three surviving attackers in Tripoli following their release in exchange for the hostages of hijacked Lufthansa Flight 615 a few weeks later and allowed them to go into hiding.98

Gaddafi financially supported other militant groups across the world, including the Black Panther Party, Nation of Islam, Tupamaros, 19th of April Movement and Sandinista National Liberation Front in the Americas, the ANC among other liberation movements in the fight against Apartheid in South Africa in Africa, the Provisional Irish Republican Army, Action directe, ETA, the Red Brigades, and the Red Army Faction in Europe, and the Armenian Secret Army, Japanese Red Army, Free Aceh Movement, and Moro National Liberation Front in Asia. Gaddafi was indiscriminate in the causes he funded, sometimes switching from supporting one side in a conflict to the other, as in the Eritrean War of Independence.99 Throughout the 1970s these groups received financial support from Libya, which came to be seen as a leader in the Third World's struggle against colonialism and neocolonialism.100 Though many of these groups were labelled "terrorists" by critics of their activities, Gaddafi rejected such a characterisation, instead considering them revolutionaries engaged in liberation struggles.101

The "Popular Revolution": 1973–1977

On 16 April 1973, Gaddafi proclaimed the start of a "Popular Revolution" in a Zuwara speech.102 He initiated this with a 5-point plan, the first point of which dissolved all existing laws, to be replaced by revolutionary enactments. The second point proclaimed that all opponents of the revolution had to be removed, while the third initiated an administrative revolution that Gaddafi proclaimed would remove all traces of bureaucracy and the bourgeoisie. The fourth point announced that the population must form People's Committees and be armed to defend the revolution, while the fifth proclaimed the beginning of a cultural revolution to expunge Libya of "poisonous" foreign influences.103 He began to lecture on this new phase of the revolution in Libya, Egypt, and France.104

As part of this Popular Revolution, Gaddafi invited Libya's people to found General People's Committees as conduits for raising political consciousness. Although offering little guidance for how to set up these councils, Gaddafi claimed that they would offer a form of direct political participation that was more democratic than a traditional party-based representative system. He hoped that the councils would mobilize the people behind the RCC, erode the power of the traditional leaders and the bureaucracy, and allow for a new legal system chosen by the people.105

The People's Committees led to a high percentage of public involvement in decision making, within the limits permitted by the RCC,106 but exacerbated tribal divisions.107 They also served as a surveillance system, aiding the security services in locating individuals with views critical of the RCC, leading to the arrest of Ba'athists, Marxists and Islamists.108 Operating in a pyramid structure, the base form of these Committees were local working groups, who sent elected representatives to the district level, and from there to the national level, divided between the General People's Congress and the General People's Committee.109 Above these remained Gaddafi and the RCC, who remained responsible for all major decisions.110

Third Universal Theory and The Green Book

Gaddafi's Green Book. He informed an Italian journalist that "the Green Book is the guide to the emancipation of man. The Green Book is the gospel. The new gospel. The gospel of the new era, the era of the masses. In your gospels it's written: 'In the beginning there was the word.' The Green Book is the word. One of its words can destroy the world. Or save it. The Third World only needs my Green Book. My word."111

In June 1973, Gaddafi created a political ideology as a basis for the Popular Revolution. Third Universal Theory considered the U.S. and the Soviet Union as imperialist, thus rejected Western capitalism as well as Eastern bloc communism's atheism.112 In this respect it was similar to the Three Worlds Theory developed by China's political leader Mao Zedong.113 As part of this theory, Gaddafi praised nationalism as a progressive force and advocated the creation of a pan-Arab state which would lead the Islamic and Third Worlds against imperialism.114

Gaddafi saw Islam as having a key role in this ideology, calling for an Islamic revival that returned to the origins of the Qur'an, rejecting scholarly interpretations and the Hadith; in doing so, he angered many Libyan clerics.115 During 1973 and 1974, his government deepened the legal reliance on sharia, e.g. introducing flogging as punishment for those convicted of adultery or homosexual activity.116

Gaddafi summarized Third Universal Theory in three short volumes published between 1975 and 1979, collectively known as The Green Book. Volume one was devoted to the issue of democracy, outlining the flaws of representative systems in favour of direct, participatory GPCs. The second dealt with Gaddafi's beliefs regarding socialism, while the third explored social issues regarding the family and the tribe. While the first two volumes advocated radical reform, the third adopted a socially conservative stance, proclaiming that while men and women were equal, they were biologically designed for different roles in life.117 During the years that followed, Gaddafists adopted quotes from The Green Book, such as "Representation is Fraud", as slogans.118 Meanwhile, in September 1975, Gaddafi implemented further measures to increase popular mobilization, introducing objectives to improve the relationship between the Councils and the ASU.119

These radical reforms led to discontent, furthered by widespread opposition to the RCC's decision to spend oil money on foreign causes.120 In 1974, Libya saw its first civilian attack on Gaddafi's government when a Benghazi army building was bombed.121 In 1975 two RCC members, Bashir Saghir al-Hawaadi and Omar Mehishi, launched a failed coup against Gaddafi, and in the aftermath only five RCC members remained.122 This led to the RCC's official abolition in March 1977.119

In September 1975, Gaddafi purged the army, arresting around 200 senior officers, and in October he founded the clandestine Office for the Security of the Revolution.123 In 1976, student demonstrations broke out in Tripoli and Benghazi, and were attacked by police and Gaddafist students. The RCC responded with mass arrests, and introduced compulsory national service for young people.124 Dissent also arose from conservative clerics and the Muslim Brotherhood, who were persecuted as anti-revolutionary.125 In January 1977, two dissenting students and a number of army officers were publicly hanged; Amnesty International condemned it as the first time in Gaddafist Libya that dissenters had been executed for purely political crimes.126

Foreign relations

Gaddafi in 1976 with a child on his lap.

Following Anwar Sadat's ascension to the Egyptian presidency, Libya's relations with Egypt deteriorated. Sadat was perturbed by Gaddafi's unpredictability and insistence that Egypt required a cultural revolution.127 In February 1973, Israeli forces shot down Libyan Arab Airlines Flight 114, which had strayed from Egyptian airspace into Israeli-held territory during a sandstorm. Gaddafi was infuriated that Egypt had not done more to prevent the incident, and in retaliation planned to destroy the RMS Queen Elizabeth 2, a British ship chartered by American Jews to sail to Haifa for Israel's 25th anniversary. Gaddafi ordered an Egyptian submarine to target the ship, but Sadat cancelled the order, fearing a military escalation.128

Gaddafi was later infuriated when Egypt and Syria planned the Yom Kippur War against Israel without consulting him, and was angered when Egypt conceded to peace talks rather than pushing for total victory.129 Sadat and Gaddafi became openly hostile, the latter calling for Sadat's overthrow,130 while relations with Sudanese President Gaafar Nimeiry collapsed as Nimeiry took Sadat's side. By 1975, Gaddafi was sponsoring the Sudan People's Liberation Army to overthrow Nimeiry.131

Focusing his attention elsewhere in Africa, in late 1972 and early 1973, Libya invaded Chad to annex the uranium-rich Aouzou Strip.132 Offering financial incentives, he successfully convinced 8 African states to break off diplomatic relations with Israel in 1973.133 Intent on propagating Islam, in 1973 Gaddafi founded the Islamic Call Society, which had opened 132 centres across Africa within a decade.134 In 1973 he converted Gabonese President Omar Bongo, an action which he repeated three years later with Jean-Bédel Bokassa, president of the Central African Republic.135

Gaddafi sought to develop closer links in the Maghreb; in January 1974 Libya and Tunisia announced a political union, the Arab Islamic Republic. Although advocated by Gaddafi and Tunisian President Habib Bourguiba, the move was deeply unpopular in Tunisia and soon abandoned.136 Retaliating, Gaddafi sponsored anti-government militants in Tunisia into the 1980s.137

Turning his attention to Algeria, in 1975 Libya signed the Hassi Messaoud defence agreement allegedly to counter "Moroccan expansionism", also funding the Polisario Front of Western Sahara in their independence struggle against Morocco.138 Seeking to diversify Libya's economy, Gaddafi's government began purchasing shares in major European corporations like Fiat as well as buying real estate in Malta and Italy, which would become a valuable source of income during the 1980s oil slump.139

Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya

Foundation: 1977

Gaddafi with Yasser Arafat in 1977

On 2 March 1977 the General People's Congress adopted the "Declaration of the Establishment of the People's Authority" at Gaddafi's behest. Dissolving the Libyan Arab Republic, it was replaced by the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya (Arabic: ‏الجماهيرية العربية الليبية الشعبية الاشتراكية‎, al-Jamāhīrīyah al-‘Arabīyah al-Lībīyah ash-Sha‘bīyah al-Ishtirākīyah), a "state of the masses" conceptualized by Gaddafi.140 Officially, the Jamahiriya was a direct democracy in which the people ruled themselves through the 187 Basic People's Congresses, where all adult Libyans participated and voted on national decisions. These then sent members to the annual General People's Congress, which was broadcast live on television. In principle, the People's Congresses were Libya's highest authority, with major decisions proposed by government officials or Gaddafi himself requiring the consent of the People's Congresses.141

Flag of the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya.

Debate remained limited, and major decisions regarding the economy and defence were avoided or dealt with cursorily; the GPC largely remained "a rubber stamp" for Gaddafi's policies.142 On rare occasions, the GPC opposed Gaddafi's suggestions, sometimes successfully; notably, when Gaddafi called on primary schools to be abolished, believing home schooling healthier for children, the GPC rejected the idea.142 In other instances, Gaddafi pushed through laws without the GPC's support, such as when he desired to allow women into the armed forces.143 Gaddafi proclaimed that the People's Congresses provided for Libya's every political need, rendering other political organizations unnecessary; all non-authorized groups, including political parties, professional associations, independent trade unions and women's groups, were banned.144

With preceding legal institutions abolished, Gaddafi envisioned the Jamahiriya as following the Qur'an for legal guidance, adopting sharia law; he proclaimed "man-made" laws unnatural and dictatorial, only permitting God's law.145 Within a year he was backtracking, announcing that sharia was inappropriate for the Jamahiriya because it guaranteed the protection of private property, contravening The Green Book's socialism.146 His emphasis on placing his own work on a par with the Qur'an led conservative clerics to accuse him of shirk, furthering their opposition to his regime.111 In July, a border war broke out with Egypt, in which the Egyptians defeated Libya despite their technological inferiority. The conflict lasted a week before both sides agreed to a peace treaty brokered by several Arab states.147 That year, Gaddafi was invited to Moscow by the Soviet government in recognition of their increasing commercial relationship.148

Revolutionary Committees and furthering socialism: 1978–1980

"If socialism is defined as a redistribution of wealth and resources, a socialist revolution clearly occurred in Libya after 1969 and most especially in the second half of the 1970s. The management of the economy was increasingly socialist in intent and effect with wealth in housing, capital and land significantly redistributed or in the process of redistribution. Private enterprise was virtually eliminated, largely replaced by a centrally controlled economy."

— Libyan Studies scholar Ronald St Bruce.149

In December 1978, Gaddafi stepped down as Secretary-General of the GPC, announcing his new focus on revolutionary rather than governmental activities; this was part of his new emphasis on separating the apparatus of the revolution from the government. Although no longer in a formal governmental post, he adopted the title of "Leader of the Revolution" and continued as commander-in-chief of the armed forces.150 He continued exerting considerable influence over Libya, with many critics insisting that the structure of Libya's direct democracy gave him "the freedom to manipulate outcomes".151

Libya began to turn towards socialism. In March 1978, the government issued guidelines for housing redistribution, attempting to ensure that every adult Libyan owned his own home and was not enslaved to paying rent. Most families were banned from owning more than one house, while former rental properties were seized and sold to the tenants at a heavily subsidized price.152 In September, Gaddafi called for the People's Committees to eliminate the "bureaucracy of the public sector" and the "dictatorship of the private sector"; the People's Committees took control of several hundred companies, converting them into worker cooperatives run by elected representatives.153

On 2 March 1979, the GPC announced the separation of government and revolution, the latter represented by new Revolutionary Committees, who operated in tandem with the People's Committees in schools, universities, unions, the police force and the military.154 Dominated by revolutionary zealots, the Revolutionary Committees were led by Mohammad Maghgoub and a Central Coordinating Office, and met with Gaddafi annually.154 Publishing a weekly magazine The Green March (al-Zahf al-Akhdar), in October 1980 they took control of the press. Responsible for perpetuating revolutionary fervour, they performed ideological surveillance, later adopting a significant security role, making arrests and putting people on trial according to the "law of the revolution" (qanun al-thawra).154 With no legal code or safeguards, the administration of revolutionary justice was largely arbitrary and resulted in widespread abuses and the suppression of civil liberties: the "Green Terror."155

In 1979, the committees began redistribution of land in the Jefara plain, continuing through 1981.156 In May 1980, measures to redistribute and equalize wealth were implemented; anyone with over 1000 dinar in his bank account saw that extra money expropriated.157 The following year, the GPC announced that the government would take control of all import, export and distribution functions, with state supermarkets replacing privately owned businesses; this led to a decline in the availability of consumer goods and the development of a thriving black market.158

"I have created a Utopia here in Libya. Not an imaginary one that people write about in books, but a concrete Utopia."

— Muammar Gaddafi.159

The Jamahiriya's radical direction earned the government many enemies. In February 1978, Gaddafi discovered that his head of military intelligence was plotting to kill him, and began to increasingly entrust security to his Qaddadfa tribe.160 Many who had seen their wealth and property confiscated turned against the administration, and a number of western-funded opposition groups were founded by exiles. Most prominent was the National Front for the Salvation of Libya (NFSL), founded in 1981 by Mohammed Magariaf, which orchestrated militant attacks against Libya's government,161 while another, al-Borkan, began killing Libyan diplomats abroad.162 Following Gaddafi's command to kill these "stray dogs", under Colonel Younis Bilgasim's leadership, the Revolutionary Committees set up overseas branches to suppress counter-revolutionary activity, assassinating various dissidents.163 Although nearby nations like Syria and Israel also used hit squads, Gaddafi was unusual in publicly bragging about his administration's use of them; in June 1980, he ordered all dissidents to return home or be "liquidated wherever you are."164

In 1979, the U.S. placed Libya on their list of state sponsors of terrorism,165 while at the end of the year a demonstration torched the U.S. embassy in Tripoli in solidarity with the perpetrators of the Iran hostage crisis.166 The following year, Libyan fighters began intercepting U.S. fighter jets flying over the Mediterranean, signalling the collapse of relations between the two countries.165 Libyan relations with Lebanon and Shi'ite communities across the world also deteriorated due to the August 1978 disappearance of imam Musa al-Sadr when visiting Libya; the Lebanese accused Gaddafi of having him killed or imprisoned, a charge he denied.167 Relations with Syria improved, as Gaddafi and Syrian President Hafez al-Assad shared an enmity with Israel and Egypt's Sadat. In 1980, they proposed a political union, with Libya paying off Syria's £1 billion debt to the Soviet Union; although pressures led Assad to pull out, they remained allies.168 Another key ally was Uganda, and in 1979, Gaddafi sent 2,500 troops into Uganda to defend the regime of President Idi Amin from Tanzanian invaders. The mission failed; 400 Libyans were killed and they were forced to retreat.169 Gaddafi later came to regret his alliance with Amin, openly criticising him.170

"International Pariah" and "Mad Dog of the Middle East": 1981–1986

The early and mid-1980s saw economic trouble for Libya; from 1982 to 1986, the country's annual oil revenues dropped from $21 billion to $5.4 billion.171 Focusing on irrigation projects, 1983 saw construction start on "Gaddafi's Pet Project", the Great Manmade River; although designed to be finished by the end of the decade, it remained incomplete at the start of the 21st century.172 Military spending increased, while other administrative budgets were cut back.173 Libya had long supported the Frolinat militia in neighbouring Chad, and in December 1980, re-invaded Chad at the request of the Frolinat-controlled GUNT government to aid in the civil war; in January 1981, Gaddafi suggested a political merger. The Organisation of African Unity (OAU) rejected this, and called for a Libyan withdrawal, which came about in November 1981. The civil war resumed, and so Libya sent troops back in, clashing with French forces who supported the southern Chadian forces.174 Many African nations had tired of Libya's policies of interference in foreign affairs; by 1980, nine African states had cut off diplomatic relations with Libya,175 while in 1982 the OAU cancelled its scheduled conference in Tripoli in order to prevent Gaddafi gaining chairmanship.176 Proposing political unity with Morocco, in August 1984, Gaddafi and Moroccan monarch Hassan II signed the Oujda Treaty, forming the Arab-African Union; such a union was considered surprising due to the strong political differences and longstanding enmity that existed between the two governments. Relations remained strained, particularly due to Morocco's friendly relations with the U.S. and Israel; in August 1986, Hassan abolished the union.177 Domestic threats continued to plague Gaddafi; in May 1984, his Bab al-Azizia home was unsuccessfully attacked by a joint NFSL-Muslim Brotherhood militia, and in the aftermath 5000 dissidents were arrested.178

13th Anniversary of the 1 September Revolution on postage stamp, Libya 1982.

In 1981, the new US President Ronald Reagan declared Gaddafi an "international pariah" and the "mad dog of the Middle East". He pursued a hard line approach to Libya, erroneously considering it a puppet regime of the Soviet Union.179 In turn, Gaddafi played up his commercial relationship with the Soviets, visiting Moscow again in April 1981 and 1985, and threatening to join the Warsaw Pact.180 The Soviets were nevertheless cautious of Gaddafi, seeing him as an unpredictable extremist.181 Beginning military exercises in the Gulfe of Sirte – an area of sea that Libya claimed as a part of its territorial waters – in August 1981 the U.S. shot down two Libyan Su-22 planes monitoring them.182 Closing down Libya's embassy in Washington D.C., Reagan advised U.S. companies operating in the country to reduce the number of American personnel stationed there.183 In March 1982, the U.S. implemented an embargo of Libyan oil,184 and in January 1986 ordered all U.S. companies to cease operating in the country, although several hundred workers remained.185 Diplomatic relations also broke down with the U.K., after Libyan diplomats were accused of shooting dead Yvonne Fletcher, a British policewoman stationed outside their London embassy, in April 1984.186 In Spring 1986, the U.S. Navy again began performing exercises in the Gulf of Sirte; the Libyan military retaliated, but failed as the U.S. sank several Libyan ships.187

After the U.S. accused Libya of orchestrating the 1986 Berlin discotheque bombing, in which two American soldiers died, Reagan decided to retaliate militarily.188 The Central Intelligence Agency were critical of the move, believing that Syria were a greater threat and that an attack would strengthen Gaddafi's reputation; however Libya was recognised as a "soft target."189 Reagan was supported by the U.K. but opposed by other European allies, who highlighted that it would contravene international law.190 In Operation El Dorado Canyon, orchestrated on 15 April 1986, U.S. military planes launched a series of air-strikes on Libya, bombing military installations in various parts of the country, killing around 100 Libyans, including several civilians. One of the targets had been Gaddafi's home. Himself unharmed, two of Gaddafi's sons were injured, and he claimed that his four-year-old adopted daughter Hanna was killed, although her existence has since been questioned. 191 In the immediate aftermath, Gaddafi retreated to the desert to meditate,192 while there were sporadic clashes between Gaddafists and army officers who wanted to overthrow the government.193 Although the U.S. was condemned internationally, Reagan received a popularity boost at home.194 Publicly lambasting U.S. imperialism, Gaddafi's reputation as an anti-imperialist was strengthened both domestically and across the Arab world,195 and in June 1986, he ordered the names of the month to be changed in Libya.196

"Revolution within a Revolution": 1987–1998

The late 1980s saw a series of liberalising economic reforms within Libya designed to cope with the decline in oil revenues. In May 1987, Gaddafi announced the start of the "Revolution within a Revolution", which began with reforms to industry and agriculture and saw the re-opening of small business.197 Restrictions were placed on the activities of the Revolutionary Committees; in March 1988, their role was narrowed by the newly created Ministry for Mass Mobilization and Revolutionary Leadership to restrict their violence and judicial role, while in August 1988 Gaddafi publicly criticised them,198 asserting that "they deviated, harmed, tortured" and that "the true revolutionary does not practise repression."199 In March, hundreds of political prisoners were freed, with Gaddafi falsely claiming that there were no further political prisoners in Libya.200 In June, Libya's government issued the Great Green Charter on Human Rights in the Era of the Masses, in which 27 articles laid out goals, rights and guarantees to improve the situation of human rights in Libya, restricting the use of the death penalty and calling for its eventual abolition. Many of the measures suggested in the charter would be implemented the following year, although others remained inactive.201 Also in 1989, the government founded the Al-Gaddafi International Prize for Human Rights, to be awarded to figures from the Third World who had struggled against colonialism and imperialism; the first year's winner was South African anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela.202 From 1994 through to 1997, the government initiated cleansing committees to root out corruption, particularly in the economic sector.203

In the aftermath of the 1986 U.S. attack, the army was purged of perceived disloyal elements,194 and in 1988, Gaddafi announced the creation of a popular militia to replace the army and police.204 In 1987, Libya began production of mustard gas at a facility in Rabta, although publicly denying it was stockpiling chemical weapons,205 and unsuccessfully attempted to develop nuclear weapons.206 The period also saw a growth in domestic Islamist opposition, formulated into groups like the Muslim Brotherhood and the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group. A number of assassination attempts against Gaddafi were foiled, and in turn, 1989 saw the security forces raid mosques believed to be centres of counter-revolutionary preaching.207 In October 1993, elements of the increasingly marginalised army initiated a failed coup in Misrata, while in September 1995, Islamists launched an insurgency in Benghazi, and in July 1996 an anti-Gaddafist football riot broke out in Tripoli.208 The Revolutionary Committees experienced a resurgence to combat these Islamists.209

In 1989, Gaddafi was overjoyed by the foundation of the Arab Maghreb Union, uniting Libya in an economic pact with Mauritania, Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria, viewing it as beginnings of a new Pan-Arab union.210 Meanwhile, Libya stepped up its support for anti-western militants such as the Provisional IRA,211 and in 1988, Pan Am Flight 103 was blown up over Lockerbie in Scotland, killing 243 passengers and 16 crew members, plus 11 people on the ground. British police investigations identified two Libyans – Abdelbaset al-Megrahi and Lamin Khalifah Fhimah – as the chief suspects, and in November 1991 issued a declaration demanding that Libya hand them over. When Gaddafi refused, citing the Montreal Convention, the United Nations (UN) imposed Resolution 748 in March 1992, initiating economic sanctions against Libya which had deep repercussions for the country's economy.212 The country suffered an estimated $900 million financial loss as a result.213 Further problems arose with the west when in January 1989, two Libyan warplanes were shot down by the U.S. off the Libyan coast.214 Many African states opposed the UN sanctions, with Mandela criticising them on a visit to Gaddafi in October 1997, when he praised Libya for its work in fighting apartheid and awarded Gaddafi the Order of Good Hope.215 They would only be suspended in 1998 when Libya agreed to allow the extradition of the suspects to the Scottish Court in the Netherlands, in a process overseen by Mandela.216

Pan-Africanism, reconciliation and privatization: 1999–2011

Muammar Gaddafi wearing an insignia showing the image of the African continent.

As the 20th century came to a close, Gaddafi increasingly rejected Arab nationalism, frustrated by the failure of his Pan-Arab ideals; instead he turned to Pan-Africanism, emphasising Libya's African identity.217 From 1997 to 2000, Libya initiated cooperative agreements or bilateral aid arrangements with 10 African states,218 and in 1999 joined the Community of Sahel-Saharan States.219 In June 1999, Gaddafi visited Mandela in South Africa,220 and the following month attended the OAU summit in Algiers, calling for greater political and economic integration across the continent and advocating the foundation of a United States of Africa.221 He became one of the founders of the African Union (AU), initiated in July 2002 to replace the OAU; at the opening ceremonies, he proclaimed that African states should reject conditional aid from the developed world, a direct contrast to the message of South African President Thabo Mbeki.222 At the third AU summit, held in Libya in July 2005, he called for a greater level of integration, advocating a single AU passport, a common defence system and a single currency, utilising the slogan: "The United States of Africa is the hope."223 In June 2005, Libya joined the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA),224 and in August 2008 Gaddafi was proclaimed "King of Kings" by an assembled committee of traditional African leaders.225 On 1 February 2009, his "coronation ceremony" was held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, coinciding with Gaddafi's election as AU chairman for a year.226

The era saw Libya's return to the international arena. In 1999, Libya began secret talks with the British government to normalise relations.227 In 2001, Gaddafi condemned the September 11 attacks on the U.S. by al-Qaeda, expressing sympathy with the victims and calling for Libyan involvement in the War on Terror against militant Islamism.228 His government continued suppressing domestic Islamism, at the same time as Gaddafi called for the wider application of sharia law.229 Libya also cemented connections with China and North Korea, being visited by Chinese President Jiang Zemin in April 2002.230 Influenced by the events of the Iraq War, in December 2003, Libya renounced its possession of weapons of mass destruction, decommissioning its chemical and nuclear weapons programs.231 Relations with the U.S. improved as a result,232 while U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair met with Gaddafi in the Libyan desert in March 2004.233 The following month, Gaddafi travelled to the headquarters of the European Union (EU) in Brussels, signifying improved relations between Libya and the EU, the latter ending its remaining sanctions in October.234 In October 2010, the EU paid Libya €50 million to stop African migrants passing into Europe; Gaddafi encouraged the move, saying that it was necessary to prevent the loss of European cultural identity to a new "Black Europe".235

Removed from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism in 2006,236 Gaddafi nevertheless continued his anti-western rhetoric, and at the Second Africa-South America Summit in Venezuela in September 2009, joined Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez in calling for an "anti-imperialist" front across Africa and Latin America. Gaddafi proposed the establishment of a South Atlantic Treaty Organization to rival NATO.237 That month he also addressed the United Nations General Assembly in New York for the first time, using it to condemn western aggression.238239240 In Spring 2010, Gaddafi proclaimed jihad against Switzerland after Swiss police accused two of his family members of criminal activity in the country, resulting in the breakdown of bilateral relations.235

Gaddafi embracing Tanzanian President Kikwete after assuming the chairmanship of the African Union

Libya's economy witnessed increasing privatization; although rejecting the socialist policies of nationalized industry advocated in The Green Book, government figures asserted that they were forging "people's socialism" rather than capitalism.241 Gaddafi welcomed these reforms, calling for wide-scale privatization in a March 2003 speech.242 In 2003, the oil industry was largely sold to private corporations,243 and by 2004, there was $40 billion of direct foreign investment in Libya, a sixfold rise over 2003.244 Sectors of Libya's population reacted against these reforms with public demonstrations,245 and in March 2006, revolutionary hard-liners took control of the GPC cabinet; although scaling back the pace of the changes, they did not halt them.246 In 2010, plans were announced that would have seen half the Libyan economy privatized over the following decade.247 While there was no accompanying political liberalization, with Gaddafi retaining predominant control,248 in March 2010, the government devolved further powers to the municipal councils.249 Rising numbers of reformist technocrats attained positions in the country's governance; best known was Gaddafi's son and heir apparent Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, who was openly critical of Libya's human rights record. He led a group who proposed the drafting of the new constitution, although it was never adopted, and in October 2009 was appointed to head the PSLC.250 Involved in encouraging tourism, Saif founded several privately run media channels in 2008, but after criticising the government they were nationalised in 2009.251 In October 2010, Gaddafi apologized to African leaders on behalf of Arab nations for their involvement in the African slave trade.252

Libyan civil war

Origins: February–March 2011

People protesting against Gaddafi in Dublin, Ireland, March 2011.

Following the start of the Arab Spring in 2011, Gaddafi spoke out in favour of Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, then threatened by the Tunisian revolution. He suggested that Tunisia's people would be satisfied if Ben Ali introduced a Jamahiriyah system there.253 Fearing domestic protest, Libya's government implemented preventative measures, reducing food prices, purging the army leadership of potential defectors and releasing several Islamist prisoners.254 They proved ineffective, and on 17 February 2011, major protests broke out against Gaddafi's government. Unlike Tunisia or Egypt, Libya was largely religiously homogenous and had no strong Islamist movement, but there was widespread dissatisfaction with the corruption and entrenched systems of patronage, while unemployment had reached around 30%.255

Accusing the rebels of being "drugged" and linked to al-Qaeda, Gaddafi proclaimed that he would die a martyr rather than leave Libya.256 As he announced that the rebels would be "hunted down street by street, house by house and wardrobe by wardrobe",257 the army opened fire on protests in Benghazi, killing hundreds.258 Shocked at the government's response, a number of senior politicians resigned or defected to the protesters' side.259 The uprising spread quickly through Libya's less economically developed eastern half.260 By February's end, eastern cities like Benghazi, Misrata, al-Bayda and Tobruk were controlled by rebels,261 and the Benghazi-based National Transitional Council (NTC) had been founded to represent them.262

In the conflict's early months it appeared that Gaddafi's government – with its greater firepower – would be victorious.260 Both sides disregarded the laws of war, committing human rights abuses, including arbitrary arrests, torture, extrajudicial executions and revenge attacks.263 On 26 February the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 1970, suspending Libya from the UN Human Rights Council, implementing sanctions and calling for an International Criminal Court (ICC) investigation into the killing of unarmed civilians.264 In March, the Security Council declared a no fly zone to protect the civilian population from aerial bombardment, calling on foreign nations to enforce it; it also specifically prohibited foreign occupation.265 Ignoring this, Qatar sent hundreds of troops to support the dissidents, and along with France and the United Arab Emirates provided the NTC with weaponry and training.266

NATO intervention: March–August 2011

A week after the implementation of the no-fly zone, NATO announced that it would be enforced.267 On 30 April a NATO airstrike killed Gaddafi's sixth son and three of his grandsons in Tripoli, though Gaddafi and his wife were unharmed. Western officials remained divided over whether Gaddafi was a legitimate military target under the U.N. Security Council resolution. U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said that NATO was "not targeting Gaddafi specifically" but that his command-and-control facilities were legitimate targets—including a facility inside his sprawling Tripoli compound that was hit with airstrikes on 25 April.268 However, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called for Gaddafi to be killed or captured.

Muammar Gaddafi attends the 12th African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in February 2009.

On 27 June, the ICC issued arrest warrants for Gaddafi, his son Saif al-Islam, and his brother-in-law Abdullah Senussi, head of state security, for charges concerning crimes against humanity.269 Libyan officials rejected the ICC, claiming that it had "no legitimacy whatsoever" and highlighting that "all of its activities are directed at African leaders".270 That month, Amnesty International published their findings, in which they asserted that many of the accusations of mass human rights abuses made against Gaddafist forces lacked credible evidence, and were instead fabrications of the rebel forces which had been readily adopted by the western media.271 On 15 July 2011, at a meeting in Istanbul, over 30 governments recognised the NTC as the legitimate government of Libya. Gaddafi responded to the announcement with a speech on Libyan national television, in which he called on supporters to "Trample on those recognitions, trample on them under your feet ... They are worthless".1

Now with NATO support in the form of air cover, the rebel militia pushed westward, defeating loyalist armies and securing control of the centre of the country.272 Gaining the support of Amazigh (Berber) communities of the Nafusa Mountains, who had long been persecuted as non-Arab speakers under Gaddafi, the NTC armies surrounded Gaddafi loyalists in several key areas of western Libya.272 In August, the rebels seized Zlitan and Tripoli, ending the last vestiges of Gaddafist power.273 On 25 August, the Arab League recognised the NTC to be "the legitimate representative of the Libyan state", on which basis Libya would resume its membership in the League.3

Capture and death: September–October 2011

Only a few towns in western Libya—such as Bani Walid, Sebha and Sirte—remained Gaddafist strongholds.273 Retreating to Sirte after Tripoli's fall,274 Gaddafi announced his willingness to negotiate for a handover to a transitional government, a suggestion rejected by the NTC.273 Surrounding himself with bodyguards,274 he continually moved residences to escape NTC shelling, devoting his days to prayer and reading the Qur'an.275 On 20 October, Gaddafi broke out of Sirte's District 2 in a joint civilian-military convoy, hoping to take refuge in the Jarref Valley.276277 At around 8.30am, NATO bombers attacked, destroying at least 14 vehicles and killing at least 53.277278 The convoy scattered, and Gaddafi and those closest to him fled to a nearby villa, which was shelled by rebel militia from Misrata. Fleeing to a construction site, Gaddafi and his inner consort hid inside drainage pipes while his bodyguards battled the rebels; in the conflict, Gaddafi suffered head injuries from a grenade blast while defence minister Abu-Bakr Yunis Jabr was killed.277279280

Graffiti in Benghazi lampooning Gaddafi.

A Misratan militia took Gaddafi prisoner, beating him and stabbing him in the anus, causing serious injuries; the events were filmed on a mobile phone. Pulled onto the front of a pick-up truck, he fell off as it drove away. His semi-naked, lifeless body was then placed into an ambulance and taken to Misrata; upon arrival, he was found to be dead.281 Official NTC accounts claimed that Gaddafi was caught in a cross-fire and died from his bullet wounds.277 Other eye-witness accounts claimed that rebels had fatally shot Gaddafi in the stomach;277 a rebel identifying himself as Senad el-Sadik el-Ureybi later claimed responsibility.282 Gaddafi's son Mutassim, who had also been among the convoy, was also captured, and found dead several hours later, most probably from an extrajudicial execution.283 Around 140 Gaddafi loyalists were rounded up from the convoy; tied up and abused, the corpses of 66 were found at the nearby Mahari Hotel, victims of extrajudicial execution.284 Libya's chief forensic pathologist, Dr. Othman al-Zintani, carried out the autopsies of Gaddafi, his son and Jabr in the days following their death; although the pathologist initially told the press that Gaddafi had died from a gunshot wound to the head, the autopsy report was not made public.285

On the afternoon of Gaddafi's death, NTC Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril publicly revealed the news.277 Gaddafi's corpse was placed in the freezer of a local market alongside the corpses of Yunis Jabr and Mutassim; the bodies were publicly displayed for four days, with Libyans from all over the country coming to view them.286 In response to international calls, on 24 October Jibril announced that a commission would investigate Gaddafi's death.287 On 25 October, the NTC announced that Gaddafi had been buried at an unidentified location in the desert; Al Aan TV showed amateur video footage of the funeral.288289 Seeking vengeance for the killing, Gaddafist sympathisers fatally wounded one of those who had captured Gaddafi, Omran Shaaban, near Bani Walid in September 2012.290

Personal and public life

Ideology

As a schoolboy, Gaddafi adopted the ideologies of Arab nationalism and Arab socialism, influenced in particular by Nasserism, the thought of Egyptian revolutionary and president Gamal Abdel Nasser, whom Gaddafi adopted as his hero.291 During the early 1970s, Gaddafi formulated his own particular approach to Arab nationalism and socialism, known as Third International Theory, which has been described as a combination of "utopian socialism, Arab nationalism, and the Third World revolutionary theory that was in vogue at the time".292 He laid out the principles of this Theory in the three volumes of The Green Book, in which he sought to "explain the structure of the ideal society."293 His Arab nationalist views led him to believe that there needed to be unity across the Arab world, combining the Arab nation under a single nation-state.294 He described his approach to economics as "Islamic socialism",295 although biographers Blundy and Lycett noted that Gaddafi's socialism had a "curiously Marxist undertone",296 with political scientist Sami Hajjar arguing that Gaddafi's model of socialism offered a simplification of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels' theories.297 Gaddafi saw his socialist Jamahiriyah as a model for the Arab, Islamic, and non-aligned worlds to follow.298

"We call it the Third [International] Theory to indicate that there is a new path for all those who reject both materialist capitalism and atheist Communism. The path is for all the people of the world who abhor the dangerous confrontation between the Warsaw and North Atlantic military alliances. It is for all those who believe that all nations of the world are brothers under the aegis of the rule of God."

— Muammar Gaddafi.299

Gaddafi's ideological worldview was moulded by his environment, namely his Islamic faith, his Bedouin upbringing, and his disgust at the actions of European colonialists in Libya.300 He was driven by a sense of "divine mission", believing himself a conduit of Allah's will, and thought that he must achieve his goals "no matter what the cost".301 Raised within the Sunni branch of Islam, Gaddafi called for the implementation of sharia within Libya.302 He desired unity across the Islamic world,303 and encouraged the propagation of the faith elsewhere. On a 2010 visit to Italy, he paid a modelling agency to find 200 young Italian women for a lecture he gave urging them to convert.304 He also funded the construction and renovation of two mosques in Africa, including Uganda's Kampala Mosque.305 He nevertheless clashed with conservative Libyan clerics as to his interpretation of Islam. Many criticised his attempts to encourage women to enter traditionally male-only sectors of society, such as the armed forces. Gaddafi was keen to improve women's status, though saw the sexes as "separate but equal" and therefore felt women should usually remain in traditional roles.306

A fundamental part of Gaddafi's ideology was anti-Zionism. He believed that the state of Israel should not exist, and that any Arab compromise with the Israeli government was a betrayal of the Arab people.307 In large part due to their support of Israel, Gaddafi despised the United States, considering the country to be imperialist and lambasting it as "the embodiment of evil."308 Rallying against Jews in many of his speeches, his anti-Semitism has been described as "almost Hitlerian."309 From the late 1990s onward, his view seemed to become more moderate.310 In 2007, he advocated the Isratin single-state solution to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, stating that "the [Israel-Palestine] solution is to establish a democratic state for the Jews and the Palestinians...This is the fundamental solution, or else the Jews will be annihilated in the future, because the Palestinians have [strategic] depth."311 Two years later he argued that a single-state solution would "move beyond old conflicts and look to a unified future based on shared culture and respect."312

Personal life

Gaddafi was a very private individual,300 who described himself as a "simple revolutionary" and "pious Muslim" called upon by Allah to continue Nasser's work.295 Reporter Mirella Bianco found that his friends considered him particularly loyal and generous, and asserted that he adored children.313 She was told by Gaddafi's father that even as a child he had been "always serious, even taciturn", a trait he also exhibited in adulthood.314 His father said that he was courageous, intelligent, pious, and family oriented.314

Other sources describe Gaddafi as "extraordinarily vain"315 and a womaniser.316 Blundy and Lycett note Gaddafi had a large wardrobe, and sometimes changed his outfit multiple times a day.315 He saw himself as a fashion icon, stating "Whatever I wear becomes a fad. I wear a certain shirt and suddenly everyone is wearing it."315

In the 1970s and 1980s there were reports of his making sexual advances toward female reporters and members of his entourage.316 After the civil war, more serious charges came to light. Annick Cojean, a journalist for Le Monde, wrote in her book, Gaddafi's Harem that Gaddafi had raped and imprisoned hundreds or thousands of women.317 Another source—Libyan psychologist Seham Sergewa—reported that several of his female bodyguards claim to have been raped by Gaddafi and senior officials.318 After the civil war, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, prosecutor for the International Criminal Court, said there was evidence that Gaddafi told soldiers to rape women who had spoken out against his regime.318 According to a Brazilian plastic surgeon, Gaddafi had been his patient in 1995.319 The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency believed that Gaddafi had suffered from clinical depression, while the Israeli authorities claimed that he had been afflicted by epilepsy and hemorrhoids.320 He was a fan of Beethoven, and said his favourite novels were Uncle Tom's Cabin, Roots, and Colin Wilson's The Outsider.321 He was also a soccer enthusiast.321

Gaddafi's home at the Bab al-Azizia compound.

Following his ascension to power, Gaddafi moved into the Bab al-Azizia barracks, a six-mile long fortified compound located two miles from the center of Tripoli. His home and office at Azizia was a bunker designed by West German engineers, while the rest of his family lived in a large two-story building. Within the compound were also two tennis courts, a soccer field, several gardens, camels, and a Bedouin tent in which he entertained guests.322 In the 1980s, his lifestyle was considered modest in comparison to those of many other Arab leaders.323 Gaddafi allegedly worked for years with Swiss banks to launder international banking transactions.324 In November 2011, The Sunday Times identified property worth £1 billion in the UK that Gaddafi allegedly owned.325 Gaddafi had an Airbus A340 private jet, which he bought from Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal of Saudi Arabia for $120 million in 2003.326 Operated by Tripoli-based Afriqiyah Airways and decorated externally in their colours, it had various luxuries including a jacuzzi.327

Marriages and children

Gaddafi married his first wife, Fatiha al-Nuri, in 1969. She was the daughter of General Khalid, a senior figure in King Idris' administration, and was from a middle-class background. Although they had one son, Muhammad Gaddafi (b. 1970), their relationship was strained, and they divorced in 1970.328 Gaddafi's second wife was Safia Farkash, née el-Brasai, a former nurse from Obeidat tribe born in Bayda.329 They met in 1969, following his ascension to power, when he was hospitalized with appendicitis; he claimed that it was love at first sight.328 The couple remained married until his death. Together they had seven biological children: Saif al-Islam Gaddafi (born 1972), Al-Saadi Gaddafi (b. 1973), Mutassim Gaddafi (1974–2011), Hannibal Muammar Gaddafi (b. 1975), Ayesha Gaddafi (b. 1976), Saif al-Arab Gaddafi (1982–2011), and Khamis Gaddafi (1983–2011?). He also adopted two children, Hanna Gaddafi and Milad Gaddafi.330

Public image

During his 2008 visit to Russia, Gaddafi pitched his Bedouin tent in the grounds of the Moscow Kremlin. Here he is joined by Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and French singer Mireille Mathieu.

A cult of personality devoted to Gaddafi existed in Libya.331 His face appeared on a wide variety of items, including postage stamps, watches, and school satchels. Quotations from The Green Book appeared on a wide variety of places, from street walls to airports and pens, and were put to pop music for public release. Gaddafi claimed that he disliked this personality cult, but that he tolerated it because Libya's people adored him.331 Biographers Blundy and Lycett believed that he was "a populist at heart."331 Throughout Libya, crowds of supporters would turn up to public events at which he appeared; described as "spontaneous demonstrations" by the government, there are recorded instances of groups being coerced or paid to attend.332 He was typically late to public events, and would sometimes not show up at all.333 Although Bianco thought he had a "gift for oratory",314 he was considered a poor orator by biographers Blundy and Lycett.79 Biographer Daniel Kawczynski noted that Gaddafi was famed for his "lengthy, wandering" speeches,334 which typically involved criticising Israel and the U.S.333

Gaddafi was notably confrontational in his approach to foreign powers,335 and generally shunned western ambassadors and diplomats, believing them to be spies.320 He once said that HIV was "a peaceful virus, not an aggressive virus" and assured attendees at the African Union that "if you are straight you have nothing to fear from AIDS".336 He also said that the H1N1 influenza virus was a biological weapon manufactured by a foreign military, and he assured Africans that the tsetse fly and mosquito were "God's armies which will protect us against colonialists". Should these 'enemies' come to Africa, "they will get malaria and sleeping sickness".336

Gaddafi was preoccupied with his own security, regularly changing where he slept and sometimes grounding all other planes in Libya when he was flying.111 He made very particular requests when traveling to foreign nations. During his trips to Rome, Paris, Moscow, and New York,337338 he resided in a bulletproof tent, following his Bedouin traditions.337339 Starting in the 1980s, he travelled with his all-female Amazonian Guard, who were allegedly sworn to a life of celibacy.116 However, according to psychologist Seham Sergewa, after the civil war several of the guards told her they had been pressured into joining and raped by Gaddafi and senior officials.340 He hired several Ukrainian nurses to care for him and his family's health,341 and traveled everywhere with his trusted Ukrainian nurse Halyna Kolotnytska, a "voluptuous blonde".342 Kolotnytska's daughter denied the suggestion that the relationship was anything but professional.343

Legacy

Image of Gaddafi at the Leptis Magna Museum in Khoms, Libya.

Gaddafi remained a controversial and divisive figure on the world stage throughout his life and after death. Supporters praised Gaddafi's administration for the creation of an almost classless society through domestic reform.344 They stress the regime's achievements in combating homelessness and ensuring access to food and safe drinking water. Highlighting that under Gaddafi, all Libyans enjoyed free education to a university level, they point to the dramatic rise in literacy rates after the 1969 revolution.344 Supporters have also applauded achievements in medical care, praising the universal free healthcare provided under the Gaddafist administration, with diseases like cholera and typhoid being contained and life expectancy raised.344 Biographers Blundy and Lycett noted that under the first decade of Gaddafi's leadership, life for most Libyans "undoubtedly changed for the better" as material conditions and wealth drastically improved,70 while Libyan studies specialist Lillian Craig Harris remarked that in the early years of his administration, Libya's "national wealth and international influence soared, and its national standard of living has risen dramatically."345 Such high standards declined during the 1980s, as a result of economic stagnation.346 Gaddafi claimed that his Jamahiriya was a "concrete utopia", and that he had been appointed by "popular assent",347 with some Islamic supporters believing that he exhibited barakah.300

Critics labelled Gaddafi "despotic, cruel, arrogant, vain and stupid",348 with western governments and press presenting him as the "vicious dictator of an oppressed people".347 During the Reagan administration, the United States regarded him as "Public Enemy No. 1"310 and Reagan famously dubbed him the "mad dog of the Middle East".349179 According to critics, the Libyan people lived in a climate of fear under Gaddafi's administration, due to his government's pervasive surveillance of civilians.350 Despite officially banning the police force, Gaddafi's Libya was typically described by western commentators as "a police state".351 Opponents were critical of Libya's human rights abuses; according to Human Rights Watch (HRW) and others, hundreds of arrested political opponents often failed to receive a fair trial,352 and were sometimes subjected to torture or extrajudicial execution, most notably in the Abu Salim prison, including an alleged massacre on 29 June 1996 in which HRW estimated that 1,270 prisoners were massacred.353354 Dissidents abroad or "stray dogs" were also publicly threatened with death and sometimes killed by government hits squads.355 His government's treatment of non-Arab Libyans has also came in for criticism from human rights activists, with native Berbers, Italians, Jews, refugees, and foreign workers all facing persecution in Gaddafist Libya.356 According to journalist Annick Cojean and psychologist Seham Sergewa, Gaddafi and senior officials raped and imprisoned hundreds or thousands of young women and reportedly raped several of his female bodyguards.317340

The pre-Gaddafi flag of Libya, readopted in the aftermath of the civil war

International reactions to Gaddafi's death were divided. US President Barack Obama stated that it meant that "the shadow of tyranny over Libya has been lifted,"357 while UK Prime Minister David Cameron stated that he was "proud" of his country's role in overthrowing "this brutal dictator".358 Contrastingly, former Cuban President Fidel Castro commented that in defying the rebels, Gaddafi would "enter history as one of the great figures of the Arab nations",359 while Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez described him as "a great fighter, a revolutionary and a martyr."360 Nelson Mandela expressed sadness at the news, praising Gaddafi for his anti-apartheid stance, remarking that he backed the African National Congress during "the darkest moments of our struggle".361 Gaddafi was mourned by many as a hero across Sub-Saharan Africa,362 for instance, a vigil was held by Muslims in Sierra Leone.363 The Daily Times of Nigeria stated that while undeniably a dictator, Gaddafi 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."364 AllAfrica.com reported that while many Libyans and Africans would mourn Gaddafi, this would by ignored by western media and that as such it would take 50 years before historians decided whether he was "martyr or villain."365

Following his defeat in the civil war, Gaddafi's system of governance was dismantled and replaced under the interim government of the NTC, who legalised trade unions and press freedom. In July 2012, elections were held to form a new General National Congress (GNC), who officially took over governance from the NTC in August. The GNC proceeded to elect Mohammed Magariaf as president of the chamber, and then voted Mustafa A.G. Abushagur as Prime Minister; when Abushagar failed to gain congressional approval, the GNC instead elected Ali Zeidan to the position.366 In January 2013, the GNC officially renamed the Jamahiriyah as the "State of Libya".367

See also

Notes

  1. ^ For purposes of this article, 23 August 2011 is considered to be the date that Gaddafi left office. Other dates might have been chosen.
    • On 15 July 2011, at a meeting in Istanbul, more than 30 governments, including the United States, withdrew recognition from Gaddafi's government and recognised the National Transitional Council (NTC) as the legitimate government of Libya.1
    • On 23 August 2011, during the Battle of Tripoli, Gaddafi lost effective political and military control of Tripoli after his compound was captured by rebel forces.2
    • On 25 August 2011, the Arab League proclaimed the anti-Gaddafi National Transitional Council to be "the legitimate representative of the Libyan state".3
    • On 20 October 2011, Gaddafi was captured and killed near his hometown of Sirte.4
    • In a ceremony on 23 October 2011, officials of the interim National Transitional Council declared, "We declare to the whole world that we have liberated our beloved country, with its cities, villages, hill-tops, mountains, deserts and skies."5
  2. ^ Due to the lack of standardization of transcribing written and regionally pronounced Arabic, Gaddafi's name has been romanized in various different ways. A 1986 column by The Straight Dope lists 32 spellings known from the U.S. Library of Congress,7 while ABC and MSNBC identified 112 possible spellings.89 A 2007 interview with Gaddafi's son Saif al-Islam Gaddafi confirms that he used the spelling "Qadhafi",10 and the passport of Gaddafi's son Mohammed used the spelling "Al-Gathafi".1112

References

Footnotes

  1. ^ a b Vela, Justin (16 July 2011). "West prepares to hand rebels Gaddafi's billions". The Independent (London). Retrieved 16 July 2011. 
  2. ^ Staff (23 August 2011). "Libya Live Blog: Tuesday, 23 August 2011 – 16:19". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 23 August 2011.
  3. ^ a b "Arab League gives its full backing to Libya's rebel council". The Taipei Times. 26 August 2011. Retrieved 1 September 2011. 
  4. ^ "Muammar Gaddafi: How he died". BBC. Retrieved 21 October 2011. 
  5. ^ Saleh, Yasmine (23 October 2011). "UPDATE 4-Libya declares nation liberated after Gaddafi death". Reuters. 
  6. ^ "The Prosecutor v. Muammar Mohammed Abu Minyar Gaddafi, Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi and Abdullah al-Senussi". ICC-01/11-01/11. International Criminal Court. 11 November 2011. Retrieved 5 December 2013. 
  7. ^ "How are you supposed to spell Muammar Gaddafi/Khadafy/Qadhafi?". The Straight Dope. 1986. Retrieved 5 March 2006. 
  8. ^ "How many different ways can you spell 'Gaddafi'". ABC News. September 2009. Retrieved 22 February 2011. 
  9. ^ Chris Matthews (21 October 2011). Hardball With Chris Matthews. MSNBC. Retrieved 22 October 2011. 
  10. ^ "Saif Gaddafi on How to Spell His Last Name". The Daily Beast. 1 March 2011. Retrieved 1 September 2011. 
  11. ^ "Rebel Discovers Qaddafi Passport, Real Spelling of Leader's Name". The Atlantic. 
  12. ^ "Mohamed Al-Gaddafi's Passport August 24, 2011". YouTube. 24 August 2011. Retrieved 1 September 2011. 
  13. ^ Blundy & Lycett 1987, p. 33; Kawczynski 2011, p. 9; Bruce St. John 2012, p. 135.
  14. ^ a b Blundy & Lycett 1987, pp. 33; Kawczynski 2011, p. 9.
  15. ^ Harriss 1986, p. 45.
  16. ^ a b c Blundy & Lycett 1987, pp. 35; Kawczynski 2011, p. 9; Bruce St. John 2012, p. 135.
  17. ^ Kawczynski 2011, p. 9; Bruce St. John 2012, p. 135.
  18. ^ Blundy & Lycett 1987, pp. 35–37; Bruce St. John 2012, p. 135.
  19. ^ Bianco 1975, p. 4; Blundy & Lycett 1987, p. 37; Kawczynski 2011, p. 4.
  20. ^ a b Blundy & Lycett 1987, pp. 38–39; Kawczynski 2011, pp. 7–9, 14; Bruce St. John 2012, p. 108.
  21. ^ Bianco 1975, p. 5; Bruce St John 2012, pp. 135–136.
  22. ^ a b Bianco 1975, pp. 5–6, 8–9; Blundy & Lycett 1987, p. 39; Kawczynski 2011, p. 10; Bruce St. John 2012, p. 136.
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  40. ^ Bruce St John 2012, pp. 138–139.
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  42. ^ Harris 1986, p. 14; Blundy & Lycett 1987, p. 52; Kawczynski 2011, pp. 15–16.
  43. ^ Blundy & Lycett 1987, p. 51; Kawczynski 2011, p. 136.
  44. ^ a b Kawczynski 2011, pp. 16–17.
  45. ^ Blundy & Lycett 1987, p. 53; Kawczynski 2011, p. 19; Bruce St. John 2012, pp. 139–140.
  46. ^ a b Kawczynski 2011, p. 18.
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  48. ^ Harris 1986, p. 15.
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  50. ^ a b Bruce St John 2012, p. 134.
  51. ^ Bruce St John 2012, p. 159.
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  55. ^ a b Blundy & Lycett 1987, p. 91–92.
  56. ^ Harris 1986, p. 17; Blundy & Lycett 1987, p. 63.
  57. ^ Bruce St John 2011, p. 134.
  58. ^ Kawczynski 2011, p. 20.
  59. ^ Vandewalle 2008, p. 9; Bruce St John 2012, p. 134.
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  61. ^ Vandewalle 2008, p. 11; Kawczynski 2011, pp. 21–23.
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  63. ^ Harris 1986, p. 17.
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  65. ^ Harris 1986, p. 17; Blundy & Lycett 1987, pp. 63–64; Vandewalle 2008, p. 11; Bruce St. John 2012, p. 153.
  66. ^ Blundy & Lycett 1987, p. 85.
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Bibliography

Death of a Dictator: Bloody Vengeance in Sirte. Human Rights Watch. 2012. 
Bearman, Jonathan (1986). Qadhafi's Libya. London: Zed Books. ISBN 978-0-86232-434-6. 
Mirella, Bianco (1975). Gadafi: Voice from the Desert. Margaret Lyle (translator). London: Longman. ISBN 0-582-78062-4. 
Blundy, David; Lycett, Andrew (1987). Qaddafi and the Libyan Revolution. Boston and Toronto: Little Brown & Co. ISBN 978-0-316-10042-7. 
Bruce St. John, Ronald (2012). Libya: From Colony to Revolution (revised edition). Oxford: Oneworld. ISBN 978-1-85168-919-4. 
Cooley, John K. (1983). Libyan Sandstorm. London: Sidgwick & Jackson. ISBN 978-0-283-98944-5. 
Davis, Brian Lee (1990). Qaddafi, Terrorism, and the Origins of the U.S. Attack on Libya. New York: Praeger. ISBN 0-275-93302-4. 
El-Khawas, Mohamad A. (1986). Qaddafi: His Ideology in Theory and Practice. Amana. ISBN 978-0-915597-24-6. 
Hajjar, Sami G. (1982). "The Marxist Origins of Qadhafi's Economic Thought". The Journal of Modern African Studies 20 (3): 361–375. JSTOR 160522. 
Harris, Lillian Craig (1986). Libya: Qadhafi's Revolution and the Modern State. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press. ISBN 0-8133-0075-4. 
Hilsum, Lindsey (2012). Sandstorm: Libya in the Time of Revolution. London: Faber and Faber. ISBN 978-0-571-28803-8. 
Kawczynski, Daniel (2011). Seeking Gaddafi: Libya, the West and the Arab Spring. Biteback. ISBN 978-1-84954-148-0. 
Metz, Helen Chapin (2004). Libya. US GPO. ISBN 1-4191-3012-9. 
Monti-Belkaoui, Janice; Monti-Belkaoui, Ahmed (1996). Qaddafi: The Man and His Policies. Avebury. ISBN 978-1-85972-385-2. 
Pargeter, Alice (2012). Libya: The Rise and Fall of Qaddafi. New Haven: Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-13932-7. 
Simons, Geoff (2003). Libya and the West: From Independence to Lockerbie. Oxford: Centre for Libyan Studies. ISBN 1-86064-988-2. 
Vandewalle, Dirk (2008), "Libya's Revolution in Perspective: 1969–2000", Libya Since 1969: Qadhafi's Revolution Revisited, Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 9–53, ISBN 0-230-33750-3 
Vandewalle, Dirk (2011), "From International Reconciliation to Civil War: 2003–2011", Libya Since 1969: Qadhafi's Revolution Revisited (revised edition), Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 215–239, ISBN 0-230-33750-3 

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Idris
as King of Libya
Chairman of the Revolutionary Command Council of Libya
1969–1977
Succeeded by
Himself
as Secretary General of the General People's Congress of Libya
Preceded by
Mahmud Sulayman al-Maghribi
Prime Minister of Libya
1970–1972
Succeeded by
Abdessalam Jalloud
Preceded by
Himself
as Chairman of the Revolutionary Command Council of Libya
Secretary General of the General People's Congress of Libya
1977–1979
Succeeded by
Abdul Ati al-Obeidi
New office Brotherly Leader and Guide of the Revolution of Libya
1979–2011
Succeeded by
Mustafa Abdul Jalil
as Chairman of the National Transitional Council of Libya
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Jakaya Kikwete
Chairperson of the African Union
2009–2010
Succeeded by
Bingu wa Mutharika








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