For decades, the United States and her allies engaged in a media campaign to portray Libyan leader Muammar Al Gaddafi as one of Africa’s most brutal dictators. This media campaign convinced the world to support the United States CIA overthrow of the leader.
“The Media Is The Most Powerful Entity On Earth. They Have The Power To Make The Innocent Guilty And To Make The Guilty Innocent, And That’s Power. Because They Control The Minds Of The Masses.” – Malcolm X
As conscious Black men and women, it is our responsibility to learn the truth behind our African brother, and to make our own determination as to whether he was the evil that the West portrayed him as, or if he was in fact a hero of Pan-Africanism.
Libya Under Muammar Gaddafi
In 1969, Muammar Al Gaddafi’s Free Officers Organization initiated “Operation Jerusalem”, the plot to overthrow the Pro-West King Idris of Libya. Members of his organization occupied military barracks, airports, police depots, radio stations and government offices, but met little resistance from the monarchy. The bloodless revolution was over quickly, as Gaddafi’s organization had the overwhelming support of the people.
He then founded the Libyan Arab Republic, consolidated leadership, and began sweeping economic, social, and political reforms to the benefit of the people of Libya – many of whom were Black.
Muammar Al Gaddafi was determined to remove all vestiges of colonialism. He nationalized all of the oil fields of the country (protecting them from corporate acquisition), eliminated foreign military bases inside the country, and shut down two important British military bases in Tobruk and El Adem.
He earned the wrath of the United States when he threw out Wheelus Air Force Base near Tripoli that had been operated by the United States since 1945. Before the British military took control in 1943, the facility was a base operated by the Italians under Mussolini.
Wheelus had been an important Strategic Air Command base during the Cold War, housing B-52 bombers and other front-line Pentagon aircrafts that targeted the Soviet Union. Once under Libyan control, the Gaddafi government allowed Soviet military planes to access the airfield.
The Economy of Libya was centrally planned and followed Gaddafi’s socialist ideals. At the time, oil reserves in Libya were the largest in Africa and the fifth largest in the world. Muammar Gaddafi renegotiated higher prices for his oil, and used the profit to achieve spectacular results:
- Under Muammar Al Gaddafi Libya achieved the highest nominal GDP per capita in Africa
Libya recorded favorable growth rates with an estimated 10.6 percent growth of GDP until as late as 2010, the highest of any state in Africa.
- Homelessness was ended in Libya. Gaddafi had promised “a home for all Libyans” and during his rule, new residential areas rose in empty Saharan regions. Entire populations living in mud-brick caravan towns were moved into modern homes with running water, electricity, and satellite TV.
- During Gaddafi’s rule, infant mortality rates went from 125/1000 live births, about average for Africa at the time, to 15.04/1,000, the best rate in Africa.
- In the first 15 years of Gaddafi rule, the number of doctors per 1000/citizens increased by seven times, with the number of hospital beds increasing by three times
- Libya achieved a higher literacy rate than any other country in Africa and most western nations, thanks to Muammar Gaddafi‘s academic reforms
Most importantly to Pan-Africanists, Muammar Gaddafi took Marcus Garvey’s concept of a United States of Africa and put it into action. He advanced the concept to other African nations as the 2009 Chairperson of the African Union (AU).
Having described the AU as a failure on a number of occasions, Gaddafi asserted that only a true Pan-African state can provide stability and wealth to Africa. A number of senior AU members also support the proposed federation, believing that it could bring peace to a ‘new’ Africa.
The Crucifixion of Muammar Al Gaddafi
As the concept of a United States of Africa began to take hold, Muammar Gaddafi began to draw the wrath of an oil-starved West. Between March and August of 2011, the Air Force of the United States along with Britain and France has carried out 7,459 bombing attacks against the country. Britain, France and the United States sent special operation ground forces and commando units to direct the military operations of the so-called rebel fighter that sprang up out of nowhere.
One of the first acts of this new rebel group was not to seize the capital of the country, but to seize its oil fields and negotiate trade agreements with the West.
On 3 April 2011, a letter was allegedly sent by Libya’s National Transitional Council (NTC) to a coalition partner, Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani, which mentioned that France would take “35 percent of crude oil…in exchange for its total and permanent support” of the NTC. France’s Liberation Daily reported on Thursday that it had a copy of the letter, which stated that the NTC’S Information Minister Mahmoud Shammam, would negotiate the deal with France. In 2010 France was the second purchaser of Libyan oil after Italy, with over 15 percent of its “black gold” imported from Tripoli. – Source
The people of Libya erupted into protests and declared their love and support for the leader that had done so much to improve their lives. Resistance fighters not affiliated with the military began to arm themselves to expel the rebels, but failed.
Muammar Al Gaddafi was captured and killed by rebel fighters after fighting them off for 8 months. Video footage showing his last moments on Earth reveal the rebels sodomizing him, stripping him naked, and torturing him before killing him and dragging his body through the streets. You can watch the horrific video below.
For years after his death, pro-Gaddafi forces are still fighting in his name. In 2014, they took control of the Tamahind air force base near the southern city of Sabha, laid claim to the southern half of the country, and established “The Green Channel” and the Libyan Popular National Movement’s channel to broadcast loyalist messages to the rest of the world. Gaddafi loyalists claim to fight against a Western-backed “puppet government” with ties to Al-Qaeda, and charged that Qatar was paying Sudanese pilots to bomb their positions. No people would fight so hard for so long for a leader they did not love.
The bloodshed did not stop with Gaddafi. The U.S. backed rebels then tuned their attention to his many Black supporters. Whole cities of Blacks who thrived under Gaddafi were emptied out.
Entire Black Libyan City Depopulated, Declared ‘Closed Military Area’
Before the Libyan Civil War, Tawarga was an agricultural city of some 10,000, mostly black people, with an economy centering around palm trees and date production. Today, it is entirely empty, and declared a “closed military area” by the rebels.
But where did the Tawargans go? That’s not such an easy question to answer. The rebels rounded them all up and herded them into “refugee camps” in Tripoli. But reporters that went to Tripoli found the camps empty as well, with the only person there, someone looting scrap metal out of one camp, declaring that they had “gone to Niger.”
Tripoli residents near the camp, however, report that the Tawargans had indeed been in the camp at one point, but that the camp itself was attacked by forces from Misrata. They beat the men, rounded up the women and children and took them away in trucks. They believed the troops were taking them to another camp in another part of Tripoli. That camp too was empty.
Black people have been disappearing all across Libya, with rebels arresting people simply on the basis of skin color, but how does a whole city go missing? It may be quite some time before we learn exactly what happened, but we have hints in media reports dating back to June, when Misrata rebels began openly talking about “cleansing” the region of blacks and were saying that black Libyans might as well pack up because “Tawarga no longer exists, only Misrata.”
Fast forward nearly three months from this proclamation, and we have an empty city where Tawarga once stood. The only sign saying Tawarga has been covered up with a new sign saying “New Misrata.”
What was once a thriving and stable African nation became a slave market. As of 2019, all of the gains that Muammar Al Gaddafi achieved have been wiped out, and Libya has become one of the most dangerous places on Earth.
For his dedication to the African nation of Libya, and his fight to advance the ideals of Pan-Africanism, Gaddafi will live on as a martyr and an African hero.