Qaddafi vs. New World Order
by Husayn Al-Kurdi
Toward Freedom magazine, February 1997
How can a country of less than five million people, located
on Africa's northern shores and harboring much of the inhospitable
Sahara desert, become the object of an aggressive US-CIA campaign
of destabilization, subversion, and attack for almost three decades?
And why is its revolutionary leader, Mu'ammar al-Qaddafi, so relentlessly
vilified and scorned in the media and by policy makers in Washington?
Let's begin with the basics. Libya is seven times as large
as Britain but sparsely populated. Over half of its citizens are
under 15 years old, and most of the young firmly support the revolution
and its charismatic leader. They and others have enjoyed the benefits
of Libya's vast reserves of top-grade oil. However, the use of
these oil-generated revenues has angered the corporate-dominated
New World Order and motivated much of US hostility.
From 1911 to 1932, the country underwent a harrowing and unsuccessful
war of national liberation against its Italian colonizers in which
over a million Libyans lost their lives. After World War Il, the
country was held "in trusteeship" by massive US and
British military presence. Wheehus Air Base, near the ancient
capital of Tripoli, became one of the largest US military installations
in the world. The Semlssi royal family was kept in power, its
readiness to serve imperial interests guaranteeing its position.
But the Senussis lost whatever prestige they gained from their
support of the struggle against the occupation by cynically presiding
over the destitution of their people, half of whom lived in makeshift
housing. The discovery of oil and development of that lucrative
industry in the l960s failed to change the situation.
The coup staged by Qaddafi and his comrades on September 1,
1969, may have preempted a similar CIA-approved initiative. Old
King Idris and his entourage were sent to Saudi Arabia, and a
new era began. Qaddafi espoused a new "third universal"
theory for oppressed people's liberation, enunciating three interconnected
concepts of freedom: emancipation from want, ignorance, and injustice;
Libya's liberation from imperialists and neo-colonialism; and
emancipation of the entire Arab world.
Qaddafi is clearly an internationalist and universalist. He
calls for a "New World Order" in which "the house
is for its occupant, the land is for everyone, and workers are
partners and not wage earners." This contrasts sharply with
the NWO ushered in by George Bush as he presided over Iraq's destruction
Qaddafi has supported liberation movements worldwide without
regard to national, religious, racial, or even ideological criteria.
These include the anti-Apartheid struggle in South Africa, AIM
and other militant Indian movements, the IRA, the Sandinistas
in their revolutionary phase, and the Palestinian struggle. He
is the only world leader to proclaim his support for Kurdistan
self-determination, a decision which has assured his position
as preferred villain for the US government and its allies. Only
Fidel Castro has survived as many CIA-related murder plots. In
the most well known example, Qaddafi's home was bombed by US planes
in an April 1986 raid on Tripoli and Benghazi which left hundreds
dead or wounded. He lost his infant step daughter.
Libya has also committed the unforgivable sin of avoiding
the IMF/World Bank debt trap, making it the only Maghribi (Arab
North African) country without huge obligations. In fact, it's
created a socialist system that actually works. Once largely illiterate,
Libyans now get free education through college and beyond. Against
traditionalist opposition, Qaddafi has promoted equality for women,
and rejected patriarchal and oppressive notions espoused by some
Islamists. Internally, most of his opposition is generated by
reactionary clerics, elements openly serving the West, and large
landowners whose holdings were expropriated. Outsiders like Saudi
Arabia and Egypt have long targeted him for overthrow.
Today, virtually every Libyan lives in her own home and the
average person makes more in a week than she did in a year before
1960. No other African country has improved the well-being of
its people more.
Nevertheless, Qaddafi and Libya are perennial targets of abuse
in the discourse of world domination, blamed for many "terrorist"
acts around the world. Most of the accusations have proved false,
but only a careful observer could glean this fact, going beyond
the propaganda transmitted by most media outlets. Many Leftists
have joined the Right in pillorying Libya's leader, some even
developing labels such as ''Neo-Islamic Bonapartist adventurer."
Activists such as Robert Blake and David Brower express horror
at the prospect of Libyans entering the US with nukes in their
backpacks. On December 15, 1996, 60 Minutes ran a segment on the
most recent, sustained action undertaken against Libya-UN sanctions
and an embargo that took effect in 1992. The sole focus was Libya's
status as "suspect" in the Lockerbie case. Embittered
relatives of crash victims repeated the usual descriptions of
Qaddafi as the "mad outlaw terrorist." The 60 Minutes
punch line was simple: "They can't get away with killing
In the past, the US has falsely accused Libya of a variety
of "terrorist" acts that were later revealed to be the
work of other states' agents or associates. The new accusation,
certain to horrify a largely unsuspecting US population, was that
Libya blew up Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, on December
21, 1988. The evidence? A micro chip which US investigators claimed
could only have come from Libya.
Using this pretext, the US imposed a total international ban
on air travel to and from the country, until and unless Libya
turns over two "suspects"-both Libyan Airline workers-
for trial. The would-be defendants have agreed to be tried in
a neutral third country, understandably skeptical about US or
British justice. Meanwhile, the embargo has produced a dramatic
increase in both road and airline accidents within the country.
At least 10,000 lives have been cut short due to the sanctions,
and Libya has lost over $1 billion in agricultural and livestock
All this is par for the course. The current "New World
Order" must suppress those who get the radical notion that
a country s resources belong to its own people. Whether that idea
emerges in Chiapas or Kurdistan, Palestine or East Timor, it must
be thwarted at any cost. Thus, US officials have announced their
readiness to use nuclear weapons on selected Libyan targets. Rumors
about chemical weapons development could provide the pretext for
a devastating attack, nuclear or not. In short, the formula used
for Iraq's destruction is being repeated. Disinformation, defamation,
demonization, and dehumanization are all tools in the campaign
to destroy Libya and its revolution. The discourse of domination
continues. Yet Libya, along with Cuba, 190 wars of liberation
worldwide, and countless movements that confront the "New
World Order," continue to answer with their own thrusts toward
Secrets and Lies