Muammer Gadhafi was the unofficial ruler of Libya for the past 42 years. Since the coup d’état against the former King Idrees I of Libya, Gadhafi has been ruling Libya with an iron fist. Evidence of his apparent control can be seen in the everyday life of the average Libyan. His picture is everywhere; watching you fill your car with gas, as you take a stroll downtown, or keeping an eye on those who come and go in the airport. Children are taught the virtues of the ‘Green Revolution’ from elementary school well through university. The gates of every store must be coloured green. But one fact is not as evident – no one must speak out against Muammer Gadhafi.
Since he took control in 1969, Gadhafi has manipulated Libyan politics to his liking, usually with disastrous consequences. When he arrived he brought with him the promise of drastic new changes for the people of Libya, as well as uniting Arabs across the Middle east. Since then he has managed to turn Libya into a pseudo-Communist state – a period many Libyans recall with horror – and when that didn’t work he claimed it was a Socialist republic. Reforms called for the private ownership of apartments, lands and businesses – which he achieved by seizing from their rightful owners without compensation. As his children grew it seemed only necessary that they would be the ones to inherit the country – along with its billions of dollars in oil revenues – despite Gadhafi’s claim that he has no real power over Libya. The so-called government of Libya (which can only contain those approved by Gadhafi) is listed as one of the most corrupt in the world.
This is but a small example of the deranged inner workings of Gadhafi’s twisted mind, and his list of crimes against humanity only proves that corrupt power can devastate an entire country.