Why Did Perceptions of Gaddafi Range from Support and Appreciation Among the Libyans to Intimidation Among the Westerners?

Research Question: Why Did Perceptions of Gaddafi Range from Support and Appreciation Among the Libyans to Intimidation Among the Westerners?

Thesis Statement: Perceptions of Gaddafi Differentiated because Gaddafi’s Actions Had Different Impacts on Who They Were Targeted Towards.

Topic Sentence 1: The Libyans supported and appreciated Gaddafi

The Libyans and Africa generally appreciated Ghaddafi because of his accomplishments meant to improve the lives of every day Libyans. For example, Muammar Ghaddafi was the very first to build a gigantic pipeline that turned the desert of Libya into fertile land by transporting thousands of gallons of water. This huge engineering project was known as GMMR or the Great Manmade River. Another way he benefited the Libyans was healthcare and education was free for the public. If a Libyan citizen couldn’t access a certain healthcare operation or educational course in Libya, they were funded to travel abroad. Newlyweds were given $50,000 to help build their new family and women who gave birth were given $5,000 for herself and her child.  Owning a home was considered a human right under Ghaddafi’s rule. He stated in his The Green Book that, “The house is a basic need of both the individual and the family, therefore it should not be owned by others.” Libya was virtually debt free. Everyone had access to food and was not malnourished. Electricity was free and the price of petrol was as low as $0.14. Another great thing about Libya under Ghaddafi’s rule was that gender equality was an actual reality. Almost all of Ghaddafi’s bodyguards were women. Yes, he was a dictator but besides a few uprisings here and there, he had a more than 80% approval rate in Libya. When under Ghadafi, Libya had the highest living standard in Africa and one of the highest in the world.

Topic Sentence 2: The Westerners were intimidated by Gaddafi.

Gaddafi was originally on friendly terms with the West but the tension was starting to grow between Libya and the West.  The two opposing sides fired at each other off the Libyan coast in March 1986. Two Libyan ships were sunk. The next month, evidence was found that Gaddafi was behind a bomb that injured more than 200 people in a Berlin disco, killing two American soldiers. The United States retaliated with air strikes in Libya. US navy attack jets and bombers from bases in England were- used.  During the attacks, Gaddafi’s 15-month old adopted daughter was killed and his two sons were injured. Then on December 21, 1988, the Pan Am 747 Boeing plane took off for Frankfurt Germany unaware of the explosives on board. As it flew over Lockerbie, Scotland it exploded killing everyone on board and 11 people on the ground. Following U.S and U.N demands, Gaddafi accepted responsibility for the bombing and paid $8 million to each victim’s family. In return, sanctions were lifted. Another major reason why Gaddafi was viewed as a threat to the West was he wanted Africa to unite. He was planning to create an African Union. This would have been backed by an  African economy. He wanted to create the “Gold Dinar” to back African currencies. This would have lowered the value of the Dollar and the Euro since Africa is the most resource-rich continent in the world.

Topic Sentence 3:  Gaddafi left a legacy that would inspire military leaders.

Gaddafi left a legacy that inspired all of Africa. He was called the King of African Kings. Nelson Mandela’s grandson was named after him. He inspired South Africans to fight for their liberations and supported anti-apartheid movements. He funded Nelson Mandela’s campaign to become the first black president in South Africa.  He backed rebellions in Liberia and Sierra Leone. Basically, he supported and inspired great African leaders to fight back against modern colonialism and white supremacy.

Works Cited

Chothia, Farouk. “What Does Gaddafi Death Mean for Africa.BBC News, 21 Oct. 2011,. Accessed 5 Apr. 2019.

Greenspan, Jesse. “Remembering the 1988 Lockerbie Bombing.” History.com, 20 Dec. 2013,. Accessed 31 Mar. 2019.

Gwaambuka, Tatenda. “Ten Reasons Why Libya under Gaddafi Was a Great Place to Live.” The African Exponent, African Exponent, 9 Apr. 2016,. Accessed 31 Mar. 2019.

History.com, editor. “U.S. bombs Libya.” History.com, History.coms, 9 Feb. 2010,. Accessed 31 Mar. 2019.

Koenig, Peter. “Let’s never forget why Muammar Gaddafi was killed.” Pambazuka.org, 25 May 2017,. Accessed 31 Mar. 2019.

Maroun, Christophe. “Great Manmade River, Libya.” EJAtlas.org,. Accessed 31 Mar. 2019.