Sunday, February 20, 2011

Who is Colonel Qaddafi?

Dear Madame L,

I have a question that I'd appreciate hearing your un-researched answer, because I know that you can answer this question without researching it: Who was/is Colonel Qaddafi? I know I could do my own research, but I am full of inertia and would like to hear your answer rather than researching my own. I honestly don't know, other than something about Libya?, and would love to hear what you have to say.

Thanks in advance for your reply,

Your inertiated little sister

Dear Little Sister,

Thank you for that question! Colonel Qaddafi is the dictator who has been oppressing the people of Libya for more than  40 years now. He is a ruthless killer. He is responsible for the deaths of thousands of innocents. 

UPDATE: Since Madame L first wrote this response, she has seen on the news that Qaddafi has ordered his citizens fired at with machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades. Hundreds if not thousands of people have been killed and critically wounded. Qaddafi and a look-alike make brief appearances among crowds of people who have been paid to wave flags and cheer, far from the protesters.

But that is now, and you will still want to know a bit more of the history. So Madame L is continuing with her original post:

In order to curry favor with the West, at one point he made some kind of treaty with the U.S. and Israel and then kicked thousands of Palestinians out who had been living in Libya. But before and since then he has mostly hated the West.

If Madame L were a psychologist, which she is not, she would say he is a megalomaniac with delusions of grandeur. Is that redundant? Or a psychopath. Or all of the above. He's a monster.

Madame L was struck by a Vanity Fair slide show a couple of years ago which extolled his sense of fashion, with tongue firmly in cheek. (Sorry, you said not to do any research, but Madame L simply had to look that up and post it. It explains the delusional part of her amateur diagnosis. It would be funny if he weren't such a monster.)

Qaddafi's response to the recent demands of his people for freedom and democracy---the people of whom he claims to be the "Brotherly Leader and Guide of the Revolution"---has been to call in his military and police units to shoot them, even, reportedly, shooting at them from helicopters. (And, as noted above, now to open fire with machine guns and RPG's.)

Here's his name in Arabic, which shows why it's so hard for people to transliterate his last name into Roman alphabet characters:   معمر القذافي

Muammar isn't so hard, but that "q" and that "d" are hard to know what to do with in English. So sometimes people write "Qaddafi,' sometimes "Gaddafi," "Ghaddafi," "Ghadhafi," and so on. Madame L has read that there are more than 30 ways of spelling this in non-Arabic languages. Madame L, although no more of an expert on transliterating Arabic into English than on psychology, prefers the "Qaddafi" spelling because the "q" is really a "q."

So, those are a few facts about the colonel. By the way, he was a captain when he took power, immediately promoted himself to colonel, and I forget the reason he gave for not making himself a general. (But Madame L bets you can find that information in Wikipedia's article about him.)

Madame L's sister mentioned Qaddafi in connection with the governor of Wisconsin because of his heavy-handed disregard for human rights, not because Madame L thinks Gov. Scott Walker (R) really intends to massacre the government employees whose rights as citizens he stands ready to steamroll over.

Thanks for asking, Little Sister. Please pray for the people of Libya, Bahrain, Jordan, Algeria, Kuwait, Yemen, Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, all the countries of the Middle East, the great State of Wisconsin, and the entire United States of America: for them/us to continue to have the strength to fight for and maintain their freedom and human rights, and for the oppressors to be brought to justice. 

And if you can find a way to act, to help your prayers be answered, please do that, too.

Yours truly,

Madame L


AskTheGeologist said...

By the way, the rapidly-accelerating revolution in Libya and the rest of the Arab Maghreb (North Africa) has caught al-Qaeda idealogues flat-footed. Their origin came from being tortured in Mubarak's jails long ago, and they turned their hatred toward the West as the weapon-supplier and enabler of Mubarak. Most of the original al-Qaeda types were Egyptians (many survivors still are), and most of al-Qaeda in Mesotamia (Iraq) came from either Saudi Arabia, Libya, or Egypt. A common denominator: ruled by vicious Arab autocrats who left the general population with nothing to live for.

From al-Qaeda's point of view, democracies supported by young Arabs - the new, exciting future - is anathema to their plan for a Caliphate. This whole democracy movement, gaining momentum day by day, is making al-Qaeda an obsolete club of aged murderers. Statistically, ~95% of all of al-Qaeda's victims have been Muslims.

And they all know this now.

Ellen said...

Thanks for the answer. That helps. But now Jeff has raised more questions: Who's Mubarak? And, while I'm somewhat aware of what al-Qaeda is, what is a "Caliphate?" Maybe this isn't the forum to ask and answer these questions, so feel free to not, if you'd like.
Trying to Get It