When bomb after bomb had mangled Libya both in infrastructure and the souls of the its people, some of whom had been so gullible to imperialism to the extent of inviting the war, strongman Maummar Gaddafi was eventually captured and brutally killed.
That marked the beginning of a new era. But, unbeknown to many Libyans, the good things the ordinary Libyan had enjoyed had gone into the grave with Gaddafi.
Ask any ordinary Libyan today and you will be told that if the clock could be rewound, no one would want that war repeated and Gaddafi, should have been a life president.
Yes, he might not have been a good or the best leader, he had many political problems. He had problems in maintaining friendships and principles. But still, he had done some good work for his country. So, I have decided to share some of his good things.
If you are thinking I am a Gaddafi supporter then you are wrong. I am not a Gaddafi supporter, neither I am like other people who are dancing because he is dead. I am just sharing some of the good things of Gaddafi and excluding the bad one. I know most of you are fed up of listening to all the bad things about him from the Western perspective.
Most of the people will argue about the facts of why Gaddafi did in a fatherly manner and those he did as a monster on another occasion but these facts about helping his people are arguably true.
Below is a brief of what Gaddafi’s contribution to the people of Libya, was.
All the newly weds people of Libya used to get about 50,000 dollars from Government to lead a very happy life.
Home was the basic right of every citizen of Libya. There was no electricity bill in Libya. Electricity was free in Libya. No interest loan for the people of Libya according to law. Gaddafi was against interest since interest is forbidden in Islam.
Gaddafi had increased the literacy rate from 25 percent to 83 percent. Education expenses in Government universities are free in Libya.
Medical expenses in Government hospitals were free in Libya. The price of the petrol was 0.14 cents in Libya. Yes we all know Libya has good petroleum resources. But the price seems to be too low. Isn’t it?
When Libyan citizen wanted to buy a car, Government subsidised 50 percent of the price of the car. The 50 percent sounds great!
A huge loaf of bread used to cost only 15 cents in Libya. How much does in cost throughout the world, including in Europe?
The GDP per capita of Libya was very high. Over 15 000 US dollars. Purchasing power was very high compared to the GDP.
The economy of Libya was improving rapidly. In 2010 it had 10 percent growth.
It has not external debts. It also has the reserves amount of 150+ billion dollars.
Unemployment fees of US$700 per month were given from the government until the person finds a job.
A Libyan mother used to get 5 000 US dollars for giving birth to a child. What more would you need from a Government?
I sound very controversial here but the facts on the ground are bare for every sane person to see.
According to Libyan politician, Mahmoud Jibril, after the West left the country in the lurch after it got access to the countries oil reserves.
The so-called Western “friends” of Tripoli are not concerned about the fact that the military campaign provoked by their actions, led to numerous deaths among civilians.
According Jibril the West also ignore other facts that the fall of the Gaddafi regime became the downfall of Libya itself.
As a result, Libya currently falls apart into isolated areas, striving for autonomy, every chief wanting to run a state. Thus, there is a strong possibility of new criminal pseudo-states emerging that just might follow the path of Somalia and other problem African states.
Paul Kreig Roberts, a leading analyst of international affairs with the US Republican Party, says Washington “took out” Gaddafi and means to repeat the same scenario in Syria because Americans believe that it’s a way to force China out of the Mediterranean region.
It is also an attempt to cut China off from African energy resources (the same way Washington and London denied China access to their resources in the late 30s of the 20th century).
In addition Roberts declares that the liquidation of Gaddafi was a punishment for his refusal to join the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), the superior military outfit meant to spearhead US exploitation of resources in Africa, but disguised as peace mongers.
Western military intervention of Libya caused political, social and moral decadence not only in this country but throughout the region. After the events that followed the “Arab Spring” weapons from Libya flooded the black market, making a military coup in Mali possible. For almost certain, those weapons fell into the hands of radical groups operating in Africa, including the Bako Herem.
Many people would want to talk about how much he served his inner circle and his own ego but the current situation in Libya is far off worse than it was during Gaddafi’s era.
Today they are crying for everything from peace to service delivery. The goodies from the dear leader are gone, women are bearing the brunt. Men are running scared. Guns are all over the place. Bomb, bombs, bombs are exploding in every street. Gaddafi went with everything good for the ordinary Libyan.
- Professor Mattiah Mustafa is a Tunisian political scientist. He writes for DayAfrica.com