The Herald (Harare)

26 October 2011

Libya: Farewell Gaddafi, Kindly 'Dictator'

opinion

Libya consists of over 15O tribes, with the two main groups, the Meghabra living in Tripolitania in the west and the Wafallah living in Cyrenaica in the east.

Previous attempts to unite these tribes by the Turkish (1855-1911) and ltalian (1911-43) colonial rulers failed and the country was split in two for administrative purposes.

Oil was discovered in Libya in 1959, but King ldris of the Senussi tribe allowed most of the oil profits to be siphoned into the coffers of the oil companies.

The coup d'etat on 1 September 1969 led by Colonel Gadaffi had countrywide support.

He subsequently married a woman from the royal Barqa tribe and adroitly unified the nation.

By retaining Libya's oil wealth for the benefit of all its people, Gadaffi had created a socialist paradise. There is no unemployment, Libya has the highest GDP in Africa, less than 5 percent of the population is

classified as poor and it has fewer people living below the poverty datum line than for example in Holland. Life expectancy is 75 years and is the highest in Africa and I0 percent above the world average. Most Libyan families possess a house and a car. There is free health care and education and not surprisingly Libya has a literacy rate of 82 percent.

Last year Gadaffi distributed US$500 to each man, woman and child (population 6.5 million).

Libya has a tolerable human rights record and stands at 61 on the International Incarceration Index, comparable with countries in central Europe (the lower the rating, the lower the standing - the USA occupies the no.1 spot!). There is hardly any crime and only rebels and traitors are dealt with harshly.

Anyone who has read Gadaffi's little Green Book will realise that he is a thoughtful and enlightened leader. Libya has been accused of having committed numerous acts of terrorism in the past, but many of these have been perpetrated by foreign intelligence agencies as false flag operations the Lockerbie bombing being a prime example. Libya produces exceptionally high quality light crude oil and its production cost of US$1 a barrel, compared to the current price of US$115, is the lowest in the world.

Riba (usury) is not permitted. The Central bank of Libya issues all government loans free of interest. This is in contrast to the exploitative fractional reserve banking system of the West.

Here are some of Gaddafi's welfare programmes made possible by the fact that his government kicked out western oil companies and used oil revenue to improve livelihoods.

1. Electricity in Libya is free for all its citizens.

2. Loans from banks are interest free.

3. All newlyweds in Libya received US$50 000 from the government to buy their first apartment.

4. Gaddafi's government built the Great Man-Made River project at a cost of US$27 billion to get water from the sea to make water available throughout the country.

5. Education and medical treatment were free in Libya. Before Gaddafi only 25 percent of Libyans were literate. Today the figure is 83 percent.

6. Should Libyans want to take up farming as a career, they would receive farming land, a farming house, equipment, seeds and livestock all for free.

7. If Libyans could not find the education or medical facilities they need inside Libya, the government funded them to go abroad for it - not only free but would also give them US$2 300 per month.

8. If a Libyan buys a car, the government subsidised 50 percent of the purchase price.

9. The price of petrol in Libya was $0.14 per liter, much ceaper than water.

10. Libya has no external debt and its reserves amount to $150 billion - now frozen globally.

11. If a Libyan is unable to get employment after graduation the state would pay the average salary of the profession as if he or she is employed.

12. A portion of Libyan oil sales was, credited directly to the bank accounts of all Libyan citizens.

13. A mother who gave birth received US$5 000

14. 40 loaves of bread cost $ 0.15 in Libya

15. 25 percent of Libyans have a university degree

So what was Gaddafi's crime? He presided over a country rich in oil and Westerners wanted it. The no-fly zone and the bombing of Libya had nothing to do with the protection of civilians. They were acts of war blatant and crude attempts by the oil corporations and international bankers to steal the country's wealth.

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