Douglas Farah: Muammar al-Qaddafi ... Harvard for Tyrants

Roundup: Talking About History

[Douglas Farah, a former Washington Post correspondent who covered Libya's activities in West Africa, is a senior fellow at the International Assessment and Strategy Center in Alexandria, Virginia.]

Col. Muammar al-Qaddafi is well known now for the abuses he has inflicted on his own people during more than four decades of brutal rule in Libya, but few remember the vast campaign of carnage and terrorism he orchestrated across West Africa and Europe when he was at the height of his powers.

Nor are his more recent alliance with Hugo Chávez of Venezuela and his long-standing relationship with Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua -- both of whom are busy trampling their constitutions and moving toward dictatorship -- well understood. And the fact that all three governments support the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), a terrorist group that produces more than half of the world's cocaine and two-thirds of the cocaine entering the United States, is usually ignored.

Ortega and Chávez are among the handful of leaders to publicly defend the Libyan leader's attacks on his own people and urge him to hang on for one last revolutionary battle. In 2004, Qaddafi awarded Chávez the al-Qaddafi International Prize for Human Rights, created by the Libyan dictator. Chávez, who in turn bestowed Venezuela's highest civilian honor on Qaddafi in 2009 while comparing him to South American liberator Simón Bolívar, has now offered publicly to mediate the Libyan conflict. Thus far, only Qaddafi has reportedly accepted the offer.

The ties that bind Qaddafi to some of the world's most repressive regimes and armed movements began in the 1980s, when he was regarded as one of the premier terrorist threats in the world. Flush with oil money, Qaddafi orchestrated a training campaign for those who became the most brutal warlords in much of Africa, a legacy that has left the region crippled and unstable today....
Read entire article at Foreign Policy

comments powered by Disqus

More Comments:

Arnold Shcherban - 3/7/2011

Why only Left-oriented dictators are blamed for all evils in the world, in general, and supporting Gaddafi regime, in particular, while the west-oriented dictators, some of which were much more
deadly are effectively excused, or at least, "forgotten"?
Why Ortega, e.g. who was twice elected through democratic process, under strict
international observation, or Chavez, thrice elected the same way, who both allow opposition to exist and freely (or almost freely) propagate its political views and platforms are proclaimed dictators by the US mainstream media and political pundits, but the political leaders they once replaced (such as fascist Somosa who did not allow any opposition and parties) have been supported by the same knights of democracy and freedom?