The author of the article, Dirk Vandewalle, is a professor at Dartmouth College. The article, ‘After Gaddafi: How does a country recover from 40 years of destruction by an unchallenged tyrant?’ analyzes the events going on in Libya after Colonel Gaddafi. The article first appeared in The Daily Beast on February 27.
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Vandewalle borrows much of his reasoning from his previous works on ‘A History of Modern Libya’. The book discussed the life of Libyans and state of affairs in Libya under Gaddafi. The article evaluates available political solutions that can be applied in restructuring Libyan institutions in the modern world.
The article offers insight to Libyan elites as regards to leadership. The paper links Gaddafi’s dictatorship with the worst revolution experienced in the world.
The article talks about the rise and fall of Gaddafi, who was a self-styled dictator. The essay observes that Gaddafi took over power through bloodless coup and went ahead to eliminate all forms of opposition to his regime.
The fallen leader became aggressive after being inspired by Libya’s hero referred to as Omar al-Mukhtar, who was a Cyrenaican tribal chief. Italians assassinated the hero in 1931, something that did not auger well with Gaddafi. Gaddafi developed a negative attitude towards the West leading to a deadly attack in 1986, when Americans bombed parts of his kingdom.
The West disliked Gaddafi because of his proposal of uniting the African continent and the Arab world. After taking over power in 1969, Gaddafi was faced with one big problem of uniting a state divided on tribal lines. He adopted a policy that would see off his opponents.
He embarked on torture as one way of scaring political activists in the state. Indeed, many people lost their lives, forcing others to fly out of the country. Political dissidents were further hunted in foreign lands, and were being referred to as dogs. Some normalcy and constancy was witnessed after 1992, when Gaddafi agreed to engage the West in oil trade.
The collapsing oil market was quickly reinstated and some political freedoms were granted to Libyans. However, Gaddafi never allowed active political. The article posits that Gaddafi’s son, Saif al-Islam, tried to urge his father to open up and allow some criticism, which he succeeded.
Saif became the darling of the West because he was against his father’s style of rule and life style. The article ends by asserting that Libyans never wanted to be told anything related to Gaddafi’s regime after the uprising. This means that they were fed up with dictatorship and autocratic rule.
Unfortunately, even Saif could not do anything to salvage his besieged father, because people could not listen to him anymore. In fact, he was likened to his father implying that he was in danger too.
The paper discusses some of the important issues as regards to Gaddafi’s leadership and the position of Libya in the international system. The main point discussed is Gaddafi’s leadership style, which was disregarded by many people in the state.
The leader was intolerant to criticism implying that no opposition was to be launched against his regime (Vandewalle, 2011). It is not surprising that when the uprising kicked off, he perceived demonstrators as mad individuals trying to fulfill their selfish interests.
He went ahead to order the military to intervene. He wanted to silence the opposition completely but Western powers thwarted his plans. Another important point discussed in the article is Libya’s foreign policy during Gaddafi’s regime.
Libya had been left in the cold for many years, leading to economic hardships and social sufferings. Oil was no longer sold to the Western countries because of economic sanctions imposed on Gaddafi’s regime.
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The paper is resourceful because it offers some chronological account to the rise and fall of Gaddafi. The paper explains to the reader clearly why Gaddafi failed and how he gained governmental power and authority.
However, the writer’s findings are misplaced because he argues that Libya needs to choose the model it wishes to employ in restructuring government. Presently, Libya does not have any political and economic freedom because the West dictates everything.
The writer does not consider external influence that is too powerful. Conversely, the article does not consider the interests of various Western powers such as France, USA, Britain and Russia that are all staged in Libya for selfish interests.
The writer is misled by the notion that each state is independent and sovereign. This is usually not the case since the more powerful states impose ideas on the less influential states in the international system.
It can be concluded that the material provides readers with enough historical data as regards to the rise and fall of Gaddafi. It also gives readers important information on the way forward for Libyans.
However, the article cannot be relied on for critical analysis of events taking place in Libya. The uprisings are being caused by one major factor, which is oil. The Western powers want oil from the Middle East states and the only way of accessing it is through overthrowing uncooperative leaders like Gaddafi.
Vandewalle, D. (2011). After Gaddafi: How does a country recover from 40 years of destruction by an unchallenged tyrant? The Daily Beast. Retrieved from https://www.thedailybeast.com/