“Students of Western political philosophy would categorize Col. Gadhafi as a quintessential student of Jean-Jacques Rousseau: He made clear that he deeply distrusted any political group that might stand between individual citizens and the “General Will” as interpreted by the Legislator (i.e., Col. Gadhafi himself). When I argued that freedom of association could enhance democratic stability, he vehemently dismissed the idea. That might be so in the West, he insisted, but in Libya it would simply strengthen tribalism, and he would not stand for disunity.”
As De Borchgrave notes (no has interviewed Qaddafi more), the Libyan leader has used Libya’s oil money to meddle in the affairs of no less than 41 countries since 1969, is also a manic-depressive…and likely gave up his nuclear weapons program for fear after the Iraq invasion. He is not going to go quietly and apparently, will kill his own people.
He also seems to have been working with the U.S. to counter Islamic extremism (an important common interest as part of the war on terror but also an obvious way to maintain power and to adapt to Bush’s foreign policy).
How are the two most recent president’s definitions of freedom (Bush’s human freedom…Obama’s arc of history…) getting crafted into foreign policy that are at play?
“The most obvious problem here, as in much of the Middle East, is vast youth unemployment, for the amelioration of which there are no programs at all.”
“If Qaddafi goes, there are not enough trained bureaucrats or statesmen to construct a new Libyan government that is not an extension of the old one, and this fact alone could propel Libya back into some form of tribalism.”
Qaddafi has been more dictatorial, more brutal than most. He’s closed off the country and prevented institutions from forming without his control. He does keeps the tribes together.