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November 11, 2011

We create dictators, then...

By Abdulateef Al-Mulhim

They always learn how to take off and fly, but forget to learn how to land

Muammar Qaddafi built the most beautiful mansions. He had a subdivision in Tripoli named Alazizyah. The place had more protection than the Pentagon. He had his sons, relatives and close friends to be his only contact to the world. Qaddafi wanted to be the president of the Arab world. Leader of all the revolutions in the world. King of all African kings. He bragged about being able to stand up to America and confront it on two occasions.

Qaddafi ruled Libya since 1969 and wasted more than $500 billion on the worst weapon system money can buy, donations to terrorist organizations, failed projects and kept part of the oil income in his secret accounts. He humiliated the Libyan people for 42 years. And he engaged his country in conflicts that his own people didn't understand. He had masses of people come out of their houses, schools and work place to salute the “leader of the revolution.” Qaddafi was allowed to give the longest and most ridicules speech in the history of the United Nations. When Qaddafi overthrew King Idris in September 1969, the population of Libya was about two million. Libya had the sweetest oil and the most strategic location among all OPEC members. Libyan oil tankers could reach many European ports in less than one day. So, Libya could have been the richest country in history. But, Qaddafi, turned out to be ruling the worst managed country. No infrastructure, no good schools and no good human development. So, how can a first lieutenant in an army become the ruler of a country with such resources of raw materials and intelligent people? We saw the Libyan masses go out to greet him. So, are they the ones who made him a dictator?

Qaddafi ended up in a hole that was designed for rains and any extra sewage floods that would result from heavy rains. He ran, but he couldn't hide from the same masses that greeted him and pledged him their allegiance. He got caught and was killed by the same people who promised to spill their own blood for him. The irony of the story is, he watched Saddam Hussein being dragged from a dirty hole and later on executed by the same people he once humiliated.

Qaddafi warned others that, this could happen to them. Silly him, even my youngest son knew he was next. Why didn't Qaddafi with all his staff and advisors ask the question of what did the Libyan people really want. He didn't ask, because he thought that his people were rats. Silly him, wouldn't the leader of rats is a rat himself?

Watching Qaddafi being dragged, humiliated, beaten and later on killed showed the whole world that dictators always learn how to take off and fly, but they always forget to learn how to land. So, is it the people who make the dictators, or is it because the East and the West give them the red carpet reception and award them and their kids doctorate degrees? Why would a respected school in the UK help the son of Qaddafi get a doctorate degree? Didn't the men and women of this respected school know who was the biggest supporter of the IRA?

How come the head of this British school did not know who is Yvonne Fletcher, the British police officer fatally shot during a protest outside the Libyan Embassy at St. James's Square, London, in 1984? Silly me, I forgot that Qaddafi was a multi billionaire. Oh, did I mention that Abdelbaset Mohmed Ali Al-Megrahi, who was involved in the Pam Am terrorist attack over Lockerbie was released in return for oil contracts for England? Silly them, I forgot that Lockerbie is located in Scotland, not England. So, who and what make the dictators and forgive their mistakes?

There are a number of factors that make them. Among the people who made Qaddafi a dictator were his closest aides. Such as Abdulrahman Shalgham, who was appointed to top positions. He was foreign minister for nine years. And later on was in the United Nations. So, this Qaddafi aide saw the inside and the outside of Libya. And instead of telling Qaddafi that things have to change, he waited for the day when Qaddafi would go mad losing the control of his country. Then, Shalgham decided to break with his boss. Now, Shalgham is running a media circus telling the world how bad and how not a good Muslim Qaddafi was. So, Shagham just found out that his former boss was a mad dictator. And now, Shalgham and others want to put the people who killed Qaddafi on trial. Those kids had minutes to think and decide what to do with the dictator and now they will be on trial. Yet, the most dangerous dictator and his cronies like Abdulrahman Shalgham had 42 years to think about their people. But they weren't enough. So, who really create dictators in the Arab world?  Oh, I forgot, it is the majority in the Arab World who considered Saddam Hussein a martyr. So, if Saddam is a martyr, then, it is we who create dictators. And then we kill them.