Thursday, 31 March 2011
UGANDAN PRES ON GHADAFI's POSITIVES
[He also mentions the negatives before hand in the article which can be read HERE ]
Gadhafi is a nationalist: Gadhafi has conducted an independent foreign policy and, of course, also independent internal policies. I am not able to understand the position of Western countries, which appear to resent independent-minded leaders and seem to prefer puppets. Puppets are not good for any country. Most of the countries that have transitioned from Third World to First World status since 1945 have had independent-minded leaders: South Korea (Park Chung-hee), Singapore (Lee Kuan Yew), China People's Republic (Mao Tse Tung, Chou Enlai, Deng Xiaoping, Marshal Yang Shangkun, Li Peng, Jiang Zemin, Hu Jintao), Malaysia (Dr. Mahthir Mohamad), Brazil (Luis Inacio Lula da Silva), Iran (the Ayatollahs Khomeini and Khamenei), etc. Between World War I and World War II, the Soviet Union transitioned into an industrial country, propelled by the dictatorial but independent-minded Joseph Stalin. In Africa, we have also benefited from a number of independent-minded leaders: Colonel Nasser of Egypt, Mwalimu Nyerere of Tanzania, Samora Machel of Mozambique, and others. That is how southern Africa was liberated. That is how we got rid of Idi Amin. The stopping of genocide in Rwanda and the overthrow of Mobutu Sese-Seko in the Democratic Republic of the Congo were as a result of efforts of independent-minded African leaders.
Gadhafi, whatever his faults, is a true nationalist. I prefer nationalists to puppets of foreign interests. Where have the puppets caused the transformation of countries? I need some assistance with information on this from those who are familiar with puppetry.
By contrast, the independent-minded Gadhafi had some positive contributions to Libya, I believe, as well as Africa and the Third World. Take just one example: At the time we were fighting the criminal dictatorships here in Uganda, we had a problem arising of a complication caused by our failure to capture enough guns at Kabamba on Feb. 6, 1981. Gadhafi gave us a small consignment of 96 rifles, 100 anti-tank mines, etc., that was very useful. He did not consult Washington or Moscow before he did this. This was good for Libya, for Africa, and for the Middle East. We should also remember as part of that independent-mindedness the fact that he expelled British and American military bases from Libya.
He raised the price of oil: Before Gadhafi came to power in 1969, a barrel of oil was 40 American cents. He launched a campaign to withhold Arab oil unless the West paid more for it. I think the price went up to $20 per barrel. When the Arab-Israel war of 1973 broke out, the barrel of oil went up to $40. I am, therefore, surprised to hear that many oil producers in the world, including the Gulf countries, do not appreciate the historical role played by Gadhafi on this issue. The huge wealth many of these oil producers are enjoying was, at least in part, due to Gadhafi's efforts. The Western countries have continued to develop in spite of paying more for oil. It therefore means that the pre-Gadhafi oil situation was characterized by super exploitation of oil producing countries by the Western countries.
Gadhafi built Libya: I have never taken the time to investigate socio-economic conditions within Libya. When I was last there, I could see good roads, even from the air. From the TV pictures, you can even see the rebels zooming up and down in pick-up trucks on very good roads accompanied by Western journalists. Who built these good roads? Who built the oil refineries in Brega and those other places where the fighting has been taking place recently? Were these facilities built during the time of the king and his American and British allies, or were they built by Gadhafi?
In Tunisia and Egypt, some youths immolated themselves because they failed to get jobs. Are the Libyans without jobs also? If so, why are there hundreds of thousands of foreign workers? Is Libya's policy of providing so many jobs to Third World workers bad? Are all the children going to school in Libya? Was that the case in the past - before Gadhafi? Is the conflict in Libya economic or purely political? Possibly Libya could have transitioned more if they encouraged the private sector further. However, this is something the Libyans are better placed to judge. As it is, Libya is a middle income country with a GDP of $62 billion.
He's a moderate: Gadhafi is one of the few secular leaders in the Arab world. He does not believe in Islamic fundamentalism, which is why Libyan women have been able to go to school, to join the army, and so forth. This is a positive point on Gadhafi's side.