Obama the “gentleman”, Gaddafi the “zealot”
By: Alagie Jinkang
It’s always far from simple analyzing political systems but it becomes even more difficult when it comes to Africa. One of the things that make African a subject of discussion is that of Western civilization. Under the analysis of western journalists, African government are far from being transparent, in many instances this is true, what is not true and they they are unwilling to understand is that we have our own systems and governments that are fairly not inhumane. We share human rights and many other similar values which must be protected no matter what: such includes no dictatorship, nonetheless many positive sides of African institutions went unnoticed in Western media and Western politics!
Many bad governments in Africa that Western Media is contesting against are supported by them. And many of the riches of these governments are plundered by them from slavery, colonialism to the present day. So why the fuss? Gaddafi was not at all a democratic leader and it most be said he ruled Libya with an iron fist. He has introduced many dogmas Western ideological framework would debate and even as an African I don’t swallow to digest many of his ideas, meanwhile, what is truer is that Gaddafi has done with all the difficulties and criticism from within and outside created a welfare state Libya and other Africans benefited from. There is no Western nation or country where almost every resource was considered as a commons. There were no electricity bills in Libya. Citizens could consume electricity at their own reasonings. He tailored a zero interest banking scheme and even loans were given at no interest. This was possible because of his Islamic and nationalistic views that Islam his religion comes first and that investors from outside would not plunder Libyans on a profit motive. This is clearly one thing why western investors considered it a trade barrier and all banks were government banks from then on -government owned and operated. This was bad for foreign investors but was to the best interest of the Libyan and arguably to that of its citizens. As Libya’s GDP was always a champion in Africa. The dinar was almost valued to the level of the US dollar. Gaddafi has cultivated a Libya western powers frown at -a Libya under stricter Islamic rules and a resourceful one that was about to eradicate ignorance. Authoritative figures show that nearly 25% of all Libyan were graduates and almost all were able to read and write. Unemployment was perhaps unknown as it is and even those graduates who could not find jobs in their interest areas were paid a partial sum as it they were employees.
Libya was considered a desert and infertile and so it was until the intervention of Gaddafi to turned the image totally into a different thing. He changed an unproductive land -a desert -to one of the most productive lands in Africa. The soil was so fertile that the proverb it gave birth to a Libyan prover “if you deep you finger nail into it will grow”. Citizens willing to invest in agriculture were motivated; he gave them arable lands, fertilizers, ingratiation and machines at the cost of the state. From then on agriculture became even more productive than in many parts of the developing world. Not only was agriculture productive, so was Libyans as well in even procreation — because meeting family needs was never a problem. Markets were created and locals farmers were consequently empowered. A thousand kilometers from the capital Tripoli, you can see gigantic agricultural lands that were to an African estimate highly mechanized. Even the poorest farmers drive in their own cars to farm. Driving was also easy and driving three times to one’s farm became common as fuel was at everyone’s limit at a very low cost. Estimated cost for a litter was less than a dollar. Cars were seriously subsidized and this is nearly why accidents are still too often in Libya as nearly everyone has a car.
Libya prices it’s food stuff not as a market commodity. Gaddafi, combated first of all, food sovereignty and self sufficiency. And I will argue he had achieved it. All food interests and diets could be met at a very low cost. The lowest value of the Libyan coin until in 2013 could get you more bread than you would need. It can get you a drink and some kinds of fruits. Meat was not regarded as food for the rich. Everyone could afford it. It was plenty at home because Libyans take pride in rearing animals so meat was not a problem and it was also available at very affordable prices in the market. Camels became the major source of meat because of its preciousness and sacredness that is associated it resulting into declining market for other types of meats. Camels are valuable animals but they are extensively reared in Libya that it’s meat could be eaten like a chicken. In many African countries having a single camel can earned you a royal status. In fact, in many places they are conserved from extinction and kept either in a private intensive system or in zoos for tourism or as a cultural heritage.
There are millions without houses all around the world but this was worsen by the financial crises of 2007–8. In the West today having a house could be considered as a great luck and maintenance of it could even take more. Here and there, common citizens are in the dilemma of either finding a job or a house to live in. America that has took his soul could not create a welfare state were houses are provided for free. In Libya no Libyan citizen rent and everyone has house. It was a constitutional right and civic consensus was build on it that has made it even an obligation on the state. He is one leader who will vow and fulfill it. He will take pride in living under a tent while private citizens builds mansions. He promised to house the citizenry and have died living all of them under decorated canopies of their choice of architecture. Through this very humanitarian approach of a person western powers would describe as undemocratic and a traitor to human rights, he was able to house the citizenry. Yes he might be a dictator, a solider-leader, and a western enemy but he was also a humanitarian.
Gaddafi had help to give a formidable ground to the African Union, although, most times his opinions came without mercy and democratic qualities but there were none of his compatriots who were willing to sacrifice their wealth and strength for African unity. Yes he was at the same time a helper of many other leaders Western commentators would regard as autocratic and I can understand that, but if we are willing to evaluate with all the parameters of fairness his endeavors, Africa seriously need modified Gaddafis who will use his authentic enthusiastic visions to see a better Africa and learn more from his blunders. He had help shape many countries through Philanthropism. He has built schools, roads, mosques, and public gatherings at many places in Africa.
In the field of education Gaddafi was a champion providing not only free education to all citizens but he also struggled to make it qualitative by employing his former colonizers and other Western teachers. In shot, he was providing employment to even non-Africans! Even conservative voices has it that education has risen from 27 to 80 per cent when he was ruling Libya as he liked. No African country has achieved that and even many developed countries against him have to fill that gap.
Health was free. During the tenure of Colonel Gaddafi, Libyans could be given free oversees treatment where necessary and more to this was his love to rapidly improve his healthcare because in his view is a shame for his citizens and other Africans to seek treatment outside Africa. He had almost achieved this. America is still struggling to introduce free health care but they were envious of his achievements and they’ve achieved to forbidden this by assassinating him. Now their culprits and victims of this tragedy haven’t even fist aid services. Health and healthcare is becoming a great privilege for even the rich in the war turned Libya! Importation of Western democracy comes with a price and that price is what Libya cannot afford today. This follows the rhetoric that white mooshrooms can be dangerous, but, it was not even that white -it was as he used to call him: my fellow African brother Obama wants to kill me! And he did kill him.
What global politics makes fun of Africa is its incapability to raise it own GDP, rather they burry themselves up to their necks with Western loans. Loans that will never be paid or were they are rarely met, their interests and conditions still impoverish many. But this was not true for Libya under the Western dictator, he raised the GDP to challenge major powers equating dinar to dollar. Libya had no external debts and raised the Gross Domestic Product to nearly a 2000 billion dollars. A sum that even an incorruptible Nigeria and South Africa combined together will produce in a decade. Today, even an America under Gaddafi’s killer could not handle America’s loans. Whiles it loans are skyrocketing, it’s high unemployment rates becomes the politics of Donald Trump — subconscious leader who would claimed he is better than Gaddafi. To be an American political figure you can threaten to imprison all illegal migrants and kill all Muslim extremists: a claim an African leader is forbidden to make! If Gaddafi has killed a lot of innocent people and I dare not dispute that fact, but how many more innocent citizens have America killed in distance lands and continents? Who hold them accountable? When will we prevent Trump from initiating a 3rd WW and the final financial crisis that will bring humanity to halt? How do we hold America accountable for all the atrocities they are doing? They are not in fact signatories of the Rome Statute! Yet they dictate both the affairs of the ICC and the UN. And Africa has been founded to be the laboratory of their experimentations. What is good for the goose is good for the gander.
Africa seriously needs democracy and this is often true at almost all levels but what is often ignored is that we have a unique cultural and religious backgrounds that must be thoroughly filtered and understand. Most of those Western commentators over their drawing boards know very well that their form of democracy does not suit us to the same degree. And given that democracy is under continuous evolution, no democracy is perfect and all-fitting. We all can take up with our own democracies but each of these forms should uphold and guarantee human liberty and freedom. This could include freedom to be guy and freedom to cheat. What I am against is the text book interpretation of democracy that has not linkage to reality. America has done more atrocities than Libya might have done under Gaddafi but who champion America’s democracy. Neither am I saying America should not be the world police nor am I supporting Gaddafi’s many blunders, what I am saying is that western democracies must take note that: Africa is a continent with it own rights and values that are not always to be juxtaposed with the West. Keep your legal schemes until they are called for!
It is very true that Gaddafi was not the best example of African leaders neither was Nkrumah who left Ghana in more debt than he has found it. Even Nelson Mandela has his ugly sides. What Africans must learned to do is, cultivate their own qualitative standards that are reputable, sustainable and reflective of their realities. Obama who championed to have assassinated Gaddafi because he was a brutal dictator could not save the lives of innocent people who should worship his new- wedded democracy nor could he protect many innocent American blacks and non-blacks. Under Gaddafi there were nearly zero crime rate but more mass killings have happened in Obama’s tenure than in any American history! And to add fuel to fire, more killings could take place with reckless gun laws as America democracy.
There’re more black prisoners in America than there are their white compatriots not often because of the good reasons. Black life now matters more than anytime in America history and Obama is still far from ironing it out! Black Americans are the odd equation in America! Would Barack Obama not challenge that before stepping his foot into other people’s matters? Is this all for altruism? I bet my black identity!
Gaddafi’s death came surprisingly from under his own nurse (from his own Africa brother) not for the good of Libyans but for the mere American supremacy and imperialism. Now, Obama has left not only Libya in turmoil but he is helping open the Mediterranean for many Africans fleeing wars, persecution and other disasters.
While the US continue to invest in China and Saudi Arabia, countries and continents parallel to their own systems, they will kill any African who dear put an obstacle to their plundering and predatory mechanisms. Gaddafi was a victim of an American supremacy and not a victim of justice!
Many African leaders would have to learn and yet they should disobey any of those forms that does not translate to their upbringings. This is not a directive to guarantee autocratic leaders that they have nothing to learn from the West. They have all to learn but most just replicate in their systems what suit them. The quality education scheme, healthcare, human rights, infrastructure, unionism etc that are feasible, sustainable and regenerative in Africa.
If Obama as the chief police officer of the American empire over the world is by anyway serious and altruistic about helping other countries, he would start solving their problems through negotiations and not by inducing wars!
Africans are not white papers to be written on. We do not shot but are always at the receiving end of you guns!
The world might have to think again. But this time Africa might have to lead!