His name is Muammar Gaddafi, Libyan strong man, currently fighting for his very life against as many a 4 different coup attempts ongoing as we speak, along with a popular uprising being fueled by media coverage, calling him a "dictator" and "thug".
But who is the man Muammar Gaddafi?
All we know is that he over thewa brutal monarchy and helped modernize one of the most backwards nations in all of Africa.
He applied a direct democracy system of government in the first time since Libya became a nation, developed and help modernize oil production...
He was once considered an ally to the west, but that changed in the 1970's and 1980's when he was accused of state sponsored acts of terrorism. The US bombed him in 1986 and in 1993 the UN resorted to sanctions against Libya, that almost crippled Libya's fragile economy. Gadaffi did not retaliate and fully complied with sanctions.
In 2003, the UN sanctions were lifted and Gadaffi has remained compliant ever since.
BORN IN A LITTLE TENT
Muammar Gaddafi was born in a tent, in the desert, near Sirt in 1942. His tribe was called the Qaddadfa - Arabist Berbers. As a boy he was quite, and super shy. But as fate would have it,he attended elementary school at a time of major events were unfolding in the middle east, i.e the defeat of Palestine in 1948 to Israel and Gamal Abdel Nassar rise to power in Egypt in 1952...which probably influenced him.
AS A BOY HE WAS PRIVATELY TUTORED BY A GENIUS
Despite living in severe poverty, the family provided for the boy a private tutor ( a man rumored to be an genius) and he was schooled in philosophy, ethics, physics, mathematics, reading and history.
Later he entered military academy and later attended the world famous Royal Military Academy at Sanhurst, England.
LONGEST SERVING LEADER IN LIBYAN HISTORY
Despite what anybody says Gadaffi has became the longest serving of all current non royal national leaders and is one of the longest serving rulers in history. Gadaffi is also the longest serving of Libya since the country first became an Ottoman province in 1551.
ONE FACT THE MEDIA CAN'T HIDE!
One fact the media can't hide in their smear campaign against him is the Human Development Index measured by the UN officials which indicate that Libya has the highest HDI in Africa. Therefore, the best distribution of income, free quality health care and public education provided to all people. Gadaffi did that.
Gadaffi has pushed for enormous public works projects in Libya, including the great man made River - a network of pipes that supplies 6,500,000m3rd power of fresh water per day from the beneath the Sahara Desert, from the Nubian Sandstone Aquifer system to the cities in the north of Libya, including Tripoli, Benghazi and Sirt. The project consists of more than 1300 wells most more than 500 meters deep. Muammar al-Gaddafi has described it as "the Eight Wonder of the World" and presented the project as a gift to the Third world.
GREAT PUBLIC WORKS
Another project Gadaffi personally ordered was the Libyan National Telescope Project, costing in excess of 11 million euros.
And al-Gadaffi International Prize for Human Rights an annual prize founded by and named after Muammar Gadaffi, which offers prizes to those who render outstanding human service or defends human rights.
When he says "my people, they love me, they will fight and die for me..." I think he is referringto his efforts to raise the standard of living for his country. Which when played alone out of context to his accomplishments makes him look like a complete fool. But fool or not almost 10% of Libyan students receive scholarships to study abroad in foreign countries (with few coming back by the way). Those who come back, help the people enormously, and it's all due in part to these reform efforts of his.
Let me ask you what kind of dictator is that?
One which allows the kinds of policies that directly benefit the people?
THE OTHER THING: GADAFFI HATES Al-QAIDA WITH A PURPLE PASSSION!
The odd thing about Gadaffi is his battle with al- Qaida and terrorism around the world, whom he condemned since the 9-11 attacks on America which he took personally as an affront to Islam. "Terrorism - This matter does not concern America alone. This needs International cooperation and International procedure." (source: http://algathafi.org/html-english/index.
BLOOD IN THE WATER - ATTRACTS SHARKS AND US AIRCRAFT CARRIER
But we never hear about that, in the popular entertainment based media in this country, at least not right now, when the popular sentiment is to villify and later crucify him. Like blood in the water, attracts sharks, so the turmoil in Libya is attracting a US aircraft carrier , which could easily level the entire country and kill tens of thousands of people in minutes via an air strike offensive. One man in Libya said: "No good thing can come from having the aircraft carrier prowling around out there. I have wife and family here, and my elderly mother lives alone in a high rise apartment in downtown Triploi - when the bombs fall, who will protect her from the US?"
THE RECENT PROTESTS
In early February 2011, major political protests inspired by recent events in Tunisia, Egypt and other parts of the Arab world, which quickly snowball into a general and popular uprising, fueled by daily media reports portraying Gadaffi as a madman.
By late February 2011 Gadaffi was reported in the fight for his very life having lost control of most of the country.
In watching the events unfold, I can see now that the writing is one the wall, so to speak.
With the media campaign against him, stirring up hatred and the loss of popular support of the people, it's only a matter of time before he goes down in flames.
"I WILL CONTINUE TO FIGHT FOR MY PEOPLE..." GADAFFI
Gadaffi is not one to go down without a fight however and has reportedly hired foreign mercenaries to defend the regime against impossible odds. These mercenaries are reportedly the best that money can buy, and many of the mercenaries have been paid in gold bullion bars and coins and may include elite former members of the French Foreign Legion, and Special Operations types from South Africa and other parts of the world. What we call in the business "major bad asses".
By some accounts they are the ones planning & closely advising and in some cases leading assaults in defense of Ghadiffi's regime. And they are providing a brilliant assist. But in the end not even expert military planning and direct action by some of the best mercenaries in the world will be enough to stop or prevent the overthrow of this most enigmatic figure in world history.
ODD DEVELOPMENT - WHICH MAY SPELL THE END OF GADAFFI
With Gadaffi assets frozen, his travel banned, and a $15 million dollar bounty on his head for his kill or capture by the British government - it doesn't look good.
The fact that he has resorted to paying mercenaries in 'gold' (and maybe diamonds) means that he has been cut off from cash funds and his end may be coming soon. But that's what they said last week, and the week before that. Somehow Gaddafi hangs on. But for how long, is a question we can't answer.
*UPDATE: As of one hour before publication of this story, live news feeds were reporting that Gaddafi forces have gained ground in the battles surrounding the major population centers of Tripoli. 3-11-2011 @ CMT 3:30PM