Sara Whitman

Libya: What Now?

Filed By Sara Whitman | August 23, 2011 12:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living, Politics
Tags: bloodless coup, Libya, Libyan rebellion, Libyan rebels, overthrown dictators, Qaddafi

libyan-rebel.jpgIn 1969, I was only six years old. I wasn't tuned into politics except for writing a letter to President Nixon along with my entire class in elementary school.

In 1969, Qaddafi took over in a "bloodless coup." I wonder about how bloodless it really was. In the years to come, Qaddafi ruled seemingly unopposed.

As far back as I can remember, Libya meant terrorism, death and an insane leader. It wasn't until I was older that I realized it also meant oil. That the 70's oil crisis I lived through, when gas could only be bought on certain days based on your license plate, was mainly due to Qaddafi.

He believed in Arab nationalism, and hated the West. And the West hated him.

It was a time when there were great evils: Not only Qaddafi but Idi Amin, who brutally slaughtered hundreds of thousands. Maybe it was the Saturday Night Live skits, but the two live in my mind together, although they never actually were. Libya had oil- Uganda did not.

Before Qaddafi, there was a monarchy. What now? The people have fought hard against an oppressive regime. Forty two years is a long time, with countless generations living in fear. What kind of psyche does that create? How will the people heal?

And who will control the oil?

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It was disgusting that, even as many Libyan people were dying and suffering in the final gasps of Qaddafi's regime, many US news sources were noting optimistically how this 'might result in lower gas prices at the pump.' This is a sick country. :(

Yeah, but let's face it- the only reason we were involved at all was the oil. Too many other countries in dire situations, with no natural resources and we are no where to be found.

Forty years. The stories soon to be heard... that must be heard... gives me serious pause.