Sunday, March 6, 2011

Libya: It Takes Only One Person to Make or Break a Nation

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Colonel Gaddafi is in denial of the
popular uprising against him

Cartoon (Toronto: March 5, 2011) © Joachim Romeo D'Costa

Colonel Muammar Gaddafi (also written as Qaddafi) has totally misread the wishes of his people. Like old-time rulers he thought that by intimidation and direct attack he would be able to contain the uprising of the people, who by this time, is more informed and educated than before. Like other autocratic dictators, he still feels indispensable for Libya.

A 26-year Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, who had ousted the Libyan King Idris in 1969, was hailed as a hero at the time. Once in power, for the last 42 years, he has been running the state as if it is his baaper shompotti (in Bengali, one’s own father’s property where the inheritor is not accountable to anyone).

Colonel Gaddafi is now breaking his own country going against the wishes of his citizens. The popular demand, that started in mid-February, 2011, was asking him first to release a human rights worker and, when denied, the demand came to oust the autocratic dictator himself and establish democracy within the country.There are varied reasons why the Libyans are fed up with his authoritarian rule.

Young people used the Internet social network sites, especially Facebook and Twitter, to call for a nation-wide demonstration against the regime. Instead, Gaddafi vowed to stick to his power and position and unleashed an unprecedented widespread reign of terror by ordering plane-bombing on demonstrators and shooting anyone on sight in the streets. He also ordered arrests of people from streets, homes, offices and, even from hospitals, and shooting them outright.

The international community condemned his actions and demanded his resignation. Hundreds of thousands of people, mostly migrant workers from all over the world, got stranded within the country desperately trying to get out safe. Some big powers have sent warships near Libya for humanitarian work and, if necessary, for forcing no-fly zones in Libya so that Libya’s airforce may not use planes to bomb its own people.

Colonel Gaddafi, with regular supply of oil money, felt so comfortable and powerful that once he was involved in exporting terrorism in other countries by funding different terrorist groups. After facing trade blockade and other restrictions from the West, he, only a few years ago, renounced terrorism and started to have renewed relation with the western powers.

The Background of Libya

The Berber ethnic groups (the ancient Romans used to call them 'Barbarians') were the original inhabitants of the area now called Libya. In the 7th century B.C., the Phoenicians, from the present-day Lebanon, came and colonized the eastern area of Libya. Their settlement was called Cyrenaica. Then the Greeks came and settled in western area, called Tripolitania, which was later, for some time, under the Carthaginian rule. The Romans made Tripolitania as part of their empire from 46 B.C. to 436 A.D. Cyrenaica went under the Romans in the 1st century B.C. The Arabs conquered it in 642 A.D. In the 16th century, both Cyrenaica and Tripoitania nominally were part of the Turkish Ottoman (Osman) empire.

The remaining history of Libya is also a colourful one. Most of the time, Libya was under some foreign powers.

Colonel Gaddafi in the Eyes of World Cartoonists

Because of his autocratic rule and delusional eccentricities, Colonel Gaddafi was a good fodder for cartoonists around the world. His behaviour in face of the recent events in Libya made the cartoonists gleefully creative! Some of these samples are shown below:


Courtesy: www.politicalcartoons.com/

Courtesy: The Toronto Star

Courtesy: National Post, Toronto

Courtesy: www.cartoonistsatish.blogspot.com/



Courtesy: www.allvoices.com/

Courtesy: www.cartoonmovement.com/



Courtesy: www.guardian.co.uk/

Courtesy: The Globe and Mail, Toronto


Courtesy: The Ottawa Citizen

Courtesy: www.politicalcartoons.com/

Courtesy: www.toonpool.com/

Courtesy: www.politicalcartoons.com/

Courtesy: www.omaha.com/

Courtesy: The Independent, U.K.

Courtesy: www.cartoonmovement.com/




Courtesy: twittermail.com/


Gaddafi in the Eyes of the Arab Cartoonists

Let's see how Arab cartoonists see events in Libya and Colonel Gaddafi.

Here are more of what the Arab Press say about Gaddafi and present Libyan events. Bookmark and Share