By Sankara Kamara…..
Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi came to power as a fire-spitting revolutionary with a militantly anti-Western demeanor.
Once in power, Gaddafi nationalized Libya’s means of production and closed down the Italian and American military bases that imperialistically operated in the country. A hotheaded leftist, Gaddafi marked his seizure of power in 1969 by devising an aggressively anti-Western foreign policy.
On April 15th 1986, President Ronald Reagan of the United States ordered airstrikes against Libyan targets in Tripoli and Benghazi, hitting Gaddafi’s compound and reportedly killing the Libyan leader’s adopted daughter.
According to Washington, the bombing raids were carried out because of Gaddafi’s support for a terror group which bombed a German Discotheque on April 5th 1986, killing two American soldiers.
With the tacit support of Britain’s Margaret Thatcher, American warplanes were sent to hit Libyan targets on April 15th, 1986. President Reagan described the airstrikes as acts of “self-defense” against the “mad dog of the Middle East.”
In the military confrontation that ensued, a Libyan anti-aircraft unit shot down an American war plane, an F-111 fighter-bomber.
In response to the airstrikes on Tripoli and Benghazi, Libya’s intelligence agency placed a bomb on board a PANAM aircraft in December 1988, causing the aircraft to explode over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing all the 259 passengers on board, most of whom were Westerners.
After a tepid rapprochement between Libya and the West, Gaddafi took responsibility for the Lockerbie bombing and paid significant sums of money as compensatory gestures towards families of victims who died in the Lockerbie crash.
If you are a student of political science at FBC, these episodes in AFRICAN political history should be studied and understood with academic percipience.
Each one, teach one.
© Sankara Kamara