In 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?