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Fourth of Four Installments on Libya: Who is Stealing the Wealth?|
Colonel Muammar Qaddafi symbolizes many things to many different people around the world. Love or hate the Libyan leader, under his rule Libya transformed from one of the poorest countries on the face of the planet into the country with the highest standard of living in Africa. In the words of Professor Henri Habibi:
When Libya was granted its independence by the United Nations on December 24, 1951, it was described as one of the poorest and most backward nations of the world. The population at the time was not more than 1.5 million, was over 90% illiterate, and had no political experience or knowhow. There were no universities, and only a limited number of high schools which had been established seven years before independence. 
Qaddafi had many grand plans. He wanted to create a South Atlantic Treaty Organization to protect Africa and Latin America. He advocated for a gold dinar standard as the currency of Muslim countries. Many of his plans were also of a pan-African nature. This included the formation of a United States of Africa.
Qaddafi’s Pan-African Projects
Colonel Qaddafi started the Great Man-Made River, which consisted in a massive project to transform the Sahara Desert and reverse the desertification of Africa. The Great Man-Made River with its irrigation plans was also intended to support the agricultural sector in other parts of Africa. This project was a military target of NATO bombings. Without just cause, NATO’s bombing campaign was intent upon destroying the Great Man-Made River.
Qaddafi also envisioned independent pan-African financial institutions. The Libyan Investment Authority and the Libyan Foreign Bank were important players in setting up these institutions. Qaddafi, through the Libyan Foreign Bank and the Libyan Investment Authority, was instrumental in setting up Africa’s first satellite network, the Regional African Satellite Communication Organization (RASCOM), to reduce African dependence on external powers. 
His crowning achievement would have been the creation of the United States of Africa. The supranational entity would have been created through the African Investment Bank, the African Monetary Fund, and finally the African Central Bank. These institutions were all viewed with animosity by the European Union, United States, International Monetary Fund (IMF), and World Bank.
Qaddafi’s Wealth Redistribution Project
Qaddafi had a wealth redistribution project inside Libya. U.S. Congressional sources in a report to the U.S. Congress even acknowledge this. On February 18, 2011 one report states:
In March 2008, [Colonel Qaddafi] announced his intention to dissolve most government administrative bodies and institute a Wealth Distribution Program whereby state oil revenues would be distributed to citizens on a monthly basis for them to administer personally, in cooperation, and via local committees. Citing popular criticism of government performance in a long, wide ranging speech, [he] repeatedly stated that the traditional state would soon be “dead” in Libya and that direct rule by citizens would be accomplished through the distribution of oil revenues. [The military], foreign affairs, security, and oil production arrangements reportedly would remain national government responsibilities, while other bodies would be phased out. In early 2009, Libya’s Basic People’s Congresses considered variations of the proposals, and the General People’s Congress voted to delay implementation. 
Qaddafi wanted all the people of Libya to have direct access to the nation’s wealth. He was also aware of the deep rooted corruption that plagued the ranks of the Libyan government. This was one of the reasons why he wanted to apply a model of political anarchy in Libya through progressive steps. He was talking about both these project for a few years.
On the other hand, the Wealth Redistribution Project, along with the establishment of an anarchist political system, was viewed as a very serious threat by the U.S., the E.U., and a group of corrupt Libyan officials. If successful, the reforms could have created political unrest amongst many domestic populations around the world. Internally, many Libyan officials were working to delay the project. This included reaching out to external powers to intervene in Libya to stop Qaddafi and his projects.
Why Mahmoud Jibril Joined the Transitional Council
Amongst the Libyan officials that were heavily opposed to this project and viewed it with horror was Mahmoud Jibril. Jibril was put into place by Saif Al-Islam Qaddafi. Because of strong influence and advice from the U.S. and the E.U., Saif Al-Islam selected Jibril to transform the Libyan economy and impose a wave of neo-liberal economic reforms that would open the Libyan market.
Jibril became the head of two bodies in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, the National Planning Council of Libya and National Economic Development Board of Libya. While the National Economic Development Board was a regular ministry, the National Planning Council would actually put Jibril in a government position above that of the Office of the General-Secretary of the People’s Committee of Libya (which is the equivalent of the post of a prime minister). Jibril actually became one of the forces that opened the doors of privatization and poverty in Libya.
About six months before the conflict erupted in Libya, Mahmoud Jibiril actually met with Bernard-Henri Lévy in Australia to discuss forming the Transitional Council and deposing Colonel Qaddafi.  He described Qaddafi’s Wealth Redistribution Project as “crazy” in minutes and documents from the National Economic Development Board of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya.  Jibril strongly believed that the Libyan masses were not fit to govern themselves and that an elite should always control the fate and wealth of any nation. What Jibril wanted to do is downsize the Libyan government and layoff a large segment of the public sector, but in exchange increase government regulations in Libya. He would also always cite Singapore as the perfect example of a neo-liberal state. While in Singapore, which he regularly visited, it is likely that he also meet with Bernard-Henri Lévy.
When the problems erupted in Benghazi, Mahmoud Jibril immediately went to Cairo, Egypt. He told his colleagues that he would be back in Tripoli soon, but he had no intention of returning. In reality, he went to Cairo to meet the leaders of the Syrian National Council and Lévy. They were all waiting for him inside Cairo to coordinate the events in Libya and Syria. This is one of the reasons that the Transitional Council has recognized the Syrian National Council as the legitimate government of Syria.
Do Not Pity the Dead, Pity the Living!
Muammar Qaddafi is now dead.
He was murdered in his hometown of Sirte.
He stood his ground until the end like he said he would.
The Transitional Council, which vowed to take him to court had him murdered.
He even reminded the men who beat him, anally raped him, mocked him, and finally murdered him that they were not following the laws of Islam about respectful treatment of prisoners. NATO played a central role and oversaw the whole event.
The murder was systematic, because after Qaddafi was murdered his son and several other Libyan leaders were killed too.
Colonel Qaddafi’s death marks a historic milestone for Libya. An old era has ended in Libya and a new chapter begins.
Libya will not become a new paradise like the Transitional Council says. In many cases the living will envy the dead, because of men like Mahmoud Jibril, Ali Tarhouni, and Sliman Bouchuiguir.
Mahmoud Jibril is a mere opportunist. The man had no problems being a government official under the late Qaddafi. He never complained about human rights or a lack of democracy. He was the prime minister of the Transitional Council of Libya until a few days after the savage murder of Colonel Qaddafi. The opposition of Jibril to the late Qaddafi’s Wealth Redistribution Project and his elitist attitude are amongst the reasons he conspired against Qaddafi and helped form the Transitional Council.
Is this ex-regime official, who has always been an open supporter of the Arab dictators in the Persian Gulf, really a representative and champion of the people? How about his colleagues in the Transitional Council who negotiated oil contracts with NATO member states, even before they held any so-called government positions in the Transitional Council?
Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya is a Sociologist and Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), Montréal. He specializes on the Middle East and Central Asia. He was on the ground in Libya for over two months and was also a Special Correspondent for Flashpoints, which is an investigative news program carried on numerous stations in the United States and based in Berkeley, California. Nazemroaya has been releasing these articles about Libya in conjunction with aired discussions (now archived) with Cynthia McKinney on Freedom Now, a show aired on Saturdays on KPFK, Los Angeles, California.