The Rule of Libya's Colonel Gaddafi

The Quixotic Rise of Libya's Colonel Muammar Gaddafi
Popperfoto / Getty

First Among Equals
Gaddafi's rise to power had roots in his belief in pan-Arabism, an idealized vision of a united Arab nation stretching from the Persian Gulf to the Atlantic Ocean. Most prominently espoused in the late 1950s and '60s by Egypt's Gamal Abdel Nasser, pan-Arabism inspired Gaddafi along with a number of other Libyan officers who, like their leader, came from the country's poorer tribes.

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