When you read various posts extolling or villifying Muammar Gaddafi on OpEdNews or elsewhere, you get some very conflicting views on the four-decade-long strongman of Libya. You may come away thinking that he is some sort of Mediterranean Fidel Castro or another Nasser after reading one article, while thinking he is the Devil incarnate after reading another. If you wind up reading both of the most extreme presentations in either direction at the same time, you may be totally dumbfounded and confused and ready to toss your hands up in the air in frustration.
The reality is is that there are kernels of truth in each direction. The problem is that many authors are NOT putting things in a linear, historical context, a Gaddafi timeline so to speak, to realize that yes, there is much you can say positive about Gaddafi, thirty or forty years ago, but much you can say negative about Gaddafi in the last decades. Be that as it may, however, there are also just some outright hagiographical articles being written about him with no historical basis, just words, by True Believers who need to be enamored with someone.
Fortunately, The Real News Network just recently posted a video history of Gaddafi and modern Libya as presented by historian Ali Ahmida, professor and chair of the Department of Political Science at the University of New England in Biddeford, Maine, that I now pass on to you to aid in your understanding of the Libyan crisis: