Gotta Watch: Libya's backstory
Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi has been in power 42 years.
August 22nd, 2011
10:55 AM ET

Gotta Watch: Libya's backstory

More than four decades of Moammar Gadhafi's rule may be nearing an end as rebels appear to have his regime on the verge of collapse. The embattled Libyan leader's detractors have faced off against his regime since January, but Libya's tensions pre-date the Arab Spring uprisings. Today, Gotta Watch looks at Libya's long-running, tense relations with the U.S.,  Gadhafi's family and its link to some A-list pop stars.

From friend to foe – Moammar Gadhafi ascended to power during President Nixon's administration. By the time Ronald Reagan had taken office, U.S.-Libya relations were in serious trouble. In 1986, the president decided to launch airstrikes against Libya, which killed Gadhafi's infant daughter.
[cnn-video url="http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/world/2011/03/20/1986.reagan.us.bombs.libya.cnn"%5D

Gadhafi’s family ties – The Libyan leader isn’t the only Gadhafi making international headlines. CNN's Michael Holmes profiles his nine living children.
[cnn-video url="http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/world/2011/03/06/pkg.gadhafi.family.tree.cnn"%5D

Pop stars' Gadhafi connections – What do A-listers Beyonce, Mariah Carey and Nelly Furtado have in common? They all received big bucks for performing at private parties for the Gadhafi family. When the revolution began and the connections were revealed, the stars quickly took action to distance themselves from the dictator.
[cnn-video url="http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/showbiz/2011/03/07/wynter.private.parties.gadhafi.cnn"%5D

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Filed under: Celebrity • Gotta Watch • Libya • Music • NATO • Protest • Showbiz • U.S.
soundoff (89 Responses)
  1. Erica

    Gadhafi, like every other dictator before him, failed to realize that he is not invincible and that everyone doesn't like him. I love how he executed the brother of the general of his most trusted forces then expected that guy to be 100% loyal to him forever. What a pompous a**hole!!! Who are you kidding Moammar?!?! That general, in turn, ordered all of his troops to drop their weapons and surrender immediately when the rebel forces rushed them. Revenge is a dish best served cold. You're going to learn a few things the hard way I'm sorry to say.

    August 22, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      "Sorry to say". Shoudl be "happy to say"! This thing is an animal. Not even human!

      August 22, 2011 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • DSOUTH

      U OBVIOUSLY HAVE NO IDEA OF THE HISTORY OF THIS COUNTRY OR THE AGENDA YR PROBABLY ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE WHO SUPPORT WAR CAUSE U DAMN SURE SUPPORT TERRORISM WHETHER IT BE THEM COMING HERE OR US GOING THERE ITS ALL TERRORISM JUS WORDED DIFFERENTLY,U PROBABLY WOULDNT SHOOT OR KILL ANY INDIVIDUAL TO SAVE YOUR LIFE IF A THREAT WAS IN YOUR FACE,BET YOUR PROUD TO BE AMERICAN ALSO,REMEMBERU PAY TAXES THAT SUPPORT TERRORIST AND YOUVE ALREADY GOT OSAMAS BLOOD ON YOUR HANDS U SEE HOW QUICKLY GOD HANDLED THEM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! IM JUST SAYING THOU SHALT NOT KILL ,U ALREADY HAVE. THINK ABOUT IT!!JUST CAUSE U DIDNT PULL THE TRIGGER U STILL BOUGHT THE GUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      August 22, 2011 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • JB

      im confused by this. yes americans pay taxes, if you dont you go to prison. so what exactly is your solution? do you not pay taxes? if you're not american, does your country not collect taxes from you? every single tax payer on earth cannot be held responsible for what their country does with the tax money. im sure my tax money has paid for congressional lap dances somewhere along the line too...does that mean i cheated on my girlfriend? your logic is flawed..citizens do not have a choice in the matter regardless of what agenda you have. death and taxes my friend.

      August 22, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
  2. El Duderino

    I accidentally the Libyan rebellion

    August 22, 2011 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Keith

    Being a tyrant is a peculiar form of mental disease, an extremely virulent form of sociopathy. You have to literally not give a tinker's damn about what happens to anyone else in the world. In Gadhafi's case, it eventually went over the edge into outright psychosis. When this revolt started, he talked about being a "martyr." To what? Selfishness and stupidity? I'm glad he's going to get his the hard way. He deserves it.

    August 22, 2011 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Oliver

    Can someone please tell me what role Gadhafi plays in the Libyan government?

    August 22, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • us1776

      Gadhafi WAS the Libyan government !!

      Now he is just a hunted Rat !!

      .

      August 22, 2011 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • boogietime

      Currently, he plays the role of fugitive, or perhaps criminal.

      August 22, 2011 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Can we say narcissist?

    He's not that far removed from Donald Trump. They have the same basic personality traits. Trump thinks he's the best person for running the country. He's absolutely in love with himself. The same applies to Gadhafi. If Trump could figure out a way into the White House that didn't involve an election, he'd take it in a second. The only reason he doesn't run for office is the fear of being defeated and having to admit he's not as great as he thinks. The same applies to Gadhafi. He will go out fighting because to have to face the people for what he has done would be more than his ego could handle. He'd rather die while telling himself that it was the evil USA that killed him, and not his tyrrany.

    August 22, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sebastian Kent

      I totally agree with you. Donald Trump is just like Moammar. Delusional and with an inflated sense of self-importance.

      August 22, 2011 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hef

      Okay, so you hate the Donald, we get it. How about staying on point.

      August 22, 2011 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • DSOUTH

      U OBVIOUSLY HAVE NO IDEA OF THE HISTORY OF THIS COUNTRY OR THE AGENDA YR PROBABLY ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE WHO SUPPORT WAR CAUSE U DAMN SURE SUPPORT TERRORISM WHETHER IT BE THEM COMING HERE OR US GOING THERE ITS ALL TERRORISM JUS WORDED DIFFERENTLY,U PROBABLY WOULDNT SHOOT OR KILL ANY INDIVIDUAL TO SAVE YOUR LIFE IF A THREAT WAS IN YOUR FACE,BET YOUR PROUD TO BE AMERICAN ALSO,REMEMBERU PAY TAXES THAT SUPPORT TERRORIST AND YOUVE ALREADY GOT OSAMAS BLOOD ON YOUR HANDS U SEE HOW QUICKLY GOD HANDLED THEM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! IM JUST SAYING THOU SHALT NOT KILL U ALREADY HAVE. THINK ABOUT IT!!JUST CAUSE U DIDNT PULL THE TRIGGER U STILL BOUGHT THE GUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      August 22, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • SusanA

      I'd like to sic my two earthdogs on him, but we don't let them eat garbage.

      August 22, 2011 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • boogietime

      Yeah, but Gaddalfi has better hair.

      August 22, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Johnson

    This crazy man was never a friend to the USA. He is a pathetic psychopath. He and his sons should be executed.

    August 22, 2011 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Bill

    Seems like we had something to do with every dictator that came into power and were friends and later we became enemies. Why is that?

    August 22, 2011 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Deezo

      Because there is so much that goes on behind closed doors and so much that's left out of the main stream media, the majority of people will never understand why things are the way they are. Let alone why our "friends" turned into "foes."

      August 22, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Troy

      This is just another remnant from the Cold War days. The United States and Soviet Union were in a race to have the most allies, no matter how little common ground there was. If a country wasn't communist, we allied ourselves with them in case we needed their help if push came to shove. Their time has come, no one needs them anymore and their people are done putting up with them. They're being picked off one by one.

      August 22, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jame

      Well in this case we were never friends with Ghaddafi, not sure where CNN is coming up with this crap, during the Cold War he was in the Soviet Camp. But it seems that every govt that we are not bombing from the moment they take power somehow the media turns it into them "being our friends"

      August 22, 2011 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • boogietime

      Because psychopaths don't make lasting friends and the USA is too quick to trust.

      August 22, 2011 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Doomguy

    He was never a friend to the US. He became friend with corrupt members of our government who were willing to deal with a butcher. But he was never ever our friend.

    August 22, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • boogietime

      Psychopaths are only friends with themselves.

      August 22, 2011 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Sebastian Kent

    We looked the other way for far too long simply because the country had oil and American corporations wanted to do business there. There is nothing wrong with business but it is NOT paramount. FAIRNESS for PEOPLE, not CORPORATIONS, comes first.

    August 22, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hef

      Oh jeez, here we go with "Evil Corporations" again.
      FAIRNESS for PEOPLE is simple. Everyone starts at the same starting line. Where you finish is entirely up to you.

      August 22, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jame

      You might notice that Libya' main bit of business was always with Europe....not the US......

      August 22, 2011 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
  10. truth2power

    We will live to regret the day we assisted the Islamist fundamentalist "rebels" in Libya, much as we came to regret assisting the mujahideen in Afghanistan. Doesn't matter much to our "leaders", though – they can just send the children of the poor and middle class in to fight and die to protect their interests and the dirty deals that have been made behind closed doors when necessary. Will the American people wake up before the crescent moon is flying over the White House and Capitol? Only time will tell.

    August 22, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • DSOUTH

      ATLEAST A TRUE VOICE NOT FOR EITHER SIDE BUT JUST THE PLAIN TRUTH ,PEOPLE GET CAUGHT IN THEIR OWN WORLD AND BABBLE OF SOME IGNORANT THOUGHT FEELIN POLITICAL,TO ONLY THEMSELVES AND DONT REALIZE WE ARE FUNDING THE DEATH OF OUR FUTURE GENERATION THANK U THANK U THANK U

      August 22, 2011 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
  11. king

    change has come to the arab world and we must embrase it, saddam, bin laden, mubarak, gahddafy, assad, all these terrorist must be removed, and more moderate leaders must step up and move the middle east forward,

    August 22, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • boogietime

      And if they don't we will make them. Mwhahahaha!

      August 22, 2011 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Bob

    He was never a friend, though, recently, he was tolerated. But the guy responsible for the Berlin nightclub bombing and Locherbie was not a U.S. "friend" - period.

    August 22, 2011 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jame

    When was he ever our friend......??????

    August 22, 2011 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • boogietime

      When CNN thought it would make their story better.

      August 22, 2011 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jame

    I mean people do know that one of the first things he did when taking power was to kick out US and British troops who were stationed at bases in Libya....I mean CNN does know that right.....don't they......hello........anyone........

    August 22, 2011 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
  15. cnntoday

    Gadhafi downfall was the arrogance of his sons. Gadhafi was living like a King in Libya he controlled the army, economy and that was his downfall. He failed to realize his power was all military as his country was a military state.

    August 22, 2011 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
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