Friday, March 4, 2011

Why Muammar Qaddafi is only a Colonel

(Why he never promoted himself to General, I'll never know.)

Did you ever think about this?  Muammar Qaddafi has been the supreme ruler and dictator of Libya for more than 40 years.  He is the commander in chief of the armed forces, the high potentate, the big pooba, the cat's meow.  Officially, he is Brotherly Leader and Guide of the First of September Great Revolution of the Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya.  The President of the United States doesn't have a title nearly that long, and look at what a big deal he is.

By contrast, in my house, I am officially the lowly Firewood Gatherer, Floor Cleaner, Wall Painter Second in Command to Blond Management Person, and I left the Army with the rank of Sergeant. Certainly, Qaddafi should be ranked as high as possible if he is leader and guide of a whole revolution.  I don't see why the guy isn't an 8-10 star General.

I have a couple of possible explanations why Qaddafi only holds the rank of Colonel in the Libyan military.  Maybe he is a shirker of sorts.  Being a General has lots of responsibilities.  You need to review the troops, sign many important papers, and salute thousands of soldiers of lesser rank.  You need to get up early in the morning to accomplish all these tasks, and the Colonel may have decided it is just not worth it.

Plus, being a General means you have really become entrenched in the establishment.  You are then part of the Board of Directors, so to speak, rather than an average Joe. You have to act more dignified.  You can't just hang with the boys, smoking a hookah and eating stuffed pigeons.  What's worse, Qaddafi might have to give up his voluptuous blond companion Galyna Kolotnytska, who is his Ukrainian "nurse".  (I'll take the disease he has, thank you.)  So the lifestyle change that comes with being a General just may not be viewed by Qaddafi as desirable.

Then again, maybe the guy is just a wimp.  After all, it is reported that he fears flying over water, prefers staying on the ground floor of hotels, and almost never travels.  That is, he is afraid of heights, water, and movement.  I suppose if I had been born in a Bedouin tent in a desert country, I would have no early experience with certain elements in the environment and that I might come to fear them later in life.  But I assume his birth tent had no voluptuous blond in it either, and he apparently adjusted to the trauma of being near one of those as an adult.  And how many Ferraris were parked outside that tent?  Nada.  But Qaddafi got over his potential fear of this vehicle enough to buy some, even though camels are more useful in that part of the world.  So his early experience can't be the reason he refuses the high rank.

So it is somewhat of a mystery why the man did not make himself the head of the General staff of the military.  Maybe the guy is much more modest and humble than the West thinks.  Maybe he believes in giving credit where credit is due, and he did not see himself worthy of the rank of General.  Maybe he failed the written exam a General needs to pass, so he decided he would study harder and try again later.  But it is probably none of those reasons.  After all, when you are surrounded by a bevy of international models, you own a bunch of Ferraris, you don't have to gather your own firewood (like some of us do), and you have a nurse who is built like a brick hammam (= Arabic word for bathroom), who cares what your rank is?

Rich Text Article first published as Why Muammar Qaddafi is Only a Colonel on Technorati.