Military Leaders in Developing Countries
The role of the military in any country is one of prestige. Unless having been through it personally, one could not imagine willingly subjecting oneself to the rigorous training received by so many young men and women today. The role played by the military is always to protect, defend, and assist its country in both war and peacetime, but in developing nations there are quite different roles as well. To be a leader in the armed forces, one must be strong both physically and mentally, as well as having a certain charisma, or skill with people. This is true because in order to lead, one must appeal to those he or she is leading. Not only does a developing country have armed forces for defense, but on occasion, the leaders of third world militaries use them for the overthrow of their own government. Currently serving as a soldier(reservist), I can identify with the saying, "spilling blood in the mud ," as we are trained, contracted, and sworn to do so on command, but if ever asked to help plan or execute an act against our government, I would be appalled.
This is exactly what several third world country military officers have done. Momar Quadaffi was a Lieutenant in the Libyan military and with the help of some other lower ranking officers, he successfully staged a revolution. Which is not at all bad because he is so popular he can drive around in his Volkswagen Convertible without any type of security but could you imagine Bill Clinton riding a bike down Pennsylvania Avenue without the secret service along for the ride ( I apologize if I have just created a bad mental image)? The point is, where on earth could a group of officers secretly join together and overthrow the government, other than a third world country. Quadaffi was successful because of his charismatic leadership and love of his country. Quadaffi had some big fish to fry when he decided to take over Libya but he really had a challenge when it came to keeping the oil of Libya nationalized. This is one of the big reasons why the Libyan people love him.
Momar Quadaffi does not see much of the oil money if any at all. He has stayed ever faithful to his country in that the profits from all Libyan oil goes to a fund that builds houses for their citizens. Quadaffi himself does not even own a home but instead has vowed that the last house he will build will be one for his family. This is the sort of leadership that the military creates. When your back is against the proverbial wall and it would be so much easier to quit, you must ask for more. As a young man in boot camp at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, it was told to us several times that the only easy day was yesterday.
This brings me to another reason why Momar Quadaffi has been such an agent of change, His relentless pursuit of prosperity for the Libyan people. Quadaffi has been the target of United States media bashes since before the middle eighties. He has been...