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Inside Gaddafi’s Support

Many in the West are surely left scratching their heads at why so many in Libya remain fiercely loyal to Col. Muammar Gaddafi. This Washington Post article seeks to answer why. While the cult of personality he has built partially explains his enduring support, better reasons exist in the relatively high levels of personal income (vs. neighbor Egypt), the generous social welfare benefits he extends and the backing of powerful tribal elements within Libyan society. While it’s not clear just how many in Libya profess allegiance to the Colonel, even his opposition concedes he can count on the loyalty of many. One rebel estimate has this at 25% of the population. Perhaps we’ll never know, but the reality is that many in Libya are not aching for the change rebel groups are demanding.

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