How has the government of Mu'ammar al-Qaddafi, so often described as a madman, survived the denunciations of Western powers, the insults of Arab leaders, and the opposition of Libyan dissidents for almost fifteen years? What are his goals, his sources of support, and the prospects for his country? The answers to these questions lie in the personality of Qaddafi himself, the history of the country he leads, the nature of the regime he has imposed, and the international system in which he operates.
Mu'ammar al-Qaddafi is, by his own admission—indeed, at his own insistence—a revolutionary. He prides himself on being considered an outlaw in a world where, as he sees it, the law itself is unjust.