Gaddafi, Anwar Sadat and Hafez Assad after signing an agreement to establish the “Federation of Arab Republics”
The bloodless coup of 1969 followed a similar pattern as the Egyptian Revolution in 1952, when the last remnants of British power were overhauled by the Free Officers, Muammar al-Gaddafi was one of a coterie of military officials. In power the Colonel sought to model the regime on the pan-Arab and secular nationalist set up in Egypt, Gaddafi railed against the European colonial powers, America and Israel. Before his death in 1970 General Nasser said “I rather like Gaddafi. He reminds me of myself when I was that age.” The Gaddafi regime forced out the British and American military bases and quickly moved to expel Westerners. At the same time the regime sought to craft a welfare system to provide universal health-care, education and affordable housing which fed into an anti-imperialist platform. The regime began to fund groups like the PLO, the ANC and the IRA. Gaddafi later described the system he was building as Islamic socialism, it might be more accurately described as Islamic Maoism. The country began to resemble an African Cuba.