It’s time to have a good year. First post of the year 2021, better late than never - I just can’t quit, I am not done yet.
Hana // Muammar Gaddafi
Some of us have a lot of respect for Mr. Gaddafi. However, whether you think he was murdered or subject to rightful vengeance, we all have to understand that he is a very fascinating man with an even more interesting broad-picture. One thing that came upon my RADAR recently is the nature of his daughter “Hana”, namely whether she is fictional, continues to exist or once existed but is no longer.
The story goes that Big Ron the Great Communicator, with Gaddafi already being a stalwart international big-bad, decided that enough was enough in the slowly escalating conflict between the west and the green-book espousing-man. After tit-for-tat support of domestic anti-establishment contestants from both sides and some impromptu aerial and naval zoning litigation focused in the Libyan realm and highlighting the immense power of America, Mr. Gaddafi had decided to begin going full-guerilla. Temporarily turning an embassy in Germany into a forward-operating-base, he exploded a discotheque in order for his voice to be heard internationally.
Ronald gave his go-ahead to launch, in retaliation, aerial attacks on various Libyan targets, with an (obfuscated) aim to assassinate Gaddafi himself. Unfortunately for the US, the mission failed in its most crucial goal, and so served as further escalation and estrangement rather than closure of the parable - while Reagan seemingly chose not to augment the brevity of the attack in spite of its initial failure, resolving it as a warning rather than a war-ening, time would tell of a non-acquiescing Gaddafi remaining full-guerilla. The raid was aided by Israeli intelligence, who provided Gaddafi location on the night of, and while it later emerged that Gaddafi had survived the attack, it is reported that his family were hospitalized and, of specific concern, the fact in question: his “adopted daughter” Hana allegedly died as a result of the raid.
The allegations about this allegation appear manifold. Harbouring a telescope of intrigue and viewing a surreal Gaddafi-scape through enigma lense, as we might ought to, ideas of propaganda/heart/mind capital provided by the death of a Daughter come into focus and seem self-evident. Apparently the death was doubted even by Libyans, later it is all but confirmed to be fabricated as a propaganda tool, with usage of the myth stretching into the 21st century and linking to one Lionel Richie. All of this is confounded by public appearances and records of a “Hana” occurring after the death-date. You can variously find people making the following claims:
- Hana was opportunistically adopted after-the-fact (this opens up an interesting gray area).
- She did exist and continues to live, her death a complete lie.
- Hana never existed and was a propaganda tool, a two-fold lie.
- The story of her dying is true, and another “Hana Gaddafi” entered the family in her stead and memory, explaining apparent further life.
While the debacle is interesting through this lense, I can’t avoid removing the lense and giving Mr. Gaddafi some benefit of doubt. Consider whether it would be, or Gaddafi would think it would be, beneficial to stage this death. While brief, the attack was large, and with almost one hundred non-Hana dead including civilians, not factoring in injury and collateral damage, would have some same emotional effect regardless, no? Perhaps most importantly is that the attack, while obfuscated, did successfully target the compound where Gaddafi and his family resided. Does the continued living of any of his family matter if we, I think correctly, assume their souls were already weighed and taken into, or out of, account by the USA prior to the attack? Is this line of reasoning what Gaddafi was hoping to invoke with his little lie? Are we now thinking in circles through the dilemma along lines most would have long since intuited?
After briefly analysing it as it neatly appears today, we will first put forward an internet search to both find and investigate these claims. A simple search of “Hana Gaddafi” immediately presents a glut of articles from 2011. Looking past the peculiar weighting of these results given their age and how this might stoke fears of ongoing mindshare meddling of those big 2011 events, we can see that those events apparently bore out some pieces of the Hana puzzle - any intended memetic propagation of “Gaddafi is crazy” inculcation text put aside. Most concretely, the Swiss embassy seized assets that made reference to a “Hana” and not much later rebels stormed the same compound that was a focal target of the ‘86 bombing, with accounts of a shrine to the infant daughter as well as rooms and personal affects indicating she had since grown up and studied medicine.
“Was Reagan trying to kill me? Of course. The attack was concentrated on my house and I was in my house.” Three of Gadhafi’s children were injured in the attack. An infant girl taken in by his wife was killed. [link - sun sentinel]
To learn or enjoy anything in a broader sense it is important to not rest on a mountain of 2011 information and reporting. Given the occasion of Hana’s reported death was in 1986, a digital-data scant time, this is difficult to circumvent, but there does exist articles and documenting on the subject that were ratified before this date. This BBC “on this day” flashback, written and posted 2004, doesn’t seem to cast any doubts on the death or nature of the baby-daughter. There’s archive footage claiming to depict (a) Hana alive and well from 1990 available for licensing online and a “South Florida Sun Sentinel” article features an interview with the man himself, stating that the little girl we know as “Hana” was taken in by his wife.
If you were so inclined to assent with “mad dog” labelling it may be easy to believe that Gaddafi would narcissistically think his people would care more greatly for his daughter over any other casualty. It’s also not too hard to believe either that they in fact would, though personally I find it hard to believe Gaddafi would bother concocting this lie - at least after not being able to reconcile the confounding public appearances, the real toll of the raid of 1986 and the all around controversy over Libya-US relations and lack there of. Who am I to say for certain however, I am reflexively contrarian and not quite smart enough for this.
A British Council spokesman said: ‘The widely held belief in Libya at the time was that this was a different daughter, adopted by Colonel Gaddafi after Hana’s death and given the same name as a tribute. This is, in fact, a common practice in Libya as a memorial to a dead child.’
Just another thought: With much (all) of the doubt from the outset sourced to an apparent lack of public knowledge of Hana before her alleged death, why is it now taken for granted that she did in fact exist before the death-date? With each new fold it becomes all so tiresome to think about. This truly becomes an insurmountable behemoth - sow some seeds of doubt early on and 30 years later you’ve got a big unshakeable tree. The intelligence agencies are laughing at me as I type.
As usual it seems we have done more to shine a light upon my own retarded mind than anything else. How many words did I spend, and waste, attaching validity values and potentiated psychosocial qualities to various claims instead of enjoying myself - since the web logging is intended for my own eyes only, couldn’t I nest all of this internally? What is this a court case. We need to do less of these long single subject in-depth think-hours, they are becoming think-days. We should be vigilant not to allow ourselves to become logic ballerina Daily Bugle WeWork Spin Doctor wage slave CIA double agent, can’t sleep from our own glow.