In this 1997 photo, Mandela joins hands with Libyan leader Gaddafi in front of a Libyan home destroyed by a U.S. fighter strike a decade earlier. Image Credit: Getty Images

To 21st century ears, the very concept of a “great Arab leader” sounds more like a paradox than an earnest phenomenon. After the death of Nasser, the Arab world gradually lost any cohesive political identity and by the 21st century, it had descended into a chaotic political quagmire of internal military conflict, internal sectarian quarrelling and ultimately became a subject of geopolitical humiliation.

Libyan Revolutionary leader Muammar Gaddafi realised this far sooner than many other world leaders and as such, for the last decades of his life, Gaddafi focused himself on pan-African issues whilst openly acknowledging that Arab unity was something of a lost cause.

Gaddafi ultimately viewed himself less as a leader of an Arab liberation struggle than a highly poetic African philosopher king. Gaddafi’s view of Africa was in fact one part objective and one part romantic. That being said, his romanticism wasn’t that of the self-deluded but instead was that of someone who sought to inspire fellow Africans to reclaim the dignity, strength and prosperity that for centuries had been stolen from them by foreign aggressors.

Gaddafi’s consistent support for the African National Congress (ANC) during the most turbulent years of Apartheid ultimately led to what in many ways was Gaddafi’s greatest achievement – the freeing of Nelson Mandela from prison and his eventual election as South Africa’s first leader elected under majority rule. Mandela and Gaddafi maintained a friendship until the very end with Mandela strongly cautioning NATO against its policy of aggression towards Libya. This aggression ultimately destroyed the country in 2011.

Although the friendship between Gaddafi and Mandela was symbolic of a genuine partnership between southern and northern Africa, Gaddafi’s penultimate goal was to free Africa from the servitude of submission to foreign fiat currencies. Gaddafi planed to force the world to acknowledge the primacy of gold over fiat money by moving all of Africa onto a gold backed dinar.

As Africa is the world’s most resource rich continent, Gaddafi understood the potential for a pan-African gold standard to put the long exploited continent in the driving seat of the global economy. The Arabs may have had black gold, but taken as a whole, the Africans had the real thing and by Gaddafi’s final decade, he realised that the potential of a gold backed dinar was far greater than that of Arab oil wealth which voluntarily submitted itself to Nixon’s fiat petrodollar.

The realisation of a gold back dinar would have forever changed not only Africa but also the world’s existing economic superpowers. In the long term it would have of course been beneficial to the United States, a country that has seen widening wealth gaps and shrinking opportunity since the disastrous closing of the gold window in 1971. Of course, the powers that be thought only in the short term and moved to murder Gaddafi with the aid of terrorist barbarians in 2011. The fact that a Gaddafi who had made peace with the west was killed not long after proclaiming his desire to free Africa through the intrinsic power of gold, demonstrates just how afraid the likes of Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, David Cameron and Nicholas Sarkozy were of an African continent that was preparing to move to a sound money principle under Gaddafi’s guidance.

There is likewise a bitter irony in the fact that Gaddafi was killed by Arab terrorists who later either drove the black African population out of Libya or otherwise murdered, tortured and enslaved them. These were the same black Africans that Gaddafi invited to work in Libya and be treated as equals to and as brothers of those born in Libya.

The ignominious relationship between the United States and Arab terrorists ultimately destroyed Gaddafi’s African dream. Since 2011, much of central and northern Africa has become far less stable than it was in Gaddafi’s time as the utter chaos of the contemporary Libyan failed state continues to spread like wildfire through much of the continent.

When Gaddafi died, Libya was sent to hell and Africa was deprived of its greatest political champion apart from Nelson Mandela who would die two years later of natural causes.