NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN (ALMOST)
1st September, 1952 : A group of revolutionary Army officers seized power in Tripoli while King Idris of Libya, the 70-year-old monarch, was abroad in Turkey. A Royal spokesman said the coup was “of no importance”, but the Crown Prince Hassan Rida, in a broadcast from Libya, renounced his title and supported the new regime. The plotters, led by a subaltern named Muammar Gaddafi, proclaimed a republic in the name of “freedom, socialism and unity”, dedicated to the struggle against colonialism. They warned opponents that they would be court-martialed and shot.