I have always reserved judgment on Colonel Gaddafi. Lybia is a country we rarely ever hear about and is doors are practically closed to foreigners. In terms of its neighbors Libya is fairly well off and poverty levels are fairly low which is one thing the Colonel may be able to take credit for when you look at the other oil rich countries in the region. Also the Libyan nuclear programme seemed to take the whole world by surprise.
If you look on the other side of the coin the guy has made some interest decisions over the years and never adheres to the normal rules of diplomacy. His bodyguards image screams madman to me. His decisions to alienate himself by supplying every Guerrilla force that ever had an issue with the west. He famously called off an International Soccer match he was attending because he thought it was pointless as both teams were the same country. Always an advocate of African Union. On re-establisihing ties with Britain when Tony Blair went to visit to Tripoli he forced the motorcade to pass the bombed out shells of buildings Reagan and Thatcher gave the order to destroy during the 80s.
How is the West even surprised with his actions following the release of the supposed Lockerbie bomber?