Are events unfolding in Libya, Tunisia and Egypt more about petro-terrorism or about freedom and democracy? How much oil is there in North Africa? Who is in control of that oil? What is the relationship between the West and Muamar Gaddafi? Is he really the "terrorist" we've all been led to to believe he is? Who and what is the Libyan "opposition", and who are the "rebels" we red about? On September 1, 1969, the pro-western regime that had ruled in Libya was overthrown by Colonel Muamay Gaddafi and his officers. At the time, Libya was home to the largest US Air Base in North Africa. Agreements between the USA and Libya, signed in 1951 and 1954 granted the USAF the use of Wheelus Air Base and its El Watia gunnery range for gunnery and bombing training and for transport and bombing stopovers until 1971. During the Cold War, the base was pivotal to expanding US military power under the Strategic Air Command, and an essential base for fighter and reconnaissance missions. The Pentagon also used the base - and the remote Libyan desert - for missile launch testing, though the launch area was located 15 miles east of Tripoli. At the time, the base housed some 4600 US military personnel until its evacuation in 1970.