"I think experience will teach you a combination of liberalism and conservatism. We have to be progressive and at the same time we have to retain values. We have to hold onto the past as we explore the future."
I think that the situation in Libya proves the opposite of this quote. You could argue that Gaddafi tried to do just this -- he tried to keep a tribal Libya but, at the same time, impose his own brand of progress.
I think the situation in Libya shows that the author of the quote is excessively optimistic. You can't just keep some of the traditional stuff and add new stuff. It has to be the right parts of tradition and the right new stuff that gets mixed. This is much harder than the quote implies.
Given that individuals cannot see past the choices that are beyond comprehension, it is difficult to see how the quote will play out in Libya's situation as of right now. The quote's primary assertion is that experience will "teach" individuals. This is something that involves reflection and a position of judgment outside of a specific context. With everything ongoing in Libya right now, the context envelops all of us. In my mind, there is no way to accurately project the quote's validity because so very few can predict where Libya is going. Any nation on the verge of a civil war or immersed in domestic strife as Libya is right now cannot be judged in a reflective manner. The history is "too fresh." I think that we can use the quote to see how Gadhafi has gone against the nature of the quote. His history as a ruler in Libya has been one where little in what of Progressivism has been embraced. Especially with his views towards America, Gadhafi has not been able to express much in way of a Progressive and liberal approach. If anything, he has appealed to a challenging notion of conservativism that defines relations with America as wrong. Gadhafi, himself, does not seem very keen right now on "exploring the future." If he were, then he would understand that the entire region is "on the move," with uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt. Social networking and technology has enhanced the political movements in these nations and Libya is next. Rather than seek to find common ground with the protesters, Gadhafi is "defiant" in his "calls for countrymen to defend Libya," something he sees as a form of the "past."