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a new and democratic Libya? « Previous | |Next »
September 3, 2011

As Muammar Gaddafi's last strongholds fall one by one, Britain and France, the two main European powers who supported the rebels (National Transitional Council), line up for Libya's oil. There are lots of western "advisors" in Libya that give evidence of the massive presence of the west in the country.

RowsonMLibya.jpg Martin Rowson

This is not to suggest that there is something sordid or crooked about business being done in Libya by the US and Western Europe. Hopefully, the NATO air intervention, which is now winding down, does not turn into infantry on the ground, and that the National Transitional Council maintains its position that they don’t need any foreign, Arab or Islamic forces to help preserve security in Libya.

Let's hope they defy expectations and manage to build a new and democratic Libyan state, given how they have fought to regain control over their own country and their own lives. Firstly, the old regime is not entirely dead and it is still possible that Gaddafi would do better to survive and live – to continue a civil-tribal conflict and thus consume the West's new Libyan friends--the pro-Western Transitional National Council---in the swamp of guerrilla warfare.

Secondly, in oil states such as Iraq and Libya anybody who can gain authority, even for a short period, stands to make a great deal of money. The political leadership looks weak, and it is unlikely that the militias will tamely dissolve themselves.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 4:04 PM | | Comments (3)


Gaddafi and his sons are on the run to avoid being captured. Rebel forces have pressed closer to two of the old regime's last refuges ---Gaddafi's hometown of Sirte and Ben Walid.

Bani Walid, one of their strongholds, is about to go over to the National Transitional Council. There has been a local uprising against Gaddafi

imperialism still exists. The footprint is more careful these days. French President Nicolas Sarkozy embraced Gaddafi in 2007 and bombed him less than four years later.

If Libya's national export was potatoes, the West would no more have intervened than it would have invaded Iraq if Saddam Hussein's principal resource was asparagus.