Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Map credit, Al Jazeera
Of course, it is a relief to know the end of the Libyan civil war is near. The Libyan rebels seem to have occupied the capital, which means the war is likely to end soon.
A few notes of caution. Qadaffi has said he will fight to the end. This could drag on for a period.
Further, I was nonplussed by the appearance of Saif Al Islam. It makes the rebels seem unreliable if they (and the ICC) claim to have three Qadaffi scions in custody, and then one appears.
Finally, who are the rebels? Are they being supported by the CIA or even scarier, Saudi Arabia or Al Qaeda, or are they in fact legitimate freedom fighters? I hope that the rebels in Libya are secular civilians who support democracy and are not racist or tribal. (See tribal map above) But time will tell.
As I have learned the hard way from studying African politics, the rebels are not always the good guys, i.e. Renamo in Mozambique. Worse still rebels can come in well, and become dictators, i.e. Mugabe in Zimbabwe.
Is Qadaffi worse than Bashir in Syria? Why is the US supporting Libya while ignoring the bloody and autocratic crackdown in Syria. Is it the oil? Will Saif asl Islam try to make a coalition with Islamists that will push Libya, secular under Qadaffi, towards a Wahabi future.
Here is some more reading
R2P Nato lies!
Snipers Fight on at Qadaffi's compound
Al Azhar's grand sheikh congratulates Libyans
Don't Call Us Rebels
Libya's uncertain future