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Libyan Rebels Imploding

In the wake of the murder of the leader of the rebel military, General Younis, the Benghazi rebel forces are now turning on each other. The circumstances of the general's death remain murky, but it appears that he was killed by men that the rebel council had sent to collect him for questioning. The tribe that the general belonged to, the Obeidi, is the largest in eastern Libya (that is, "rebel Libya") and is not pleased with what has happened. Gunfights and explosions are breaking out in the rebel capital, and now leaders are beginning to clamp down on journalists and keeping them away from the front lines and from government offices.

This does not by any means signify that things are going to go well for Gaddafi; the one thing they all agree in is that they want him dead. But it does mean that, at a time when the governments of Europe and the United States have rushed to recognizing these rebels as the legitimate government of Libya, and at a time when we are rushing to unfreeze billions of dollars of assets to help fund their rebellion, we very well do not know who will end up in charge or what success we have. NATO and the Europeans in particular have invested too much to give up at this point. The rotten stench around this entire mess continues to grow.
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Discussions - 3 Comments

Assuming it is deliberate Machiavellianism, I approve of Obama's apparent dithering: Weaken both sides, eventually kill Ghadaffi. Fewer problems for the west in the short run at least....

Obama has a Ph.D in dithering.

What frys me is that Abdel Baset al-Megrahi the Islamic terriorist responsible for the Lockerbie bombing was released from a Scottish prison in 2009 because he had been diagnosed with cancer and had six months to live. The piece of crap is still alive and showing up to pro-Ghadaffi rallies. Sickening...

Apparently, according to the WSJ, NATO is in the "let's make a deal" phase of the conflict. They are suggesting to Ghaddafi that he could stay in Libya and the Libyan people could choose to have him in politics or not. (Say that again?) There is no mention of his sons, who have been leading the battle and maybe NATO considers them somewhat tainted by blood in ways their father is not. I can't imagine how that is neatly rationalized, but the logic can be worked out later.

In other words, NATO is getting tired of the investment.

Robinson, your main point still applies. This is a mess. Probably, we and our allies would not like to turn Libya into another Somalia. Or maybe left to themselves a peaceful democratic government will emerge from the wreckage? The alternative is to stay and attempt nation-building. Whose got the stomach for that anymore?

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