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Qingu's avatar

The Libyan rebels have taken control of Tripoli, potentially ending the war there: what are your thoughts?

Asked by Qingu (21160points) August 22nd, 2011

New York Times
Al Jazeera
Fox News

Long story short: after six months of fighting, the rebels basically waltzed in and took Tripoli (Libya’s capitol) unopposed. They also arrested two of Qaddafi’s son, including his heir apparent. NATO air support and surveillance played a crucial role.

There are some loose ends, however. Pockets of Qadaffi loyalists are still fighting in parts of the city. Qadaffi is still at large, believed to be holed up in one of his compounds.

The biggest loose end is what happens after the regime officially falls. Will Libya descend into sectarian insurgency and chaos, Iraq-style? Will an Islamist government emerge, opposed to the NATO hands that fed it?

I opposed our involvement in Libya for various reasons, but I’m glad we didn’t put boots on the ground, and certainly this development is good news, along with reports of low civilian casualties. I hope I was wrong and it all turns out okay for the country.

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14 Answers

Tuesdays_Child's avatar

I do believe Qadaffi’s administration needs to go due to their many and varied crimes against humanity in general and Libyans specifically, but the follow-up, as you pointed out, may be worse yet for all concerned. As for the war actually ending, there are different factions of rebels who may start to battle between themselves for the final grasp of the power that Qadaffi had leaving the Libyan citizens in the same, or worse, shape than they were in….I guess all that the rest of the world can do is sit back and wait.

mazingerz88's avatar

I hope they don’t brutally slaughter Qaddafi. It’s the end for him so no need for such violence. Time for the Libyans to heal and rebuild. Personally, I wish they would go the way of Turkey and have a leader similar to Ataturk.

As for Egypt, I was disheartened when thousands of Egyptians went out en masse supporting the inclusion of Islamic tenets to national rule. It might not be realistic but separation of religion and state in the middle east is what I would want.

Qingu's avatar

@mazingerz88, someone like Ataturk would never work today, and I couldn’t bring myself to support him despite being a secularist myself. Ataturk was a dictator who enforced secularism at the end of several military coups. He was little different from Mubarak, and is the exact thing that Arabs are broadly revolting against.

As for the Islamist march in Egypt—it was alarming, but so are the millions of evangelical Christians in America who believe America is a “Christian nation” and want to enforce Biblical laws. The middle east is even more religious than American society and it’s unrealistic to expect that religious voices won’t—or shouldn’t—make themselves heard in a democracy. We certainly can’t expect Arab countries to magically transform overnight into European-style secular states.

A much better blueprint would be modern-day Turkey. The government is religious, but not despotically so, and the country is still a democracy.

mazingerz88's avatar

@Qingu I easily connected Kemal Ataturk to present day Turkey. But that was the end result I was thinking of for Libya.

Mamradpivo's avatar

It’s about time and I wish them all the best of luck. I’m sure the West will be concerned by whatever happens next, so I just hope that democracy wins out in the long run and that we (the West) don’t step in and set everyone back another few decades.

tedd's avatar

My only thought is to hope that their nation building goes at least as well as their Revolution has gone.

We don’t need another Iraq, unstable for 5–6 years and just finally settling down…. Especially in one of the most volatile regions of the world.

Cruiser's avatar

Reuters put forth this brief analysis of the situation as it stands today. Much will depend on the nature of the Government that will emerge from all this. Much uncertainty surrounds all this seeing that the rebels killed their own commander in charge of the uprising.

wundayatta's avatar

I’ve been thinking that the new government will be grateful to those nations who provided air support. If we are nuanced, I think there is a possibility for a decent working relationship, if not a friendly one.

As to the formation of a government—I have no idea. I don’t know enough about Libya to be able say anything other than I am hopeful. The Libyans have a lot to learn. I suspect that the military leaders of the revolution will be the leaders in a new government. I know. Bold prediction. That’s all I got, I’m afraid.

flutherother's avatar

The rebels now in charge of Libya don’t seem organised. There are many divisions within their ranks and these will become more apparent now the common enemy has gone. I hope things go well and that the opportunity to create a democratic state that will use its wealth for the benefit of all its people is not missed.

YoBob's avatar

About damned time…. now bring on the cheap oil!

_zen_'s avatar

Next stop, Syria.

filmfann's avatar

Whatever happens, blame will be dumped on Obama.

josie's avatar

There is no civil or economic infrastructure in Libya. Qaddifi ran the country by whim and on the fly with his relatives and buddies as officials. There are no reins to take over. Don’t expect it to be a smooth transition.
That’s whey we elect them. To take care of us, like a shepherd, and then blame them when they don’t.

Qingu's avatar

Weird and somewhat unsettling twist: Saif al-Islam, Qaddafi’s son and heir apparent, was not captured by the rebels, as they claimed. He is now touring the capitol and talking to reporters.

Though he does look a little worse for wear.

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