Tripoli Minus Gaddafi

(Huffington Post) Marc Ginsberg - Once Gaddafi and whatever remnants of his regime are routed from his bunker, what will the coming weeks and months mean for Libya? Let me venture several predictions. Col. Gaddafi has repeatedly asserted he will never permit himself to surrender to NATO forces or being tried by the rebel National Transitional Council Court. In the Gaddafi Family, the most visible son to western audiences, Saif, has been the defiant face of the regime to the media and is probably holed up somewhere with his father. The family was always an extension of the regime, and they, too, face either trial in Libya or in The Hague. A Potential Civil War? With over 140 tribes, could Libya minus Gaddafi slip into the abyss of civil conflict? Libya is a very divided nation -- all the more so now that the lid has been blown off Gaddafi tyrannical dictatorship. There is real danger that the temporary alliance that formed the backbone of the rebel leadership will fracture, perhaps on tribal lines or religious lines, as competing tribes try to cut their own deals. The TNC is composed of two key ideological and religious elements: the upper-crust of Libya's relatively secular society and Libyan democratic nationals united with defecting military officers on the one hand, and relatively hard-line Islamists who were based in Benghazi and who constituted the historic foundation of Gaddafi's Libyan opposition. The TNC's ability to restore order and prevent the type of lawlessness and looting that ushered in a post Saddam era in Baghdad will represent early signs of the TNC's post-Gaddafi cohesion. NATO engaged in significant mission creep following the passage of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973 by arming the rebels and interpreting the mandate as authorizing regime change. Now that Tripoli is on the verge of surrendering to the TNC, it will behoove NATO forces to slip quickly into the background to enable to TNC to demonstrate that it is not dependent on NATO forces to govern.

2011-08-23 00:00:00

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