Friday, October 21, 2011

Gaddafi: Gaddafi Gone, What's Next for Libya?

Republished courtesy of the folks at Newsy


Muammar Gaddafi is dead. Libyans and Western Allies are celebrating. But now, the focus turns to what comes next. Chicago’s WGN talks with a Middle East expert, about what’s sure and what’s uncertain.

“There’s the immediate euphoria going on throughout Libya that the dictator is gone, but you know, there’s a difficult road ahead because there’s already factional fighting going on.”

“And what concerns me is there is a signficant Islamist presence, some of whom actually fought in Afghanistan in the 1980s, who are not particularly pro-democratic.”

That isn’t the only concern. Libya represents the largest oil producer on the African continent. Bloomberg talks with one analyst who says, Gaddafi’s death will undoubtedly spur greater change across the region of North Africa and the Middle East.

“Tunisia holds its first free elections this weekend, a dramatic turning point, the first of its kind since the Arab Spring. And Egypt, there’s a sense that the revolution is still in progress.

“On top of that there’s still unrest in Yemen, in Syria, reports out of Bahrain that there’s a sense that we still really waiting to see how this pans out.”

And while the world waits, the scorecard is already being tallied. Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden, Muammar Gaddafi, key anti-western figures who have all fallen. Fox News’ Juan Williams says, Gaddafi’s death is a victory for the U.S. and for President Barack Obama.

“By building an international coalition, the president managed, nonetheless, to make Americans part of the fight and oust Qaddafi. Essentially America has been at war in Libya. And tonight or today, this morning, what we’ve seen is that that policy has led to the ouster and also the death of Muammar Qaddafi.”

TIME’s Mark Thompson says, Gaddafi’s death is a warning to other tyrannical leaders, but also a lesson in how western military intervention might be conducted going forward.

“...the last land war we cleanly won was the European theater in World War II -- nearly 70 years ago. Since then, U.S. victories in land wars -- Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan -- have been elusive. So after the exclamation point generated by Gaddafi's death, the nation is left with a question mark: why keep a big and costly land army hanging around if all it does is encourage the nation to engage in wars it has little chance of winning?”

Which is a concern for some in the region. Al Jazeera’s Mahmoud Mamdani says, opposition leaders across the African continent are drooling at the prospect of Western intervention post-Gaddafi.

“Africans need to reflect on the fall of Gaddafi and, before him, that of Gbagbo in Cote d’Ivoire. Will these events usher in an era of external interventions, each welcomed internally as a mechanism to ensure a change of political leadership in one country after another? One thing should be clear: those interested in keeping external intervention at bay need to concentrate their attention and energies on internal reform.

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