It has been a long time since bitter enemies were able to imagine each other as truly human; as the servants of narrow or other interests rather than as pathologically homicidal “wolves,” unworthy of quarter. But this is what the people of post-Gadhafi Libya must find the strength to do. They must limit the execution of vengeance—however rewarding it seems now—and move directly to the very difficult yet much more rewarding task of building a functioning government capable of laying the foundation for the decades long process of recovery from Gadhafi’s abuses. Read more
Posts tagged ‘Muammar al-Gaddafi’
Executive Director, Dubai Initiative, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
The death of Muammar Gadhafi, as well as that of his son and his closest advisor, in addition to the fall of Sirte, allows the Transitional National Council to declare Libya’s freedom. However, it does not guarantee a peaceful transition any more than Saddam’s capture did in Iraq. The tough work of nation building and the creation of an inclusive political system will now begin. And while analysts have been concerned about the divisions that have recently emerged within the TNC, those divisions are a sign that the TNC is a truly diverse institution, bringing together a wide coalition of ideologies and interests. That is as good a start for the establishment of a democratic system as we can hope for. Read more
The death of Muammar Qadhafi is the decisive event in the nine-month civil war in Libya. In the minds of most Libyans, the war could not end without his departure from the country or death on the battlefield.
As British Prime Minister Cameron reminded us today, it is important to remember Qadhafi’s many victims, including the hundreds of Americans and other nationals who died in the Lockerbie terrorist attack of December 1988. Qadhafi was a tyrant who ruled mercilessly for over forty years and left most of the people of his oil-rich country impoverished. His brutal, authoritarian rule extinguished all independent movements and denied the building over time of the civil society organizations that are the foundation of most countries and all democracies. Read more
With the death of Muammar Gadhafi today in Libya, the conventional wisdom has already taken form. First, that this was a success, albeit a delayed one, for the Obama Administration’s “leading from behind” strategy. This was always a NATO effort, with strong French accents, and one which we would support but not manage. The fact that Obama was in Brazil when the mission started had symbolic meaning: the U.S. did not own this.
Second, that while Gadhafi’s death is an important milestone for closure, the challenges for Libya will endure. It is a nation with almost no civil society to rely on, and rebels who are hardly unified. Read more