Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Libya and Iraq

As the Battle for Tripoli still goes on and Gaddafi is now reported to have left Tripoli some time ago. On August 23 I wrote on the a Guardian Blog this at 12:06 AM,

'The ease with which the rebels have entered Tripoli was interpreted by BBC correspondent Matthew Price as concievably part of a plan to lure them in whilst Gaddafi had other plans. As with Saddam's escape from Baghdad to lead an insurgency from the sunni strongholds of Tikrit.

Gaddafi could well have fled to Fezzan, the poorest part of Libya in the south, the third region of Libya, in order to pose as the Bedouin leader once more in the desert. He has substantial support in places such as Sabha and amongst the sub Saharan migrants there and retains mercenaries there.

As with Saddam , the poorest region without the most substantial oil reserves ( in Iraq's case the sunni west of the "nation" ) has been used by Gaddafi as a counterweight to any collusion between elites in the other tow regions. Gaddafi encouraged much migration to this part of Libya.

Remember that his stint as a Pan African leader was part of his attempt to bring in more poor black Africans ( hence the fancy African dress he sported at African Union meetings ) as a way of bolstering his narrowing support base in the north as oil revenues increased.

The hubristic talk of a victory is dangerous and , if what I said is, in fact the case, then the conflict is far from over and it may be the beginning of a new stage of events potentially similar to Iraq ( though it is hoped by all sane people that it will not )

Historian Dr Mark Almond also wrote some hours later in the Daily Mail ( Mad Dog Gaddafi has nowhere left to hide as rebels enter Tripoli August 23 8.33 AM

'....the most likely option is for him to follow Saddam Hussein and try to go to ground in his own country.

Saddam was able to evade the Americans for nine months in 2003, and Libya is a much bigger country than Iraq. Gaddafi’s loyalists still control his home region around Sirte, 300 miles east of Tripoli, but also vast tracts of desert in the south where Gaddafi reportedly has bunkers filled with weapons and supplies.

For Libya’s future, the worst option is for Gaddafi to go down fighting. Even if he tries to hide, if he is cornered he will rather die to avoid humiliation by capture. Dying gun in hand could plant the seeds of a ‘heroic’ myth.

Today, Libyans revile the man who wreaked bloodshed until the end. But if things go wrong and the country disintegrates under further tribal and sectarian violence, then the madman’s sense of history could play one last cruel trick on his country.'

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