We have all seen the recent events that have unfolded in Libya these past several weeks. It is very hard to realize that a sane and competent leader has determined that it is in the best interest of his people to attack and repel the popular uprising that has swept the North Africa by storm. The only possible comparison I can draw from this is that he has taken some cues from Charlie Sheen and is trying his hardest to become a winner. No one who has been the leader of a country since 1969, which has a quite defunct civil society, an equally inept bureaucracy, high un-employment, and an economy built on a finite resource, wants to see his people being actively working to dispose him.
Muammar al-Qaddafi can now be considered much more delusional that the most extreme of Hollywood celebrities. His power is hanging by a thread that is more vulnerable than a Charlie Sheen stripper binge. His strange accusations that drugs have been put in the publics water to make them react in this manner is a very sad ploy to create some propaganda that remotely might work in his favor. His blame on Al-Qaeda stirring up trouble in Libya is another silly accusation putting blame on a group that is active in his country and throughout North Africa, but not in the capacity that would be able to turn tides of a government
The very intriguing thing about Libyan society is how it is extensively based upon the tribe. Their influence reigns supreme. This allegiance to the tribe far surpasses the loyalty to one’s country that most citizens of other countries draw allegiance to. Qaddafi understands this and has tried to incorporate tribes under his rule through a manner that grants them power positions within the military, politics, and special forces. His family has done a great job solidifying their role as having a conglomerate on Libyan political and military society. It can be said that their own allegiances ultimately lie with Muammar, however the control of their private militias in a semi-anarchic society begs the question which direction will the different members of the family choose if the situation in Libya strongly favors the opposition movement.
The most important thing that the opposition movement can do right now it to hold on to the key cities of Benghazi, Tobruk, Ras Lanuf, and Brega due to their strategic location on the coast and their oil refineries. In effect, this would be able to choke the major points of commerce that Qaddafi relies on for income. Encircling Tripoli would truly put a noose around the Qaddafi regime. I feel that the longer the opposition is able to grasp on to these key cities the greater Qaddafi will look illegitimate in the eyes of the people he currently calls allies. However, the opposition cannot do this on the weapons cache they currently have. It will be interesting to see what sort of outside influence will ally itself with the opposition movement. Qaddafi does have many enemies in the world and in the coming weeks we shall see these enemies emerge, especially if the opposition continues to make gains.
I feel the only way to really make this revolution work is to get the people involved. Qaddafi is only one man, but a unified Libya against this horrendous ruler has the ability to turn it in the direction that this 4th wave of democratization is proving to be. Samuel Huntington could have only dreamed of such rapid change.