New York Times
An editorial expresses discomfort at the way the dictator died, and urges the National Transitional Council to include former Gaddafi loyalists in the new Libya.
Libyans must resist further reprisals and channel their passion into building a united, free and productive country. If not, they risk even more chaos and suffering.
Abdel Bari Atwan, editor of London-based pan-Arab newspaper Al-Quds Al-Arabi, outlines the many challenges that lie ahead — including conflict between Islamists and secular liberals, communication problems across Libya’s vast expanse, and continuing tribal loyalty to Gaddafi.
Another challenge will be how to achieve and maintain independence from foreign interference, especially given Nato’s involvement in the uprising. Libya’s oil reserves are the largest in Africa, and a tempting prize for energy-hungry world powers. Furthermore, Libya has no history of democracy and lacks even the most embryonic social institutions to administer such a system. This is not to say that it cannot meet the challenge, but simply that this is nation-building from scratch.
An editorial stresses the importance of reconciliation with tribes that remained loyal to Gaddafi until the end.
The purges after the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime swelled the ranks of insurgents on the battlefield and crippled the civilian government. That would be a similar disaster in Libya, where major tribes remained loyal to the regime. The National Transition Council has made the right statements about reconciliation and now it needs to follow through.
Regime change is the easy bit, says Peter Oborne — now is the moment of truth, with different militia groups jostling to own the revolution. He warns that Libya’s abundance of weaponry is a serious concern.
Already the armaments stockpiled by Gaddafi are pouring into neighbouring countries through Libya’s porous and unpoliced borders, a potent menace in a region already destabilised by popular revolutions and the rise of al-Qaeda through the Maghreb.
Robert Fisk highlights the hypocrisy of the west’s changing attitudes to Gaddadi.
So he is gone, the colonel who was once beloved of the Foreign Office (after the coup against King Idris), then guarded as a “safe pair of hands”, then loathed because he sent weapons to the IRA, then loved, etc, etc. Can you blame the man for thinking he was a good guy?
Cambridge lecturer Tarak Barkawi places Libya’s next chapter in the context of post-colonialism and ongoing conflict.
Like Iraq, Libya was assembled through histories of empire and its aftermath. It has been torn apart by war. Now it has lost the one thing that united much of the country: hatred of Colonel Gaddafi and his regime. Libyans are left to face the legacy of his mastery of the art of divide and rule.