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Insanity in Libya - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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What is happening in Libya today, with the state-sponsored violence, is madness in the very sense of the word. The scale of violence the state is using to suppress the demonstrators has reached the point to suggest that the regime is willing to destroy the whole country in order to remain in power, where Colonel Gaddafi has ruled for 42 years.

What is happening in Libya suggests that the regime has come to an end, both internally and externally. Internally, it ended with the magnitude of violence carried out against its own citizens, using weapons and live ammunition of all kinds. According to Al-Jazeera, the regime used fighter jets to strike certain areas of Tripoli. Here we see divisions in the ranks of the Libyan army, and the resignations of Libyan ministers and ambassadors around the world. Here we see Libya’s deputy ambassador to the United Nations [Ibrahim Omar Al Dabashi], demanding Gaddafi step down. No one dares remain affiliated with a regime that uses such horrific violence against its unarmed populace. There are tribes in Libya rebelling against the regime, and this is very important, and of course has implications. Libyan cities are falling one after the other, at the hands of anti-government protestors.

Externally, we see the countries of the world condemning the violence used by the Libyan regime, against its own people. Some were surprised by the American statement, which said that Washington was still considering “all appropriate actions”. The only plausible analysis is that the Obama administration today has proved the weakness of its strategy, regarding what is happening in the Arab region. Of course there is concern about the coming days, the future of the region as a whole, and its future policies. The international community senses the gravity of the situation today, and the possibility that the Libyan regime will fall. Western countries have begun to withdraw their citizens from Libya, for what is happening there now is impossible for the international community to overcome.

All of the above suggests that there is only a small possibility of the Libyan regime remaining in power. It is teetering severely, and the ground beneath it is shaking violently. Foreign circles consider the regime to be all but over, especially as the British Foreign Minister yesterday cited information indicating that Colonel Muammar Gaddafi was on his way to Venezuela, despite Venezuelan officials denying such reports. This may mean that Colonel Gaddafi is seeking refuge, especially as another significant event indicated the imminent fall of the regime. Saif al-Islam Gaddafi came out the day before yesterday, issuing a lengthy speech that threatened the Libyans, yet the following day he went on to declare the formation of a fact-finding committee; a clear indication of the decline of the Libyan ruling system. This scenario will be familiar to any observer, after what happened in Tunisia and Egypt, where late responses [to the demands of the people] were a crucial indicator of the imminent collapse of those regimes.

Therefore the fall of the Libyan regime has become a probability. If the regime remains in power, then its existence will be very difficult. However, the fear today, for everyone, is the increasing death toll amongst the innocent and defenseless citizens. With the magnitude of weapons available to the Libyan regime, which has shown it will not hesitate to use against unarmed citizens, the death toll is increasing in a terrifying manner.

Therefore, we can do nothing but say: May God protect and help the unarmed citizens of Libya.

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat. Mr. Alhomyed has been a guest analyst and commentator on numerous news and current affair programs, and during his distinguished career has held numerous positions at Asharq Al-Awsat, amongst other newspapers. Notably, he was the first journalist to interview Osama Bin Ladin's mother. Mr. Alhomayed holds a bachelor's degree in media studies from King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah. He is based in London.

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