A Few Caveats About Qaddafi and Libya

Muammar Qaddafi’s rule, which began nearly 42 years ago, appears to be in its death throes. Rebels have entered Tripoli, and if news accounts are to be believed, the regime’s defenders are collapsing faster than anyone expected. The “ring of steel” Qaddafi had supposedly erected around his capital proved as formidable as all the defenses Saddam Hussein had boasted would keep Baghdad safe from an American-led invasion in 2003. This is hardly surprising: Regimes like Qaddafi’s or Saddam’s depend on fear to survive. They have little love or loyalty to call upon. Once the veil of fear protecting the regime is pierced–once it appears its enemies are ascendant–dictators like Qaddafi and Saddam discover how few real friends they actually have.

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A Few Caveats About Qaddafi and Libya

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