Thursday, June 30, 2011

Libyan oppositon leader: Rebels need weapons

Why we cannot simply dismantle Gaddafi’s regime

Replacing the entire architecture of the Libyan state will lead only to further violence and chaos, argues George Grant.

Why we need Gaddafi’s regime in a post-Gaddafi Libya; Libyans celebrate in Benghazi after receiving the news of the ICC warrant; AP
Libyans celebrate in Benghazi after receiving the news of the ICC warrant Photo: AP
For 42 years, the regime of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi terrorised, oppressed and divided the Libyan people. When anti-regime protests flared up on February 17, the reaction was predictable enough: bloody slaughter.
Gaddafi said he wanted to “cleanse Libya house by house”. Using regime security forces, he started doing just that. Whatever the lunatic fringe from Stop the War Coalition would have you believe, it was the international intervention, led by Britain and France, which put a stop to this. Since then, Prime Minister David Cameron and other world leaders have been categorical in their assertions that Colonel Gaddafi must go.
So what to make of yesterday’s comments by our International Development Secretary, Andrew Mitchell, about the importance of incorporating as much of the existing regime architecture as possible into any post-Gaddafi settlement?
“One of the first things that should happen once Tripoli falls is that someone should get on the phone to the former Tripoli chief of police and tell him he’s got a job and he needs to ensure the safety and security of the people of Tripoli,” he said at a news conference on June 28.
Controversial stuff. But the fact is that Mr Mitchell is absolutely spot on, and his comments are to be warmly welcomed. For the success both of the current campaign to protect civilians and remove Gaddafi, and for the security and prosperity of any post-Gaddafi Libya, encouraging regime figures that they can have an important part to play will be absolutely

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