To address some of the things I’m seeing and reading today, a sort of “history written by the victors” that is incredibly premature, a distortion of the truth that is sickening in its flag-waving nature.
1. The rebels did not “do this all themselves”. They would have been wiped out months ago if not for the intervention of NATO.
2. The Libyan War is not “over”, anymore the Iraq was over with the fall of Baghdad. Loyalist forces remain and Gaddafi has yet to be found. Many people commentating on Libya seem to be struck with “Star Wars” syndrome, in that they think wars still end with the big bad guy dead and the good guys celebrating. Real world. Things are going to get a hell of a lot messier.
3. The “naysayers” did not think Gaddafi could not be overthrown. We thought he could. We just didn’t think intervention, regardless of eventual outcome, was a good idea, for so many reasons that have not yet gone away.
4. The rebels are not your friends. You, the vast majority of you anyway, know next to nothing about the Libyan rebels, their history, their politics, their foreign affairs views, their militancy, anything. These people could start sending arms anywhere, arms that the west gave them.
5. The Libyan rebels are not creating a democratic, free Libya, and I will not consider them to be until a UN supervised election takes place.
6. To emphasise that, Libya is indeed as free as its predecessor in revolution, Egypt. That’s Egypt, the country that has yet to have elected legislature, that is under the rule of a military oligarchy, and has started saber-rattling with the only actual democracy in the Middle-East.
7. Libya is going to need western “boots on the ground”. Denying this is the epitome of idealist stupidity.
8. The myriad of examples in history – Robespierre, Lenin, Mao, Gaddafi himself – of revolutionaries who became worse than that which they overthrew is one of the saddest things about the past that people can ignore.
9. Libya isn’t done.