Sunday, August 21, 2011


So, it's pretty clear that the Gadhafi regime has fallen or least is very near falling tonight in Libya. That makes this a truly wonderful day. There is little that makes me happier than seeing disgraced dictators and happy revolutionaries. It'll be interesting to see what happens next. It seems reports of his capture were premature, but I can't imagine it can be that far off. After the shit he's pulled in the past few months, no one is going to give him exile. If Gadhafi is still in Tripoli, it seems unlikely that he'll be able to get out. It seems that the rebels are aware of the International Criminal Court and I don't think it's their leadership's intention to kill him on the spot.

I think this is another example of how important the consent of the governed is for any government. Despots get that by making their subjects hopeless. In reality, a ruler like Gadhafi's control is very hallow. A tough facade that collapses when someone pushes back. Mubarak and Gadhafi acted tough until their ouster, but they had lost as soon as their people fought back and Al-Assad will meet the same fate. All it took was a little spark from Tunisia to break the hopelessness that dictators rely on.

The hard part of revolution isn't necessarily the overthrow though. The overthrow is able to temporarily unite factions, but it also has the side-effect of arming them. Armed factions can make creating a new government difficult. It can easily devolve into civil war. Even in Egypt where the revolution was mostly peaceful, there is major strife in their attempts to create a new government.

I really want to say something about the NATO airstrikes as well. I'm rather annoyed with the way our media is using them as a way to diminish the significance of what the Libyan rebels have done. Yes, they helped out a lot, but our democracies ought to help freedom fighters who need it. It doesn't matter whether or not the rebels would've been strong enough to win without support, because the important thing is that a despot is out of power.

Thanks for reading


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