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To the Shores of Tripoli

August 22, 2011

by Andrew Parker

The capture of the capital city generally signifies the end in most traditional wars, civil or international. The Libyan opposition did just that yesterday, swiftly and surprisingly rushing in by land and sea and securing much of the Libyan capital Tripoli. Apparently however, Colonel Muammar Gadhafi refuses to give in despite this crushing blow the rebels dealt to his regime.

There is a looming danger of continued insurgency as long as he and other critical regime figures and military commanders remain out of rebel custody. How disheartening and threatening to Libyan democracy it would be for an Iraq-style wave of violence instigated by former regime entities to throw the country into disarray. And heaven forbid such a situation allowing al-Qaeda to set up bases in Libya. The opposition now has to secure the entirety of Tripoli and the vast area in the middle of the country, from the coast near Gadhaffi’s hometown of Sirte to Libya’s desert oilfields and borders. It is then important to capture Gadhafi and his sons and regime inner circle members. As I write this there are reports that Saif al-Islam Gadhafi, earlier reported captured, is in fact free in Tripoli and continues to denounce the rebels publicly.

Even with the regime’s military capability worn to near-impotence by NATO airstrikes and rebel advances, the job is clearly unfinished. I have great faith that when the regime of Col. Gadhafi is fully removed, the NTC (if not some individual rebels) can be relied upon to treat their prisoners fairly and prosecute them justly, or else turn them over to the International Criminal Court.


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