Saturday, October 22, 2011
Libya faces to many challenges to count, a divided population, diverse political & religious groups. what little government they have is stepping down. I can't say I blame the NTC, better to be remembered as a hero of the revolution than the people who failed in making a proper transition to a stable government.
The west needs to offer aid (with a set timeline) and political advice. Telling the Libyans that the aid runs out at X time means they need to get their house in order quickly, so we don't have a long drawn out bickering session like Iraq that paralysed their government for months.
Some of the strength that the Libyans have is a high literacy rate, a fairly intact oil system and civil infrastructure. what they need is to call back the bureaucrats to get things running and then weed out the hardcore and forgive the low ranking regime supporters who don't have blood on their hands.
The cons facing them are many well armed and experienced armed groups, some of them with fundamental Islamic religious views who will not be keen to allow a secular state to form. Also the various tribes will be jostling for positions. Not so much an issue in the cites, but they will play a big role in the rural areas.
What happens next set the stage for the next generation of Libyans, they have the opportunity to succeed or fail utterly like the Iranian revolution. the West has won a fair bit of goodwill on the street with our support of the rebels, while we want to support a secular government there, we have to avoid meddling to much with their internal politics. what comes next is not likely to be clean and pretty, the next 6 months bears watching. I really hope they can achieve a better place, but I have my fears.