Monday, August 22, 2011

'Manufacture an illusion & an Arab will surely buy & sell it!'

"...Regardless of the eccentricities of its leader, and despite the corruption and the secret police, Gaddafi's Libya also had most of the apparatus for government that would be found in a "normal" country. The need here is to heed the lessons of Iraq and not dismantle it at a stroke and then start again from scratch but to take control of it and reform where necessary.
Libya also has a couple of advantages over its revolutionary forerunners, Tunisia and Egypt, which could prove important in the immediate aftermath.
The first is that it has a substantial economic cushion: large oil revenues, a small population (6.5m) and $70bn in its sovereign wealth fund. Unlike Tunisia and Egypt, its tourism potential – Mediterranean beaches and spectacular historical sites – is virtually untapped, so there is room for some relatively easy growth, especially if exiled Libyans start returning in large numbers...
Libya's other advantage, noted by Tom Gara in a blog post for the Financial Times, is the defeat of Gaddafi's security forces.
"The backing of Nato air strikes means the physical infrastructure of the regime, from intelligence offices to security headquarters and military equipment, has been severely downgraded to the point of collapse," he wrote...
Exactly what this means for Libya is still unclear, but we have only to look at Tunisia and Egypt to see its potential importance. In Egypt, where the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces took charge after Mubarak's fall, and to some extent in Tunisia too, the survival of unreconstructed security forces is proving a barrier to political change.
The difference in Libya is that the destruction of Gaddafi's army does at least open up the possibility of politicians (mostly, former Qaddafi yes-men!) rather than the military, gaining the upper hand. ..."

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