Monday, August 22, 2011

The End Nears For Khadafi's Reign in Libya

With astonishing speed after months of fighting to a stalemate, it appears that rebel groups have taken vast portions of the Libyan capital of Tripoli and Mumar Khadafi is nowhere to be found. Reports indicate that his sons have been taken into custody. Battles rage around Khadafi's compound, and the death toll appears to be over 1,300 in recent days as the sides fight towards a bitter conclusion.

Dictators always believe that they're in control, up until the moment they're not. They never quite realize that their perch in power is precarious; someone could sell them out (coup d'etat), they could buy the farm in an airstrike or bombing, or any number of other events that are beyond their control. Khadafi has resisted calls for a peaceful transfer of power, or finding a safe haven in exile.

Instead of stepping down of his own accord and retiring to a peaceful compound surrounded by his female Praetorian guard in some cozy secluded island retreat, he decided to slug it out with anyone and everyone because his ego really is that big. Thousands died because he sought to maintain a firm grip on power, instead of relenting to the people who had finally had enough of Khadafi's reign after coming to power in a coup d'etat 42 years ago.

So now, Khadafi may find out what it's like to be strung up from a lamppost, or tried before a court for all of his crimes against the Libyan people, or may end up getting caught in a rat hole like another rabid dog.

You see, dictators never think it's going to happen to them. It's always going to be the other dumb dictator who doesn't quite play by the Dictator's playbook.

And that should be a lesson to Bashar Assad, but Assad is already claiming that this would never happen to him. Assad has already issued statements showing that he has no fear that such a civil war or revolution could happen to him. Here's hoping that he's sorely mistaken in that conviction.

What does this mean for the rest of the world? Well, some people think that this may lead to a reduction in oil prices as the reliable supply of oil can increase due to the end of another conflict in an oil-rich region. It would probably take some time before the oil flows smoothly from Libya, but expect to see downward pressure on oil prices in the coming days as the situation in Libya sorts itself out:

Sky News reporters managed to scoop the international press
by embedding with rebel groups as they advanced on Tripoli as the rest of the press was stuck in one of the hotels surrounded by government troops.

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