From news reports:
Muammar Gaddafi, who for decades enjoyed strutting before the public in his finery, has disappeared from the stage as rebels take over his former stronghold Tripoli.
The rebels want to get their hands on him and so does the International Criminal Court. But they must find him first.
Gaddafi has not been seen in public since mid-June. His foes speculate he may not be in the Libyan capital or even in the country. As rebel fortunes have risen, his long televised speeches at boisterous public meetings have given way to scratchy telephone appeals from unknown hideouts.
Libyan rebels claimed to be in control of most of the Libyan capital on Monday after their lightning advance on Tripoli heralded the fall of Moammar Gadhafi’s nearly 42-year regime. Scattered battles erupted, and the mercurial leader’s whereabouts remained unknown.
The international community called on Gadhafi to step down and moved ahead with post-war planning as euphoric residents celebrated in the Green Square, the symbolic heart of the Gadhafi regime. Colleagues warned he wouldn’t go easily. Two of his sons were captured late Sunday.
Muammar Gaddafi’s former right-hand man Abdel Salam Jalloud, who has defected to the Libyan rebel side, said on Sunday Gaddafi would be toppled within 10 days.
Speaking on Italy’s Rai News, Jalloud said Gaddafi’s rule was “certainly” about to end and would be over “within a week, at the latest 10 days, maybe even less.”
Libyan rebels battled their way toward Tripoli on Sunday to help fighters inside the city who rose up overnight. Gaddafi has described the insurgents as “rats.
Jalloud said in the televised interview he did not expect Gaddafi to flee to another country because all roads out of Tripoli were blocked.
He doubted that Gaddafi would surrender or commit suicide, but said “the way the situation is evolving, he won’t be able to survive.”
Libyan government spokesman Mussa Ibrahim said on Sunday that 1,300 people have been killed in a rebel assault on the capital, describing the fighting as a “real tragedy.””In 24 hours, 1,300 people have been killed in Tripoli,” Ibrahim told a press conference in Tripoli, updating an earlier toll given by a government official.
Ibrahim insisted Libya’s regime “is still strong and thousands of volunteers and soldiers are ready to fight.”
The rebels, who said Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi’s regime would fall within hours, were locked in battle with his forces in several districts of the capital late on Sunday.
A top State Department diplomat says “it’s only a matter of time now” before besieged Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi has to step down.
Assistant Secretary of State Jeffrey Feltman says “I think what’s clear is that the rebels are winning.” He says U.S. officials don’t know Gadhafi’s whereabouts.
Interviewed on ABC’s “Good Morning America” Monday from Cairo, Feltman says “the rebels are clearly taking over the city. They are clearly taking over the institutions.” He says American officials have been told the rebels have seized control of Libya’s state television.
Asked whether he believes the al Qaida terrorist network will gain new footing in Libya, Feltman says the first step in a post-Gadhafi setting is “trying to prevent some kind of cycle where people act out their own retributions,” as happened when Saddam Hussein fell in Iraq.
Power loves a vacuum.
These revolutions may produce a worse regime than the last. Besides, it’s not in the nature of muslims to encourage democracy. Whatever change they bring, consider that it’s a region of the world dominated by muslim zealots, clerics in particular, who preach hate and terrorism in the name of allah. Islamic nation-states have no concept of real freedom. They’ve been ruled by dictators and Sharia Law for hundreds of years. Women, Christians, Jews, and ‘unbelievers’ aren’t usually treated very well.
As bad as it is, it can get worse. The biggest mistake we made in Afghanistan during the Soviet invasion, was training and helping the Taliban, and walking away; leaving the power vacuum wide open for the hardline assholes to come in and subjugate the country. The same mistake was made in Iran. Carter refused to back the Shah; the Ayatollahs came in and installed a violent Islamic theocracy.
The Al Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood, and other terrorist organizations are going to take advantage of all this chaos. You can bet on it. If we’re going to support the overthrow of these regimes, be prepared to deal with the aftermath.