Source / Courtesy: Guardian UK
The downfall of a dictator is always welcome. Especially welcome is the downfall of Gaddafi of Libya. He was not the worst of his genre, but for 42 years was the beneficiary of the crassest western intervention, veering between ineffective sanctions and ostracism and Tony Blair’s cringing, oil-drenched “friendship”. More welcome still would have been his downfall clearly at the hands of his own people, not courtesy of western armies.
The odds on mayhem after revolution are always high, and the pressure on those who aided revolution to forestall mayhem is intense. At the moment Libya is fit only for Churchill’s cautious remark about the same place in 1942, that the defeat of Rommel’s army was not the beginning of the end but “perhaps the end of the beginning”. The British and French governments have been accused of excessive optimism over the summer, and are wisely avoiding Bush’s “mission accomplished” boast in Iraq. Nothing is for sure until a peaceful, democratic government is in place, and that is far from being the case.