Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Libya is no Iraq – this revolution is the real deal

Far from being on the brink of another quagmire, if left to it Libya is well placed to be the most successful of the Arab uprisings

Mohamed Salem
(A British-Libyan journalist), Wednesday 24 August 2011

"....There are no sectarian, ethnic or ideological cleavages to be exploited to foment unrest and violence. The onus is now on the Libyan people to show restraint and respect for the rule of law in dealing with regime officials and soldiers, and to refrain from vigilantism and retributive justice. From what I've seen, Libya is a country tired of conflict and wants to return to normalcy as soon as possible. The opposition fighters, too, are aware that a cycle of retribution will serve nobody and risks unravelling their hard-fought gains....

The National Transitional Council and the local military and civilian councils, which have been set up in each free Libyan locale, provide a ready-made, representative and competent transitional body to smooth things over until election time. It is exactly the type of unifying body the Syrian and Yemeni opposition aspire to have. Those still maintaining that the west does not know "who the rebels are" have simply not been paying attention.

So, far from being on the brink of another quagmire, Libya is in fact in pole position compared with other countries in the region. When frozen assets are released and the oil starts pumping again, Libya will find itself in an enviable situation economically. Politically and socially, the routing of the old regime will ensure that a free Libya will begin its new era with a completely clean slate.

While in Tunisia and Egypt the tentacles of the old elite continue to stifle real change
, Libya offers the opportunity to build from scratch, from a new constitution down to redrawing oil and construction contracts. The only thing Libyans ask is to let us be."

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