The PJ Tatler

Gaddafi's End? (Updates: Gaddafi's Sons Detained)

There have been reports that Muammar is already dead, but they’re unconfirmed. It does look like his defenses have collapsed.

Euphoric Libyan rebels raced into the capital Tripoli on Sunday and moved close to center with little resistance as Moammar Gadhafi’s defenses collapsed and his regime appeared to be crumbling fast.

Associated Press reporters with the rebels said they moved easily from the western outskirts into the regime stronghold in a dramatic turning of the tides in the 6-month-old Libyan civil war. A rebel leader said the unit in charge of protecting Gadhafi and Tripoli had surrendered and joined the revolt, allowing the opposition force to move in freely.

“They will enter Green Square tonight, God willing,” said Mohammed al-Zawi, a 30-year-old rebel who entered Tripoli. Green Square has been the site of night rallies by Gadhafi supporters throughout the uprising.

When the end finally comes, we’ll need a Hitler Downfall video to commemorate the demise of one of recent history’s longest-ruling, bloodiest, and most bizarre dictators. The world won’t mourn him for a second.

The question is, what happens after he’s gone? Obama has blamed his own terrible economic performance in part on the disruption of oil supplies that followed the Arab Spring, and there’s little reason to think that removing Gaddafi gets the spigot turned back on right away. For one thing, it’s not clear just which rebel faction is taking Tripoli. And it’s not clear that any rebel faction will have a strong enough hand to rule the whole country. And depending on which rebels rule where, there is likely to be an Islamist contingent gaining at least some power. So we may see one devil replace another in Libya, or a collapse of Libya as a nation-state, or…well, write your own outcome. It’s as likely to become reality as anyone else’s.

Update: The rebels, whoever they are, own Green Square in Tripoli now, and the International Criminal Court has confirmed that one of Gaddafi’s sons has been detained. No firm word on Gaddafi’s whereabouts yet.

Update: Both of Gaddafi’s sons are in rebel hands, but Gaddafi’s whereabouts remain unknown.