Libya

Gideon Rachman

With foreign intervention in Libya now formally over, after the UN vote yesterday, military strategists and diplomats are trying to make sense of the conflict. Here in Washington, there is a feeling that it was a “close run thing” (as Wellington once said of Waterloo). Military victories often take on the aura of inevitablity, after the event, but US officials are acutely aware how stretched the Nato alliance was by the Libyan war. Read more

Roula Khalaf

Muammer Gaddafi’s end was destined to be bloody. A few months ago, when the rebels were struggling and their western backers were losing patience, he could have saved his skin and that of his children and fled into exile, with the consent of his Libyan opponents and their western backers.

Even the indictment by the International Criminal Court seemed, at least for a while, open for some compromise. Read more

Gideon Rachman

Just a day after the visit to Tripoli by Nicolas Sarkozy and David Cameron, the Libyan National Transitional Council played host to another foreign leader – Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey. The Brits and the French might have regarded it as a bit cheeky of Erdogan to roll up in Tripoli to try and bask in the success of the revolution, given that the Turkish prime minister had initially opposed Nato intervention. But the Turks saw it a bit differently. Some of the papers here in Istanbul reported that the British and the French leaders had rushed to Tripoli to upstage the Turkish prime minister. Erdogan himself seemed to see things this way, remarking sniffily – “We’ll see who gets the better reception.” Read more

Libya, the eurozone, and anti-corruption in India

In this week’s podcast: Libya – a week on from the fall of Gaddafi; the eurozone and the state of play as we come out of the summer break; and, an Indian hunger striker forces parliament to support his anti-corruption crusade. Read more

Gideon Rachman

Is the world about to witness another epic manhunt? It took almost ten years to hunt down Osama bin Laden. The search for Saddam Hussein took nine months, during which the Iraqi insurrection took hold. The fear must be that if Colonel Gaddafi remains at large for too long, he too will be in a position to severely damage the new Libya. Read more

Gaddafi, gold, Gaza

In this week’s podcast: Is the conflict in Libya finally coming to an end? The world’s new craze for gold; and, Gaza, renewed violence dashes hopes for ceasefire. Read more

Gideon Rachman

Watching Oana Lungescu on the BBC’s Newsnight last night, I was grimly amused by a slip of the tongue from NATO’s spokesperson. Colonel Gaddafi, she proclaimed, was now “part of Libya’s blood-spattered future, I mean past.”

An unfortunate slip, which I will forebear from calling “Freudian”. Still, it does raise the question – is Nato close to saying “mission accomplished” in Libya; or is western involvement only just beginning? Read more

Roula Khalaf

It was six months ago to this day that Muammer Gaddafi delivered his defiant rant against a popular rebellion, vowing to hunt down his opponents in every corner, inch by inch and, famously, “zenga (alleyway) by zenga.”

So hysterical was his outburst that it inspired a “zenga zenga” auto-tune that became all the rage in the liberated east of Libya, even though it was produced by an Israeli artist.

In the end, however, it was the fractious, rag-tag army of revolutionaries he had promised to pursue who swept, from zenga to zenga, into the leader’s stronghold of Tripoli, in a lightening journey that is drawing the curtain on his 42 year rule. Read more

Norway, Gaddafi, and high speed trains in China

In this week’s podcast: Terror in Norway: a lone attack or a signal that the far right is rising? Libya – what next for Gaddafi? And, China’s ambitions for high speed rail are dealt a blow. Read more

Gideon Rachman

The idea that Colonel Gaddafi might go into “internal exile” in Libya sounds bizarre and unworkable. But I’m afraid it really is doing the rounds. And I gather it has actually been offered to Gaddafi as an option, by intermediaries, although so far he shows little sign of biting. Read more