As Libya’s rebels increasingly reveal themselves to be anything but liberal democrats and the Western stomach for war sours, pressure on Gadhafi could be waning.
Bernard-Henri Lévy and others with no stake or chance of injury in the Libyan civil war continue to stoke the fires of conflict in op-eds, but the philosopher’s government, in the lead in cheerleading for war, is now negotiating with the Gadhafi regime. French and American officials now say it would be possible for Gadhafi to remain in Libya, as long as he is not in power. This comes after it was revealed the US has been in secret negotiations with the Libyan dictator, just days after recognizing the rebels as the legitimate government.
The rebels and the regime are currently locked in battle for the port town of Brega, with rebels alternately claiming control and being driven back to the outskirts. The “days not weeks” conflict has drawn out longer than originally thought.
And as the war drags on, the atrocities mount. A mass grave, filled with bodies dressed in the green uniform of Gadhafi’s regime, was recently discovered by the UK Telegraph at one of the conflict’s front lines. One was headless. The site has since been bulldozed and the rebel leadership is quashing the newspaper’s attempts to investigate further; tellingly, there was none of the typical call for the media to witness Gadhafi’s crimes.
Rights groups are documenting cases of extrajudicial killing by the rebels, and journalists are banned from certain areas. Last week it was reported some rebels are beating civilians and looting in recently overrun towns.
If the new boss is looking a lot like the old boss, it might be because many of the new bosses had been the old boss’ henchmen for the last four decades.