By Dr. Chuck Missler
"NATO wants the Libyan people to be able to decide their future in freedom and in peace. Today, they can start building that future." - NATO leader Anders Fogh RasmussenWomen shouted, "We are free!" in Tripoli Tuesday after breaking their day's Ramadan fast. The hunt is still on for Moammar Gaddafi as rebel troops take charge in Tripoli. NATO considers the raid of Libya's capital a victory for opposition forces and NATO strategy. While rejoicing is heard in Libya, however, the country faces an uncertain future.
The rebel army drove toward Gaddafi's compound in Tripoli on Tuesday, the smoke from bombs blowing over the capital. RAF jets used 500 lb Paveway bombs to blast the walls and control towers of the compound. Tunnels rumored to radiate from the barracks may have provided an escape route for Gaddafi; some are said to extend the entire 20 miles to the sea. If NATO were to bomb these tunnels as they stretch under the city, however, they could inadvertently kill civilians and rebels. Even then, NATO does not necessarily want to assassinate Gaddafi. Opponents are keen on finding the tyrant and bringing him to trial.
Rebel forces are thrilled to have taken the city, tearing apart posters of their former dictator along with statues and monuments connected to the fallen regime.
Now on the run, Gaddafi has remained defiant, declaring that he will fight to the death or to victory.
It appears the loyalist forces have been almost entirely scattered. Gaddafi's men in Bab al-Azizya were overwhelmed and even his personal quarters were searched. Gaddafi and his sons are gone. There was concern that Gaddafi would try to create chaos inside Tripoli, dividing it up into rival militia zones like in Beirut during the Lebanese civil war, yet there seems very little chance he'll have power to do anything at this point.
A Hazy Future
The rebel-led National Transitional Council is in charge in Tripoli for the moment, and it remains to be seen whether this group of rebels can form a stable government in the torn country. Libyan rebel leader Mahmoud Jibril is planning to meet with French President Nicolas Sarkozy in Paris on Wednesday. The rebels have demonstrated that they are more than angry thugs, but have even produced a draft for the transitional government's constitution.
The big issue is whether the council will set up a state based on Sharia law and attempt to impose radical Islam on the people of Libya. Libya is 97 percent Sunni Muslim.
There are significant aspects of the draft that demonstrate an interest in freedom and personal rights. A multi-party political system is encouraged. The people are not to be discriminated against based on race or religion. The draft states,
"Libyans shall be equal before the law. They shall enjoy equal civil and political rights...without discrimination due to religion, belief, race, language, wealth, kinship or political opinions or social status."The draft promotes freedom of the press and offers protections against illegal searches and seizures.
There is also a clause that the State "shall guarantee for woman all opportunities which shall allow her to participate entirely and actively in political, economic and social spheres." These are encouraging sentiments in favor of freedom.
At the same time, the draft constitution does say that Sharia law will be the "principle source" of Libya's legislation. Time will tell how the law actually plays out in the new Libya.
Nigeria on Tuesday declared that it recognized the council as "the legitimate representative of the Libyan people," as Viola Onwuliri, Nigeria’s minister of state for foreign affairs, told reporters. However, Nigeria broke from the rest of the African Union in doing so. South Africa, the AU's largest economy, is still looking for the insurgents to engage in dialogue with the Gaddafi government.
There is no certainty in Libya right now. The rebels are united at the moment because they want to end the rule of a despot. Once Gaddafi is gone, they could easily break into factions and turn on each other. Just because one tyrant is on his way out does not guarantee that the next leader(s) of Libya will be just or competent. There is no guarantee that the Libyan people will truly get a voice, nor that they will know how to use freedom if it is miraculously handed to them. Libya may be gazing ahead at a bright new era of peace and the rule of law, or it may be in the process of flinging out the charred cast iron pot just to get an equally dark series of black kettles.
Senator John McCain expressed concern Tuesday. He told CNN's Wolf Blitzer,
"I worry about the different tribes, I worry about . . . weapons of mass destruction, I worry about the prisons — I hope we can secure them soon, because there’s hundreds, if not thousands, of political prisoners."McCain went on to say,
"I appreciate the National Transition Council’s message on reconciliation and national unity - there’s a lot of bad blood there - and let’s hope that the people will restrain themselves and recognize that a bloodbath is not in anyone’s interest."After years and years of tyranny, the people of Libya are hoping for a breath of fresh air. May the debris smoke wafting out of the rubble clear away and not end up choking those currently filled with hope.
Bible Prophecy and the Future of Libya - BPB (Joel C. Rosenberg)
Qaddafi flees Tripoli with family. Guerrilla and/or tribal warfare feared next - DEBKAfile
Who controls Libya's deadliest weapons? - AP
Planning for Libya's transition shifts into high gear - Christian Science Monitor
New Constitution for Libya to Enforce Sharia Law? - Christian Post