Who did NATO help, the rebels, certain branches of power, or the people of Libya??
Members of the Libyan Transitional Council left Benghazi last night for Tripoli. The capital is mostly in rebel hands, according to news last night and this morning. The fight is still on for Gaddafi’s headquarters. Two of his sons, including Saif al-Islam, who was considered to be his successor, have been arrested. It looks as if a clear preliminary decision has been made in the Libyan civil war (final battle in Libya), but it is not possible to speak of clear negotiations.
Whether Muammar Gaddafi is still in his Bab al-Azizia residence in Tripoli is just one of the many question marks surrounding the rebels’ "rebel triumph" associated with the rebel triumph. A tape recording of Gaddafi’s last speech may suggest that this is the case. In it, the ruler abruptly interrupts his speech, and a battle alert can be heard in the background, which coincides with news reports of firefights at the building complex. However, there are also rumors that the ruler is on the run.
How rough the rebels’ control of the capital actually turns out to be is not entirely clear at the moment. In many media the takeover of the "Green Square" pushed to the forefront by the rebels as a telling symbol. However, most reports also speak of "Resistance nests", which are said to still exist frequently in the city.
There are also reports of firefights at the Rixos Hotel, where many foreign journalists are housed. According to the Qatari television station al-Jazeera, whose reporting often reveals sympathy with Gadhafi’s opponents, the military in Gadhafi’s service now controls only 20 percent of the city. It is likely that the fighting in Tripoli will continue for several more days.
"The rebels certainly have our phone number"
But it is also conceivable that the resistance will be less than feared. Already the rebel invasion turned out to be easier than expected – at least according to the reports spread by the mainstream media. More detailed information will probably only come to light in the next few days. The tenor of the reports so far suggests that the NATO operation has decisively paved the way for the rebels to enter Tripoli, as is clearly revealed in a New York Times report.
The report attributes the turnaround in the war to two key factors: first, better coordination between the NATO air force and the rebels;
The rebels certainly have our phone number," the diplomat said. "We have a much better picture of what’s happening on the ground.
The fact that the military skills of the amateur soldiers have changed in recent weeks, which is also mentioned, could be compared to the improved target selection, to which also specialists of the federated forces have contributed (a kind of "hidden ground troops"), may have played the smaller role, as it is also pointed out in the article:
The rebels, while ill-trained and poorly organized even now, made the most of NATO’s direct and indirect support, becoming more effective in selecting targets and transmitting their location, using technology provided by individual NATO allies, to NATO’s targeting team in Italy.
As critics often complain, this casts the NATO mission in a questionable light, since it was clearly a party to the war, which is only partly consistent with the underlying UN mandate. The argument goes in a roundabout way: The protection of the civilian population, according to the UN mandate, could only be achieved by completely eliminating Gaddafi’s firepower. The very fact that Gaddafi’s operations were apparently coordinated with the enemy does not fit into the image of a neutral peacekeeping mission, under the trivialized formulation of the establishment of a no-fly zone, without a rough crunch.
This may have consequences for future NATO operations and its credibility as a party implementing UN resolutions. Statements from other countries, such as Africa, show that other perspectives on the balance of power in Libya were possible NATO’s partisanship may also have implications for Libya’s future.
And the Libyan people?
It is not yet clear what the post-Gaddafi balance of power will look like, but NATO has already sided with the transitional council. How will Nato and the government of the country behave in the future?. The behavior of their leaders if the civil war in Libya continues, if the united front against Gaddafi dissolves and factions form, including in the Transitional Council, and the conflicts are fought out with armed force?
According to Juan Cole, one of the most outspoken critics of U.S. Military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, but who has been an outspoken supporter of NATO’s military intervention in Libya from the beginning, the success of the rebels in Tripoli is not only due to NATO, but rather to the support of the rebels by broad sections of the population in the capital as well – made possible, however, by the military elimination of the fighting power of Gaddafi’s troops:
The secret of the uprising’s final days of success lay in a popular revolt in the working-class districts of the capital, which did most of the hard work of throwing off the rule of secret police and military cliques.
The Transitional Council now calls on the people to remain calm and prudent in order to avoid chaotic conditions. If this is implemented, it will support Cole’s repeated view that the uprising in Libya is supported by large segments of the population.
It will be interesting to see how NATO and the leading nations behave in the near future. According to skeptics, they are pursuing an agenda there (Back from Tripoli with a suitcase full of money); it is likely that Libyan oil resources, which strongly influenced Western policy toward Gaddafi, also played a role in the intervention. Weapons dealers were also pleased to see pictures of successful deployment of weapon systems in war practice.