As we seem to now be in something the President will not dare call a "war" with Libya, I thought I might, perhaps, comment on the recent turn of events. Frankly, I am not optimistic. These days any royal restoration will be a long-shot but, while I may have been slightly optimistic at the outset I am much less so now. The rebellion did start in the area with the strongest Senussi support, the royal flag did reappear and rebels were holding pictures of King Idris -all very good signs. They were advancing constantly and seemed on the brink of taking Tripoli and toppling the illegitimate Qaddahfi regime. However, they were then beaten back, almost to where they started from, before the international community could stir itself to get involved -and then only in half-measures.
Had the rebels been able to rush to success quickly and on their own I think there might have been at least a fair chance of a restoration. However, as that did not happen, various disreputable groups have now attached themselves to the rebel cause and the UN and NATO have gotten involved. There is always hope, and even if there is only the slightest chance of a restoration under the rebels that will still be more of a chance than existed under Qaddafhi -a man who betrayed his monarch and who cannot meet a sorry end fast enough for me. However, whenever the UN, the USA, France & sadly the UK get involved what hope I had for a royal restoration mostly evaporated. It does not help my opinion that the leading 'hawk' on this issue for the USA is Secretary of State Hillary Clinton whose husband's administration famously said on the issue of Eastern Europe, "We don't do kings".
Some UN-lovers out there (why they would be reading this blog I don't know) might point to the case of Cambodia but that was a totally different kettle of fish from Libya. In that case you had a former monarch still alive and engaged in the process and one who had clearly shown a talent for survival few politicians could ever match. You also had a country where the monarchy had been long established before the communist takeover whereas in Libya the monarchy barely had a chance to firmly establish itself between the time that the Allies ripped Libya away from the Italians and when the treasonous Colonel Qaddafhi overthrew his lawful king. To reiterate, I continue to hope for the Colonel to meet an ugly demise, however, I am much less optimistic than I ever was for the succeeding regime to be much better. Some would surely cry "imperialism" if ground troops are deployed but, frankly, I have never considered that a bad word and Libya would probably be better off if that were actually the case -but it is not. Unfortunately, with Obama and the European ruling clique in charge of things I cannot realistically see much improvement on the horizon for Libya other than the possibility of being rid of the bizarre, butcherous presence of Qaddafhi.
At least Switzerland will finally be able to sleep soundly once again...