It's of Libyans, by Libyans, and for Libyans...!
Mao Zeding once opined that "a revolution is not a dinner party!" Revolutions, especially the ones to achieve the lofty goals stated by President Obama, therefore, by definition, are messy and unpredictable. However some of their traits remain universal: Revolts and uprisings have as much differences as they hold in common. What sparks them as unpredicatble as what keeps them going. Once under way their proceedings acquire a life of their own. Their momentums would wax and wane until they've reached a critical level only to explode all at once. Qaddafi's refusal to let go is one of those downs that would make whatever the uprisings have achieved so far seem to constitute the initial steps toward a prolonged stalemate. Therefore Libyans must steel themelves for what to come. The road ahead is toruous, difficult, and may get bumpy.
The 'Winter of Discontent' sweeping Libya has so far one thing going for it: It's a homegrown genuine people's revolution against an atrophied tin-pot dictator. Perhaps this is one of those few times in their long-short history, when Libyans have reached a disperate level to break the barrier of their fears. Thus they got out of their hovels and shacks in mass to confront their own kith and kin. Unlike Tunisia and Egypt, which have achieved some successes by overthrowing their dictators (though the rest of the regimes still well-entrenched) Libya's dictator, Qaddafi, still refuses to budge to the will of the people. Thus Ben Ali and Mubarak 's overthrow would appear to have gone relatively smoother and faster, in the face of Qaddafi's foolishness to hold tight. 42 years of Qaddafi's planning of how to avoid getting overthrown have brought him to the current slaughter.
Why Tunisia and Egypt have behaved the way they did while Libya does not is perhaps what makes of Libya a special and unique case in the chronologies of current revolutions sweeping the Arab World. Ben Ali and Mubarak, for instance, came to power by sly intrigues while Qaddafi took it by direct assault on the old regime. While the formers have kept the states they'd found almost intact, Qaddafi went beserk and destroyed what he'd found. Thus Tunisia and Egypt have kept their neo-colonial states with modicum of their institutions, military and some civic, Qaddafi has kept only the shells after discarding their contents. Hence, the institutions, in both Tunisia and Egypt, as we've seen, have helped dampening the rage of the dictators and thus withheld some of the lethal powers of their states. Instead Qaddafi has fallen in the hole he's been digging ever since he took power! The absence of institutions in Libya has only plunged the country into this unneceassary bloodshed and loss of life and property. Thus in cornering the dictator may only add to his desperation which in turn may put the country on the road to a protracted war of wills or call it: a low level of civil war.
These dire prospects may prompt some people to call on the world community to intervene. But outside interventions are not without their problematic consequences: From the Balkans, to Iraq and Afghanistan, for not talking of Somalia and Sudan, foreign interventions, instead of ending the conflicts had worsened them further! Internationalizing the crisis risks widening the rift. And once foreing powers have put their claws on Libyan soil, Libyans will lose the say about their own country. Soon they'll find themselves under occupation! Far fetched? Don't exlcude it. For once Qaddafi is outsted will the nation-building stage start and that will take forever, if the country is ever going anywhere, given its tribal make-up. Remember 'Divide and rule' was never only a slogan! It's still the preferred and easiest tool to use by an outside power to dominate the scene, particularly in an inchaote and malleable societies as those in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya. Any outsider power will devise a strategy to put one tribe against the next, one region against the others, one notable against the rest of them, and so forth. Soon a fullblown internecine fratricides will end any hopes of settling the conflict. Just think of Iraq, Afghanistan and how long it'll take them to settle their scores, lick their pianful wounds and mend their torn social fabrics.
So while it's normal to fret and panic, the current hardships and scarifices have to be kept from getting worse. Those coordinating the uprisings have to take a deep breath and begin planning for the long haul. The next stage will be to pass from rage to responsibilty. More efforts will be needed to keep the momentum going even in the liberated areas. In the global village age whoever wins the hearts and minds of the public at large will win the contest. Whoever gets the sympathy of the mass media will dominate its airwaves. World public opinion, in normal times, may amount to not much, but in the current political crisis, as Libya's situation is, it becomes crucial. The pressure coming from the media in publicizing the regime's atrocities will further increase the isolation of the regime, and thus would trigger hopefully world governments to do their jobs by shunning the regime even further.
The battle must be directed, beyond the thugs of Qaddafi, to win the hearts and minds of Libyans. It's a war of wills against the propaganda. Never give the regime a reason to paint the revolution as the work of fifth columnists. No Chalabis, Allawis, Makkis, and the like must be emerge as the face of the revolution! Must be kept as collective as it could be. Insisting on the principle of no foreign intervention would keep the revolution patriotic and clean. And thus undermine the dictator's attempts to paint the revoltion otherwise. Moreover, it would have a better chance to persuade more folks of its cause, and hopefully, attract more people. ople to its side.