North Korea

North Korea
The always bombastic and unpredictable North Koreans go hysterical again. This time the country is prepared to "go to war" with South Korea because that country is playing loudspeakers directed at North Korean territory. A headline from a UK paper reads, "More than 50 North Korea submarines 'leave their bases' as war talks with South continue "

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Rebels enter Libya's capital city - how will this end?

In a sudden change in direction and tempo, Libyan rebels who had been making slow but significant advances in the past two weeks (with the continued aid of NATO airstrikes), have apparently entered Tripoli in force on Sunday. Two of Gaddafi's sons have been arrested, including his heir apparent Seif al-Islam. And while there are likely thousands of hard core supporters of the dictator remaining, many others are sliding away, or surrendering.

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Tripoli, Libya's capital city is Gaddafi's remaining stronghold, after losing nearly all of the country by Saturday, August 20

Gaddafi's spokesperson came out to reporters on Saturday, saying it was time for negotiations, an indicator that the regime was rapidly running out of options. So, it appears that an end game is in sight for Gaddafi.

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Rebel fighters drive from Zawiyeh, a city to the west of the capital with a major oil refinery, towards Tripoli on Saturday, after successfully gaining control

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There was joy and celebration in Tripoli Sunday evening. The whereabouts of Gaddafi is not clear.

How the "end" plays out in the next week will say much about the rebels, and the future of rebuilding a country so long under the control of the whims of the Colonel. Will there be bloodletting and ransacking, or will a discipline among the fighters be evident, with a look to the future. As we have seen in the Ivory Coast dispute of a few months ago, last minute reprisals and looting did not provide a strong platform for the more difficult and fundamental transition to building a society with a different focus.


Sarah said...

So amazing to watch this happening (and elsewhere in the region). And then there's the uncertainty about what the people in these countries are now heading into... Hopefully something much better.

Teatree said...

A succinct observation from the R-squared Energy blog on why the world has focused on Libya (as opposed to Yemen or Syria)..
"Muammar Gadhaffi’s 42 year-old regime is in its death rattle – maybe today, maybe tomorrow, his administration that has ruled Libya with a quixotic and brutal hand is about to pass, in Trotsky’s piquant phrase, “into the dustbin of history,” prompting the question “what next?”

The glittering prize is Libya’s 1.6 million barrels per day output of high quality crude, which accounted for about 2 percent of global oil output drawn from Africa’s largest oil reserves, whose exports have been stymied since the NATO-led campaign began six months ago. Projecting into the future, analysts believe that has reserves to sustain its previous level of production for 80 years.

Who will eventually control this asset, with oil prices currently at roughly $84 a barrel, generating an income of more than $12.6 million per day?

Italy’s ENI?

France’s Total?

Britain’s BP?

U.S. companies?

Or, will China add Libyan future production to its string of acquisitions, as it is already China’s eleventh largest source of imports?