Gaddafi’s regime is collapsing
So says (the so-called liberal blogger) Juan Cole:
Libyan Oil Minister Shukri Ghanem has defected from the Qaddafi regime and fled to Tunisia.
This defection is a big deal. Ghanem had been at OPEC when Libya was under economic sanctions, and his return to Libya as prime minister and head of the ruling party in 2003 was intended to signal Muammar Qaddafi’s return to respectability in the international community. Ghanem became the face of the reformed Libya, which had given up its dabbling in chemical and other weapons and was willing to privatize its state sector industries and do big deals with Western oil companies. He staunchly defended Qaddafi, going so far as to, in a 2004 BBC interview, deny the regime’s responsibility for the Lockerbie bombing. Ghanem late became head of the powerful oil ministry. If Qaddafi cannot retain Ghanem, he cannot retain his technocratic elite in general. It is another sign that the regime is collapsing.
And so it seems that the ICC has some influence: not because it has any teeth, but because henchmen of dictatorial regimes are unwilling to run the risk (no matter how small) of being prosecuted.
Cole also explains that one of Gaddafi’s major problems is the fact that no other country in the region is willing to offer him shelter. Most disposed dictators flee to Saudi Arabia, but Gaddafi has alienated the Saudis to such a degree that he has no chance whatsoever of being invited to the kingdom.
In the meantime nobody knows who will succeed Gaddafi if his regime does indeed collapse.
Here’s my solution: install a (former) ally of Gaddafi as the country’s new president. Let him take charge. I don’t see any other way to prevent Al Qaeda or other radical groups from taking over.