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Marwan Bishara
Marwan Bishara
Marwan Bishara is the senior political analyst at Al Jazeera.
Gaddafi has lost it ...
With his hold over Libya loosening, Muammar Gaddafi seems to have lost his mind and perhaps his nerves.
Last Modified: 23 Feb 2011 20:29
   Gaddafi has used bribes, blackmail and scare tactics, when necessary, to insure the tribes' loyalty to his regime [EPA]

The Libyan leader has lost all three pillars of his rule - tribal, military and diplomatic. Judging from his desperate speech last night, he seems to be losing his mind and perhaps his nerves.

That's why it's only a question of time for his regime to breakdown.

For the last four decades, Gaddafi has based the stability of his rule on a careful balancing act among more than 100 tribes and clans, especially the 30 influential among them, that pride themselves on playing an important role in freeing Libya from colonialism.

Gaddafi has used bribes when possible, blackmail and scare tactics when necessary, to insure the tribes' loyalty to the regime, or at least its neutrality.

However, over the last few days, one after the other, Libyan tribes have declared their opposition to the Gaddafi regime and vowed their support and allegiance to the revolution of February 17.

Diplomatic breakdown

Gaddafi has also lost his diplomatic core as the country's overseas diplomats have been quitting their jobs in protest against the violence while others have expressed outright support of the revolution.

In reality, the Libyan regime no longer has diplomatic relations with the outside world, which for all practical purposes has severed all relations with his regime.

Much of the world considers Gaddafi's regime outlawed.

Last but not the least, the Gaddafi security regime has been losing support among its armed forces as fighter jet pilots, sailors and entire military bases disobey orders and take a stand in favour of the revolution.

Gaddafi has admitted that his police force has deserted and gone home refusing to use arms against the protesters. As a result, entire cities have been liberated from the grip of the regime.

Watching Benghazi, the largest city in the east, as well as other cities, celebrate their newly gained freedom illustrates the degree to which the Libyan regime has lost influence in the country.
 
The capital, Tripoli, might still prove to be the most dangerous. An escalation in the capital where Gaddafi’s sons have concentrated their militias might lead to more bloodshed.

As Gaddafi 'loses it', diving deeper in isolation and finding no way out, he is more than capable of ordering the worst crimes.

Unless he loses the loyalty of these militias, or they are deterred from carrying his orders, the last hours and days could prove to be violent.

Having said that, like the Tunisian and Egyptian military before them, the Libyan military and militias could still prove to be more conscientious than their dictators.

Source:
Al Jazeera
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