The military balance of Libya’s domestic conflict is raising debate about external intervention, says Professor Paul Rogers. But the strategy of the Gaddafi regime is also crucial to what happens next. If a long conflict follows, the resulting costs will be measured in human lives; but also in the prospects for deepening the 'Arab spring' that first bloomed in Tunisia and Egypt, the countries on either side of Libya.
When the late Professor Fred Halliday made the case that the London School of Economics should not accept a £1.5 million Qaddafi Foundation grant, his expert and political/moral opinion was met with an air of polite condescension from on high. The 'realists' of course knew best. Except that now they realise they didn't.
While the Middle East uprisings have not revolved around religion, faith has not been absent from Arab scenes of protest in the last two months, says Shatha Almutawa. God and scripture are invoked by revolutionaries and those who oppose them for the simple reason that Arab dialects and ways of life are infused with religion.