As Libyan rebel forces occupy the capital at Tripoli, it’s natural to wonder whether the presumed ousting of Moamar Qaddafi will lead to something even more insidious than his tyrannical regime.
It’s a distinct possibility, but perhaps not for the reasons you expect.
Unlike in Egypt, where it’s likely that coming elections will usher in rule by members of the radical Muslim Brotherhood, it appears that dangerous Islamists have managed only a relatively small showing in Libya. That may change, but for now this looks like good news.
That doesn’t make matters any easier for the Libyan citizens who will no doubt endure many more months of conflict and uncertainty before a new government is established (if that is, indeed, what lies ahead–even that is still unclear), but it is certainly good news for the rest of the world–at least for now.
Of course, this may all change very quickly. Walid Phares points out,
… the Obama administration and European governments stood with the rebels in the uprising against the tyrant of Libya. It was the right thing to do. But as in the previous revolutions we’ve seen in this region, the West abandoned the secularists, liberals and minorities and partnered with the Islamists.
If this repeats itself in Libya, we would have replaced one devil — the traditional authoritarians — with a new devil: the Islamist authoritarians.
For now, however, it appears that Libya is not like Egypt. There is still potential for good to come out of this conflict. Small potential, perhaps, but potential nonetheless.