Is Gadhafi Surrounded?

The big mystery in Libya is the whereabouts of Moammar Gadhafi.  His sons have made conflicting entreaties, one insisting he will fight to the death, the other seeking to negotiate.

The best solution would be for Gadhafi to be captured alive and shipped off to the Hague to stand trial.  It is probably as secure and safe a place as he could be; he would face execution if he stayed in Libya, extradition in any state that recognized the new Libyan government, and risk assassination by enemies almost anywhere on earth.   One hopes that Gadhafi will recognize this and negotiate a surrender on condition that he be transmitted unharmed to the International Criminal Court.

However, Gadhafi may consider a trial to be such a humiliation that he would rather go out in a blaze of glory as a martyr, or he may still have the delusion that his supporters will eventually overcome his enemies, and so be trying to hide somewhere to wait for that eventuality that will never come.

It may be days or weeks before we know.  Meanwhile, negotiations with the tribes and factions will be critical to create a unified government for Libya; and humanitarian aid has to get to Tripoli.  The skills of the National Transitional Council will be sorely tested in the coming weeks, regardless of where Gadhafi may be.

About jackgoldstone

Hazel Professor of Public Policy at George Mason University
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