The World from Berlin: 'The Birth of New Libya Will Not Be Painless'

Part 2: Western Hypocrisy

Photo Gallery: Gadhafi Falls in Sirte Photos
REUTERS/ Libyan TV

The center-left Süddeutsche Zeitung writes:

"For Gadhafi, death -- whether from a rebel bullet or NATO helicopter fire on his convoy -- was a more sensible end than capture. But not just for him. The victors are likely relieved as well. What, after all, would they have done with the fallen dictator? Vengeful justice would not have been to the taste of their allies. But a fair trial in Libya is inconceivable.... There is more historical justice in the fact that Gadhafi, who took power by the force of arms 42 years ago, also died by force of arms."

"With the events in Sirte comes the moment of truth for the provisional government. The victory over Gadhafi doesn't solve the problems facing the country. They are just beginning...."

"With the end of the fighting and Gadhafi's defeat, the provisional government can no longer delay in forming a proper government. It won't be easy. Too many diverging forces want a slice of power -- and a share of Libya's wealth. There are traditionalists and liberals, democrats and Islamists, businessmen and tribal chiefs. Success is anything but guaranteed. And there is also a lot at stake for the country's Western allies."

The conservative Frankfurter Allgemine Zeitung writes:

"Gadhafi's death is the end of the Libyan chapter of the Arabellion. It remains to be seen whether the end of the dictatorship will also be the beginning of peace and tranquility. Recently, battles between the Transitional Council's troops and Gadhafi supporters have once again flared up in Tripoli -- and these probably aren't just isolated cases of profiteers from the old system. It may well be that tribal loyalties are playing a role -- and the debate over who gets what share of power in a Libya that has for centuries been divided into three distinct regions. Even among the erstwhile rebels' political and military leadership ... there is no small number of people who were loyal to Gadhafi over the years. That is not a badge of democratic orientation and it doesn't bode well for peace. The birth of new Libya will not be without pain."

The leftist Die Tageszeitung writes:

"Gadhafi's era is irreversibly finished. That is certain. But will democracy prevail in Libya? We'll have to wait and see. Much suggests that this question isn't very important to the NATO countries which helped along the change in power. As long as it appeared to be opportune for them, they accepted and armed both Gadhafi and Saddam Hussein as allies. As soon as it no longer appeared opportune to them, they began pointing out the -- indisputably -- disastrous human rights records of both leaders. They could always count on one thing though: The public at home would accept any change of course because, at the end of the day, they weren't terribly interested in what was going on in far-away countries."

"The idea that Libya has been 'liberated' because the West has unflinchingly pushed for adherence to human rights is absolute nonsense."

"The (West) first took an interest in the hurdles facing democratization in Egypt when they started to effect Christians in that country. Earlier, politicians really didn't care that the country was still in a state of crisis, that civilians were being tried in military courts and that the military still has a hold on power. Furthermore, before the so-called 'Arab Spring,' many had decided that Arabs, because of their culture and mentality, weren't ready for democracy."

"It won't take long before Western politicians begin ... saying the same thing about Libya if it suits them. Those trying to build a democracy would be well advised not to rely on the West's solidarity. This applies globally."

The Financial Times Deutschland writes:

"The transition from dictatorship to a free, democratic society has yet to come. And the next phase of change will not be made any easier by the fact that the common enemy -- Gadhafi -- is now gone. He held the various rebel groups together."

"The success of the revolution depends on whether constitutional measures to deal with Gadhafi loyalists succeed, whether rebels can be disarmed in an orderly manner and whether Islamists can be integrated. It is also crucial for society to succeed in channelling the desire for vengeance and justice. Gadhafi brutalized Libyan society. He leaves behind a country without civil society, without political parties, without political life. Libya is starting from scratch."

-- SPIEGEL ONLINE Staff

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