Gadhafi on last legs

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It looks like Moammar Gadhafi is on his last legs. The rebels are already in Tripoli and have taken over some neighbourhoods in the capital. They say they have also captured three of his sons, including Saif al-Islam, the face of the government and the one that apparently holds the most power from all of Gadhafi’s children. So, assuming Gadhafi does fall in the coming days, what does this mean to the rest of the Middle East and the world?

Initially, I would expect some increase in energy and momentum to the uprising in Syria. The protesters there are likely to be inspired and motivated by a successful revolt against the Libyan dictator. I don’t know that it will have better results for the protesters in Syria as President Assad has shown a willingness to kill as many civilians as needed to maintain control.

Other than Syria which is already seeing mass protests, it is impossible to tell if this news will spark a new round of protests somewhere else. As we have all seen since the Arab Spring began this past winter, these uprisings are rather unpredictable.

What I will be looking at mostly after the rebels topple Gadhafi and once the new Libyan government takes shape is how North Africa as whole will be. Libya has long had issues with Algeria, Chad and Tunisia. A democratic Libya can be very constructive to the development of North Africa. Libya has oil that the world needs and if the money from this commodity is properly invested back in to the country, this would be good for all of North Africa. It’s important to remember that all the successful uprisings from this Arab Spring have been only in North Africa (Tunisia and Egypt). This means that this region is essentially reborn and it will be interesting to see which direction they choose to take moving forward.