‘Victory or death for Gaddafi’ – political analyst

While the G8 leaders agreed that Russia was the "most qualified" to head mediation talks with Libya, professor Mark Almond warned that NATO appears to be intent on carrying on its military campaign until the bitter end.

­“I suspect that unless NATO countries decide they won’t likely achieve a military victory in the next month or so, the NATO countries may decide then that Russian mediation would be more used as a psychological pressure on Gaddafi, ” Almond, a visiting professor of international relations at Bilkent University in Turkey, told RT.

But suggested that NATO countries may decide there might be some kind of compromise, and then Russia would be able to act as a mediator.

“But I suspect at the moment victory is the aim of the NATO leaders – they’ve said Gaddafi has to go,” he continued. “I’m afraid to say, it’s victory or death for him – maybe death is more likely.”

According to Almond, Western governments have been rather naïve in thinking that nobody supported Gaddafi or nobody feared the rebels in eastern Libya.

“Unfortunately, Libya is a tribally divided society,” he said. “There are powerful groups who don’t want Gaddafi, but there are also obviously thousands who do. And we see in fact a standoff between these two sides.”

“I think the idea that it is simply the people against the tyrant is a little bit naïve,” he said. “If Gaddafi had no support, he would have fallen like a house of cards, as has happened on other occasions with dictators like Ceausescu in Romania in 1999 and even in Russia in 1991. They couldn’t get their troops to fire on the people. In the case of Gaddafi, sadly, there are a lot of people who are prepared to fight, just as there are some prepared to fight against him.”