The Collegian
Tuesday, December 01, 2020

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Time for free lunch? Not for Libya

The Libyan revolution came to an unexpected climax this past week when news broke that the deposed dictator, Muammar Gadhafi, had been slain at the hands of the rebel forces. Checkmate.

Although a symbolic victory more than anything (many analysts place the end of the Gadhafi regime as far back as the fall of Tripoli in August), the death of Libya's 42-year dictator represents the symbolic closure of a turbulent chapter in the nation's history.

It was a moment whose significance lies in its symbolism more so than its military importance in the resolution of the conflict boiling in Libya.

The final chess move that captures the king piece is when every other member of its retinue has fallen. It is a victory still, but the playing board is a mess to be sure.

With a government in shambles, no organized police force to speak of and chaos in the streets, there is definitely a long road ahead for Libya. The fall of Gadhafi's regime has created a political vacuum of dimensions so large that there is no consensus regarding who can adequately fill it.

These, however, are small problems in the long run. With a population hungry for democracy (or at least an absence of tyranny), the support of key international allies (Britain, France and the U.S.), not to mention a healthy supply of the world's most coveted oil resources, Libya has all of the ingredients needed to dish up a stable and growing economy that can create a higher quality of life for its citizens than its predecessor.

But beware, Libya. Know that as the world's superpowers embrace you and lend support to you in these rough times, it is done with an eye cast toward your vast stocks of oil. They will seek to use this opportunity to bring you into their debt and place their sympathizers in positions of influence in your new government.

There aren't a lot of things one can be certain about in this world, but one thing that is more than certain is that there is no such thing as a free lunch.

Wilshire Bethel is a senior majoring in politics, philosophy, economics and law. He is from Nassau, Bahamas, and is interested in the global community and how it effects everyday life on campus.

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