How in both Tunisia and Egypt we really did see massive popular gatherings, whereas in Libya there is nothing of the kind? An Arabist friend of mind has concentrated in the last few weeks on translating the placards, banners, posters and flags that were such a feature of the Tunisian and Egyptian demonstrations: he couldn't find a single example of these in Libya, not even in Benghazi. One very striking fact about the Libyan ‘rebels', which I'm surprised you didn't note, is that you don't see a single woman, whereas in Tunisia and Egypt women are very visible.
It's a safer bet, right now, that that the battlefield stalemate produces some form of truce . . . Both sides, in fact have set out their opening bids on cease-fire terms . . . Gaddafi insists on maintaining himself or his sons in charge over any political transition; the rebels insist there will be no peace as long at they remain in Tripoli -- and the Western powers will not accept Gaddafi setting the terms . . . the military contest for each side right now presupposes an eventual truce, and is aimed at shaping its terms.
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