Libyan Officials Defect After Crackdown On Protesters
STEVE INSKEEP, Host:
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
RENEE MONTAGNE, Host:
Mahmoud Shamem, the editor-in-chief of the Arabic edition of Foreign Policy magazine, has been tracking events in his native Libya from his base in Doha, Qatar. Good morning.
MONTAGNE: Good morning.
MONTAGNE: This is a wave of diplomatic people leaving the government. What impact might that have, if any, on what Gadhafi does?
MONTAGNE: But the security forces can manage to work, because Libya, the state, always is weak and is always controlling by him (unintelligible) and they don't give a damn about any pressure from anywhere in the world.
MONTAGNE: In Tunisia and Egypt, the leaders and the militaries in those countries, in the end, were unwilling to unleash major force against civilians. Why is it different in Libya?
MONTAGNE: Last night I heard that some officers around Tripoli are joining the intifada. But up to now, the security forces are fighting for him.
MONTAGNE: Gadhafi has completely dominated Libya for four decades. And the way he's done that is by controlling powerful tribal groups - having them each have control of their areas. Is it of concern, if Gadhafi were to go, that there would be a civil war? You know, and one might think less of what's happening in Egypt and more of what's had been happening for years in, say, like Somalia? Is it possible Libya will end up without a government?
MONTAGNE: In a few days, Libya will be stabilized because there is a social organization. No Libyan is worried about what he is claiming that will happen to Libya.
MONTAGNE: Thank you very much for talking with us.
MONTAGNE: Thank you.
MONTAGNE: Mahmoud Shamem is editor-in-chief of the Arabic edition of "Foreign Policy" magazine. We spoke to him in Doha, Qatar.
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