Also in this playlist...
This transcript is automatically generated
Minutes past the hour now an international action in Libya came weeks after the uprising began in only once it -- the Libyan dictator was close completely crushing it.
While coalition forces say they are not arming and are not training the opposition in this war the rebels still stand to gain a lot from the no fly zone.
But there are many questions about who these rebels are really -- what they're capable of achieving with Libya on the verge of what could be a major political shift.
And is that a good thing.
Middle -- expert Michael -- joins us now he's managing director of the Washington institute.
And a former senior director for middle east affairs at the National Security Council saying thank you match up.
It's my understanding that a lot of people we fought in the early going in Iraq came from eastern Libya.
At some of these rebels with whom we've now sided in their civil war used to fight against this is that accurate.
Well there were fighters foreign fighters in Iraq -- did come from Libya.
It's it's not clear whether there's any connection between between that group of people -- who would have come from a group called the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group.
Which is now at least mostly defunct and the group that's actually fighting Qaddafi now.
What what do we know in particular about the leadership for the organization of this rebels to whatever degree leadership and organization exists.
Well you know the bottom line is that we we don't know a lot but we do know something and we're trying to learn more the administration is just appoint a special envoy to Libyan opposition.
And what we can say about the opposition is that first of all look they've been governing eastern Libya for almost a month now so we can have a look -- part of what they've been doing there.
And it has been relatively calm there -- services have been provided and that gives us some measure a small measure perhaps of confidence.
A dead stop position really is broken into two parts I would -- One part of the -- fighters who your correspondent was talking to earlier in their largely youth and they're largely disorganized.
Poorly trained and poorly equipped but they have obviously a lot of passion for their cause.
We also -- have to look at the political leadership which is based in Ben Ghazi.
And which was formed right after this revolution broke out in February 15.
Right after that date to form these committees and those committees formed in.
Transitional national council they called it.
That council is now headed by the former justice minister -- nobody knew about those -- -- The military effort is headed by the former Interior Minister.
A guy about -- -- -- -- -- and includes and it's in its membership for doctors lawyers professors engineers.
The foreign the foreign minister equivalent for example as a fellow who got -- PC the University of Pittsburgh.
Is it your sense that that should Gadhafi be defeated by these rebels that whoever they are will be willing partners with the United States.
Well you know what we see right now as we see a very broad coalition and and what they've talked about has been you know it's they've been saying the right things.
They've said they want democracy they would they say they want -- multi party system.
They say they want civil liberties and in political liberties what we don't know of course is a look.
But this group really is as -- said brought in and the one thing they we know they all agree on as they want Qaddafi out they wanted to -- Qaddafi.
And if you look at history when broad coalition such as this form.
They are sometimes quite successful in their revolutions but after they've achieved that broad overriding goal.
Sometimes they start to crumble over -- political questions over religious questions.
And over many other things and so.
While they're saying the right things we can't necessarily have great confidence about whether those things will be will come to pass if -- falls.
And of course this is then why the administration has been reluctant to arm the rebels because you're gonna go in an armed people unlike say no fly zone which is overhead.
You need to have a good sense of who you're talking to who were the factions I mean we all remember Charlie Wilson's war right -- and we want to avoid any such situation in the future.
Michael saying from the Washington institute Michael good of you thank you very much.
Filter by section