Arabs Will Be Free
New York Times / Roger Cohen
30-Mar-2011 (2 comments)

People are being born throughout the Middle East. They are discovering their capacity to change things, their inner “Basta!” That’s how the Arab spring began on Dec. 17 in the little town of Sidi Bouzid in Tunisia — with a fruit peddler’s “enough” to humiliation. In my end is my beginning.

Three months later the genie is not only out of the bottle, it’s shattered the bottle. I said of Libya in an earlier column: Be ruthless or stay out. So now the West is in, be ruthless. Arm the resurgent rebels. Incapacitate Qaddafi. Do everything short of putting troops on the ground. Qaddafi, as President Obama has said, “must leave.” So that Libya can be an Arab country that is imperfect but open.

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Simpson: Army adopts rebel tactics (bbc)

Ras Lanuf has now changed hands for the fourth time in three weeks. BBC world affairs editor John Simpson in Tripoli has been assessing the fighting.

Colonel Gaddafi's forces have changed their tactics.

The Libyan army has not always been known for its efficiency or its high morale.

Now though, it has shown a remarkable degree of flexibility, and has chosen to adopt tactics used by the rebels only a few days ago, when they were sweeping along the coastal road, apparently unstoppably, in the direction of Sirte.

The sudden turnaround of fortune is the result of several factors.

The first is that Colonel Gaddafi's army has decided to follow methods which the rebels have used so successfully