Qaddafi and the False Dawn of a ‘New Libya’

Last Sunday, with violence mounting as the Libyan government unleashed elements of its security apparatus to put down the uprising against the forty-plus year reign of Colonel Muammar Qaddafi, Saif al-Islam Qaddafi — the colonel’s son and heir apparent — took to Libyan television to deliver a rambling speech threatening civil war and the potential takeover of Libya by militant Islamists. As I heard the reports of the younger Qaddafi’s speech, I was puzzled — were these the same militant Islamists the government had released from the notorious Abu Salim prison under a program of rehabilitation sponsored by none other than Saif al-Islam himself?

This article was originally published in Foreign Policy.