Belfast Telegraph

Why we should beware of Libyan rebels

By Lindy McDowell

The vile regime of Colonel Gaddafi is now, hopefully, history. The full extent of his malign influence on this place, with his supply of weaponry to his mates in the IRA, may now be laid bare with more detail about those who colluded with him.

And thanks to Jason McCue and his courageous team at lawyers H2O (the legal outfit which took the landmark Omagh case) there may well now follow compensation for those whose lives were devastated by Gaddafi's sponsored violence here.

But meanwhile back in Libya, despite the fearless frontline reporting of the action, how much do we really know about the rebels, what they represent - and what they might have done to win power?

Not for a second am I siding with Gaddafi. But I'd just like a clearer picture of those who are agin him.

Some of the reporting from Tripoli has been breathtakingly brave. But at times you also get the impression we're not getting the full picture.

Where is the objective analysis of Nato's role in this 'revolution'? What about dark rumours of awful atrocities carried out by the rebels?

If (as seems to be the consensus) we're on their side wouldn't it be good if we could be told who precisely they are, what precisely their democracy will entail (equal rights for women? Gay people?) and whether the new administration is likely to include remnants of the old.

Gaddafi (especially before his hugging session with Tony Blair in the Mad Dog marquee) was the enemy of the West.

We should perhaps remember that old line about the enemy of our enemy not necessarily being a friend.

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