Former Ambassador David Mack
, who served as a political officer in Libya when Moammar Gadhafi came to power in 1969, says the Libyan tyrant’s regime cannot hold out in the long run, but it might be some time before he leaves, is forced out — or is killed.
“He’ll be there longer than we would like, and he’ll be there longer than [French] President [Nicholas] Sarkozy and the French foreign minister think he’ll be there, but he’ll be gone long before he imagines that he will be,” Mack said Thursday on MSNBC. “He is going to be under a tremendous amount of pressure, but he’ll stay — he’ll go down with the last bullet.
“However, a lot of the people around him, on whom he depends, are not going to want to go down to the fiery death along with him,” said Mack, who also is a former ambassador to the United Arab Emirates and State Department official. “And they’ve got to find a way to separate their destiny from his. And as they feel the sense of isolation, the economic pressures, they will find some way to do that.”
Mack was asked whether Gadhafi can salvage any money from Libya’s vast petroleum resources, or are oil wells all basically inactive because of economic sanctions, or since they are held by the rebels.
“I think a combination of both of those factors is going to make it very, very unlikely that significant [oil] revenues are going to be going to Gadhafi,” he said. “However, he probably has got a lot of money with him, and gold with him — he probably can continue to pay off some of the people that he depends upon.
“So, I’m not sure that he will have the wherewithal to last for many months, but he is certainly going to last for many weeks — or at least he has the capability of doing that,” Mack continued. “The no-fly zone is not going to remove him, it’s going to be these other tools — sanctions, isolation . . . the pressure of his children.
“Gadhafi himself might be happy to be a martyr, but like any father, he’s going to be concerned about the future of his sons and daughters.”
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