In situations as chaotic and as complicated as the civil war in Libya, there is much that is happening that reporters, analysts and commentators know nothing about. So, when a story like “Libyan Ceasefire Proposed” crosses the wires, that’s “news” (or a trial balloon or misinformation) that just one set of players wants you to know. It may or may not be true. It may or may not be related to what all of the players are really doing.
Nevertheless, it is news. Here’s the latest from the Financial Times:
The Libyan opposition on Friday outlined conditions for a potential ceasefire with Muammer Gaddafi as fighting continued around an oil town in the east and regime forces bombarded the besieged western city of Misurata.
Mustafa Abdul Jalil, the head of the opposition’s National Council, said the conditions would have to include Col Gaddafi withdrawing his forces from cities under siege, such as Misurata, which is controlled by opposition supporters but surrounded by pro-Gaddafi forces that have been relentlessly pounding the city.
Few believe a ceasefire is likely and the opposition has previously insisted they will not want to negotiate a political solution with Col Gaddafi, with the only exception being if there were discussions that led to his immediate departure from the oil-rich north African state.
As Colonel Qaddafi’s forces are clearly winning their battle with the rebels, they would hardly seem likely to want to stop winning. But the possibility of direct US/NATO intervention into the conflict cannot be easily dismissed by Colonel Qaddafi. As he would like to stay in power for as long as he lives, it wouldn’t be a crazy idea for him to accept a truce, offer up some “reforms,” and then kill everyone who opposed him at some point down the road.
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