Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The War Next Door (Part 3)

Despite establishment of a no-fly zone, there is little question that the conflict in Libya will continue - in one form or another - for some time. Short of splitting the country in two, there seems to be no immediate political solution. The Italians, who want to see official leadership of the mission called Odyssey Dawn turned over to NATO as soon as possible, are (as usual) engaged in political infighting among various parliamentary factions, though Italy will likely continue to permit use of its bases for foreign military aircraft, and Sigonella (near Catania) is a NATO/US facility.

Birgi Airport, near Trapani, is now diverting civilian flights to Palermo. That includes, among others, Ryan Air. Apart from this, the conflict in Libya - which at this point can only be described as a civil war - has had little effect on travel to Sicily.

Refugees continue to arrive by the boatload, and Italy is doing its best to house them.

True democracies represent a minority of countries around the globe. Oligarchies seem to predominate, and many people living today have no memory of anything else. The Libyan rebels waving the Sanussi flag may be nostalgic about the monarchy (under King Idris, shown here) they knew before the current regime assumed power, but much remains to be seen in terms of what form a "new" Libya, achieved only after much bloodshed, might take.

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