I'm back from vacation, and MEI having survived an earthquake and a hurricane, am back at work. Besides missing the earthquake and the hurricane, I only commented briefly last week on the dramatic events surrounding the fall of Tripoli. But with Qadhafi's whereabouts still unknown and pro-regime forces entrenched in his home town of Sirte, it's beginning to look as if Sirte, not the capital, may be the Last Act, or nearly so, of this drama.
The rebels, quite rightly I think, know they haven't really consolidated their victory until they take Sirte and the oases, but particularly Sirte, which threatens the linkage between rebel forces in the east and west. The enthusiasm of looting Qadhafi's residences and uncovering secrets should not distract from the fa ct that the war goes on, or the memory that the fall of Saddam Hussein was the beginning, not the end, of a long insurg4nt war in Iraq.Qadhafi is probably finished, but all the tribal,regional, secular/religious, and other fissures dividing the rebels may become more pronounced once the common enemy is removed. But even for that, they'll need to take Sirte.