The Other Civil War

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Packer compares Ivory Coast rebels to Libyan rebels:

The key to [Ivorian rebels'] success is the legitimacy of their leader, Ouattara. I don’t know whether the rebels have developed into a more disciplined fighting force than they were eight years agothere is evidence that they have. But they’ve become politically sophisticated. The regional support for Ouattara, the isolation of Gbagbo, the financial vise grip that kept his soldiers from getting paid, and the collapse of his military command all led to the demoralization and disintegration of the regime. These were the advantages of the Ivorian rebels over the Libyans: years of experience, political leadership, a fair election, a fatally weakened regime that lost the will to fight.

The only help the Ivorian rebels needed from the outside world was the stamp of legitimacy. The needs of the Libyan rebels seem bottomless.

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