Colonel Gaddafi's global threat
Colonel Gaddafi's son Saif al-Islam has little to recommend him, by all accounts, but it seems he was telling the truth about one thing. His father has unleashed civil war on Libya in order to protect his tyrannical rule.
This is a desperate tragedy for the Libyan people, and the worry is that the carnage may not end with the departure of Libya's maniacal leader. Gaddafi has ensured that there are no political institutions worth the name in Libya. He has exploited the tribal nature of the country to stay in power, but those divisions could prevent a peaceful transition to a more humane and democratic regime.
This, of course, matters for the rest of us. Libya is a major oil producer, especially of the light crude needed to make everyday products. Looking at "worst case scenario" yesterday, international analysts at the Nomura investment house said oil could go above $200 a barrel if production in Libya and neighbouring Algeria were to cease.