Revolutions are notoriously fickle creatures. All too often would-be revolutionaries turn out to be what they hate. The introduction of violence on the scale seen in Libya only serves to prompt revolutionaries to push back. Gaddafi’s practice of importing mercenaries has also inflamed the situation, with innocent African migrants being caught up in the mix. Likewise, the overarching narrative that has been spun in the international media, and often, by the revolutionaries themselves, has taken a particularly nationalist bent and no doubt, this is fall out.
But then the character of the Libyan revolution has been wholly different to that of Egypt and Tunisia. The institutions and regimes in these countries have been unique. While Mubarak and Ben Ali had maintained ties with their international counterparts during their presidency and sought to maintain some kind of democratic responsibility through the pretence of elections, Gaddafi, is a different animal entirely.
Words to live by: do not become what you hate.