The Magazine

Life in Libya

So far: less poor, less nasty, and less brutish than under Qaddafi.

Nov 14, 2011, Vol. 17, No. 09 • By ANN MARLOWE
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Of the other revolutionaries, some will go back to the jobs they had before. The many who had marginal or no employment will be offered business opportunities, the chance to continue their studies, including at technical schools abroad, and subsidies for housing and marriage. This integration and rehabilitation plan is costly, much more than the estimated $2 billion that Washington chipped into the NATO effort. Meanwhile, $150 billion in regime assets remains frozen, including most of $37 billion frozen by the United States. 

“There is a big role for our foreign friends to help Libya control the weapons,” says Colonel Bashir al-Madhouni, a former tank commander in the Libyan Army who defected to the rebels. Of course, most Libyans, and many foreigners, would say that if a reasonable democracy results, the cost will be repaid a hundredfold by the benefit of Libya’s example to the Muslim world.

Ann Marlowe is a visiting fellow at the Hudson Institute and blogs for World Affairs.

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