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Democracy Now on the Battle for Tripoli and the Collapse of the Gaddafi Regime

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AMY GOODMAN : Juan Cole, the effect of what's happening right now in Libya on what's happening in Syria and the bloodbath that has been taking place there?

JUAN COLE : Well, Libya, in a way, has reignited the flame of liberty in the Arab world. It's given new hope, a new charge to people in Cairo, in Tunis, and certainly in Syria. President Bashar al-Assad tried to speak on Sunday at a time when Tripoli was collapsing and to dismiss the significance of that. And I think he made himself a laughing stock once again. I think, certainly, what happened in Libya will give encouragement to the protest movement in Syria to continue. It shows no sign of flagging. But it is also the case that, so far, the great mass of people in the capital of Damascus, in the second-largest city Aleppo, have not bought in to this protest movement. And until they do, I don't think the regime will be brought down.

AMY GOODMAN : Well, I want to thank you very much for being with us. Thanks to Fred Abrahams of Human Rights Watch; to Khaled Mattawa, speaking to us from Cairo, just back from Libya, the Libyan poet and scholar; and Juan Cole, professor of history at University of Michigan, speaking to us from Ann Arbor. His blog is "Informed Comment" online at JuanCole.com.



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