It is time for the Libyan people to celebrate the end of a four-decade dictatorship. Once they sober up from the jubilations of their well-deserved victory, however, they will discover this is only the beginning. Gaddafi has undermined, marginalised or obliterated many of the state institutions, including the military, and destroyed the political parties – indeed, political life in the country. There is much to restore and more to build from scratch. Security, reconstruction and political transition are only a few of the challenges they will face sooner rather than later. More importantly, they will need to manage expectations of those who have given their all for liberty, freedom and prosperity. Having said that, there is no need for alarm. Not yet any way. It’s easy, even clichéd, to be pessimistic, even negative, about the post-revolutionary challenge. What is needed is optimism anchored in reality. And judging from what we have seen over the past five months, there is much to celebrate in terms of building a steering council and creating locally based revolutionary groups from the bottom up that have been well coordinated and largely disciplined.
more from Marwan Bishara at Al Jazeera here.