Libyan rebels make gains; Qaddafi plays chess
Germany recognizes the Libya rebels while Qaddafi plays chess with a man who claims intergalactic connections.
Libya's rebels continue to roll up diplomatic success and are showing signs of taking the fight to Muammar Qaddafi's troops in a growing number of locations in western Libya, where Qaddafi was firmly in control when the NATO no-fly zone was imposed over the country on March 17.Skip to next paragraph
The Arab League observer mission in Syria is likely to fail
Egypt's military rulers crack down on democracy groups
Iran's threats over Strait of Hormuz? Understandable, but not easy
Eastern Libya poll indicates political Islam will closely follow democracy
Iraq's Maliki threatens, Sunnis grumble, and Baghdad goes boom
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
While the rebels were preparing to host the German foreign minister in Benghazi today, Qaddafi was being shown on Syrian state TV playing chess with Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, the Russian president of the World Chess Federation who often recounts his cordial meetings with extraterrestrials.
Unless Mr. Ilyumzhinov's friends are going to come to Qaddafi's aid, the rebels had a better day of it. Germany Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle was the latest in a string of diplomats to recognize the rebels in their de facto capital. Germany declared the Transitional National Council is the "legitimate representative" of the Libyan government. Though the council is self-appointed, German recognition, following that of France and Italy, is part of an effort to bolster the group of businessmen, lawyers, and officials who defected from Qaddafi's regime as a focal point for transition if and when Qaddafi goes.
And last week, even the US inched toward recognizing the TNC. The Obama administration has been more reticent in its dealings with the rebels than many of its European partners, but last week Hillary Clinton described the group as the "legitimate interlocutors" of the Libyan people.