US to Rebels: Don't Party, Seek Revenge Iraq-Style

Obama administration fearful of Iraq-style chaos, looting, and violence
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 23, 2011 11:18 AM CDT
A rebel fighters react as they advance to the frontline during a fighting in Tripoli, Libya, earlier today.   (AP Photo/Sergey Ponomarev)

(Newser) – Rebels have already gleefully displayed the jeweled pistols they've taken from Moammar Gadhafi's family's homes—and the Obama administration is likely hoping the pillaging ends there. The White House is working furiously with rebels to ensure that Libya does not descend into the chaos, looting, and violence Iraq did after Saddam Hussein fell in 2003, reports the LA Times. President Obama, Hillary Clinton, and other officials talked with leaders of the Transitional National Council by telephone about how to consolidate control over Tripoli and the rest of Libya, and surveillance aircraft are monitoring weapons sites to ensure weapons do not fall into terrorist hands.

"We've done this in a way so that the Libyans themselves were the ones to bring about regime change, instead of the United States imposing it and owning it," said a White House advisor. For now, US officials are maintaining no American forces will be sent to Libya, even as peacekeepers. "Let's wait and see what's on [the rebels'] wish list," said a State Department rep.

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