It looks like the Jasmine Revolution may finally be succeeding in Libya. There are reports that Moammar Gadhafi has seen the writing on the wall and he is plotting his escape.
Moammar Gadhafi is trying to strike a deal with opposition leaders, saying he will step down as Libya's leader if they can guarantee him safe passage out of the country and promise that neither he nor his family will face prosecution, an official with the opposition said Tuesday.I have long advocated that the powers-that-be in Seoul, Washington, Tokyo, and perhaps Beijing have on the table the same type of deal for North Korea's ruling elite, should disgruntlement with the regime ever erupt into a full-blown challenge to its authority.
As hard as it might be to stomach, it might make for a far smoother demise of the DPRK if Kim Jong-il, his family, his inner circle, etc., are just simply allowed to leave. If they are allowed to make an orderly play for the exits, it might mean less bloodshed (including attempts to attack the South or Japan in a desperate last-ditch attempt to rally the North Korean people), and it might also mean a quicker departure and thus a speedier end to the regime.
Sure, it wouldn't be particularly satisfying if Kim Jong-il avoids the hangman's noose or a prison cell and instead lives out the rest of his days in a palatial estate constructed on a 3km-by-3km plot of land on the steppes of Inner Mongolia, but how many lives will be spared by getting the Dear Leader himself to pull the plug on the regime and not shoot up the place on his way out? Doesn't that trump the desire to exact justice for the lives we could not?
North Korea's ruling elite and rank-and-file apparatchiki must also be reading the writing on the wall, and that means it's time to start laying down some ground rules. This is the time to make it clear that we will go after people who do dastardly things like fire on civilians, imprison people who stand up to the regime in its final days, etc. If some county supervisor in Ryanggang-do Province, let's say, hasn't done anything bad beyond being a party hack, maybe he can at least avoid prison and possibly even keep his job.
In other words, give them alternatives other than going out in a blaze of glory.