Meeting in London this week, the U.S. and allies intensified their calls for embattled Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi to step down. Publicly, U.S. and British leaders have said Gadhafi should be prosecuted for war crimes. But privately, an Italian government source told Reuters, "there is a tacit agreement among everybody that the best thing would be for Gadhafi to go into exile." Italy is trying to persuade African and Arab nations to offer Gadhafi a safe haven. Will anyone take him in?
An exile deal would make a mockery of international justice: Let's be clear, says Glen Levy at TIME. Gadhafi is a man who ordered his soldiers to open fire on unarmed civilians in Benghazi, killing 450 people in just the first days of Libya's uprising. The International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague is already collecting evidence, and should soon issue a warrant for Gadhafi's arrest. "Any country offering Gaddafi asylum would be harboring an international fugitive."
"What's at stake at the London meeting on Libya?"
Gadhafi won't take a deal, anyway: In the bad old days, an autocrat could "step down and live out his days securely in the south of France or some other plush locale," says Max Boot at Commentary. But Gadhafi knows those days are gone, so it's highly unlikely he'll ever accept a deal. Whatever the terms, he could still wind up like former Liberian President Charles Taylor, who accepted exile in Nigeria in 2003, only to be handed over to face trial.
"Gadhafi exile unlikely"
Wait, plenty of countries could provide Gadhafi a home: The solution is simple, says Lauren Frayer at Aol News. Just find a country "outside the ICC's reach." Sudan hasn't ratified the treaty that established the international court. Zimbabwe hasn't either, and its longtime leader, Robert Mugabe, is an "aging African revolutionary" just like Gadhafi. Maybe he could be persuaded to open his doors.
"Who would be willing to give Moammar Gadhafi exile?"