The giddy prospect of a third revolution in the Arab world, with Libya swiftly following Tunisia and Egypt into a brave new democratic era, is fading from view. democratic era, is fading from view. The growing military and diplomatic deadlock, inside and outside the country, suggest efforts to topple Muammar Gaddafi could fail, at least in the short term. His survival may, in turn, mark the beginning of the end of the Arab world revolt. In spite of aerial bombing and ground skirmishes, fighting between pro-Gaddafi forces and opposition groups remains sporadic and undirected. Since the rebels seized control of Benghazi, most of eastern Libya and towns closer to Tripoli, their uncoordinated advance has stalled. Talk of a grand march on the capital remains just that -- talk. Gaddafi is strengthening his grip on Tripoli, partly by terrorising its citizens. But his efforts to retake opposition-held towns, notably Brega, have also been inconclusive. Regime air attacks appear half-hearted and largely inaccurate.
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