In his assessment of President Obama’s speech on Libya, Quin Hillyer thinks it’s not beyond the realm of possiblity that Qaddafi could leave office through diplomatic efforts:
Also, I warn conservatives not to be too quick to belittle Obama’s goal of a regime change via diplomacy. With Qaddafi, it might just work. The man is a coward. When Reagan bombed him, he stayed mostly silent for 15 years — apart from Lockerbie, which he denied having anything to do with. When we overthrew Saddam, he got so scared that he turned over all his nukes and lots of other weapons. I can EASILY see Qaddafi accepting some sort of arrangement like the shah did, as in a life in safe exile somewhere, with some of his wealth still available along with his retinue of bodyguard babes.
I agree that Qaddafi is a coward but I think he feared Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush far more than he does the Libyan rebels. As for NATO, they are also saying the mission is not to remove Qaddafi from office. In which case, one must ask how long are NATO members prepared to commit to this mission? Qaddafi could very well be in a position to wait them out. One doesn’t hold onto power for four decades plus without a lot of patience and the money to go with it.
But let’s suppose Quin is right and Qaddafi does want to go into exile. Who the hell is going to want him?