Tripoli: After Egypt and Tunisia where crowd anger pushed out presidents Zine Abedine ben Ali and Hosni Mubarak within weeks of taking to the streets , will Libya's leader Muammar Gaddafi be next?
The war clouds are gathering. US President Barack Obama earlier said, "Everyone close to Gaddafi should know they will be held responsible for violence against their people."
But even as Gaddafi's forces try and retake rebel-held towns- using every means possible- from aerial bombardment to artillery gunfire in the streets, the Libyan leader himself shows no signs of relenting or handing over power.
Advisor to Libyan Foreign Minister Yousef Shakir said, "The mood of Gaddafi at present it is not normal what has happened. He says let us investigate- Gaddafi is always pushing his people to take power. He is not dying for this authority but he will never leave the country."
To begin with there are not many places Gaddafi can go to. With the UN coming down on Libya for Human Rights violations, and the west threatening military action, few countries would give the Libyan Leader asylum.
But analysts also point out the Gaddafi has the power to stick it out for a protracted war with the world as well as the rebels, unlike his counterparts to the east and west.
Unlike Egypt and Tunisia, Libya is not dependent on foreign exchange, rather it has more than $110 billion of foreign exchange reserves, enough to cover three years of imports at least.
And Libya has withstood sanctions in the past- through the 80s and the 90s, when it was an international outcast after the Lockerbie bombings.
And unlike Egypt where the military is strong or Bahrain where the Monarchy prevails, Gaddafi is the only power in Libya at present.
With no one to push him out, and Gaddafi himself determined not to go, the chances that he will leave, or that the uprising in Libya would end quickly or relatively painlessly like those in Egypt or Tunisia, seem extremely bleak.