This week the victorious, or near-victorious, Libyan rebels rode into Tripoli waving guns from the back of small trucks. The bandwagons appear to be following close behind. For months after rebels took over Benghazi, and the subsequent involvement of NATO, the Libyan revolution/uprising has been a curious Cinderella conflict, fading from the world news, and playing little part in the politics of the US or Europe -- certainly nothing compared to the role Iraq played in years past.

Now it has suddenly burst forth, in about as upbeat an image as could have been hoped for -- a virtually uncontested roll through of the rebels into the capital, unopposed. The notion that Muammar Gaddafi had substantial supporters in the capital and that the battle of Tripoli would be as bloody as Gaddafi's threatened evisceration of Benghazi proved false. Even if one treats reports of jubilant, welcoming crowds with the usual grain of salt, it's clear that the west of the country was no more well-disposed to the regime than the east, and the possibility of the fighting becoming a regional civil war has evaporated.