In war and other forms of politics, what a difference a day makes. On Friday, Col. Muammar al-Qaddafi’s forces were en route to destroy the rebellion in Benghazi, with the “brother leader” himself vowing to show “no mercy, no pity” towards those foolhardy enough to challenge his 42-year rule. “We will come house by house, room by room,” he warned. “It’s over.”

Then suddenly, Qaddafi’s foreign minister was begging for a cease-fire.

Jeffrey White, a military intelligence veteran now at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, called Qaddafi’s cease-fire declaration a “cynical ploy” since Qadaffi’s forces were still reported to be engaged in heavy fighting on Friday in at least three towns, among them, Misurata, Libya’s third largest city. “Nobody’s falling for it,” said White.

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