He may be as mad as a hatter but Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi knows how to turn around events.
At first it seemed like Gaddafi & Sons was finished. By some accounts the old bugger was reluctant to deploy his land forces fearing they might turn on him if they saw defeat inevitable. Then Muammar caught a lucky break in the form of international hesitation. All the talk about a "no fly zone" over Libya turned out to be just talk.
Gaddafi the survivor seemed to grasp that he was being given a window of opportunity in which he could suppress the revolt, reclaim domination of Libya and hand all his foreign critics a fait accompli. That was when loyalist forces, including units under the command of Gaddafi's sons, were unleashed on the rebels and began rolling them back toward the Egyptian border.
And then along came the Japanese earthquake and tsunami that mesmerized the world. At seismic speeds, Libya dropped off the world's radar screens. Now that we're all riveted to Japan's nuclear cataclysm (that may be terrifically overblown in the media), Muammar can confidently redouble his efforts. This probably is, after all, his last, best shot at restoring his power and the security of his family's wealth.
update - latest reports have Gaddafi forces massing to assault and retake Benghazi. That will pretty much be game, set and match - except for the retribution that will follow once the regime's security apparatus returns. Well at least we didn't have to sully our hands with some half-assed no fly zone.