It’s still much too soon to tell how America’s Libya liberation venture will work out. The international coalition is shaky; the UN mandate is dubious; air power has frequently disappointed those who trusted that it alone can win wars; political support in the US is shaky; the Great Loon of Libya, a statesman in the hallowed tradition of Idi Amin, is as cunning as he is daffy; Libya’s fragile unity may crumble as the tribes and clans turn on one another; the rebels are poorly armed and poorly organized; some of them may in fact be experienced international terrorists.
For the record, I hope it all works out. I want the government to fall, the Great Loon to flap away into inglorious exile somewhere dismal and dull, and I want the rebels, with help from NATO and the Arab League, to set up a workable government that gives Libya’s people a chance to reinvent their country and spreads the oil wealth around. (I would also like a pony.) I think we are out on a limb here and I wish the president had found the time to get some congressional backing up front, but we are where we are and the best we can do now is to muddle on through.