Michael Totten reminds us that if Qaddafi wins in Libya after all, it's not without precedent. Specifically, the precedent of Saddam Hussein, post-Gulf War I. Back then we were all "wouldn't it be great if the dictator fell?", too- and back then we pretty much sat around and did nothing printable while the dictator went around smashing the opposition back down into the ground*. Which is what is happening now in Libya, apparently: the rebellion is reportedly collapsing in slow motion. It would seem that while pious words and firm rhetoric is of course all very useful and wonderful and everything, they're not particularly effective at piercing tank armor and/or providing artillery support... which is something that the people fighting Qaddafi need rather more of right now. You want to see what happens when we're not the world's policeman? Here you go.
And if that doesn't bother you on its own hook - after all, worrying about dead foreigners is so... neoconservative, isn't it? - consider this: both Qaddafi and his regime have only ever responded to the stick. After 2003, both were deathly afraid of what America
and the West would do to them; I suspect that after this is all over neither will much care. Which is... bad.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
*Which is why "Barack Herbert Walker Obama" is not a compliment: Bush 41's actions after Gulf War I personally soured me on the GOP for a decade, and I still haven't completely forgiven GHWB for that. If you're not going to support a foreign revolution, don't call for one.