Given current realities the best thing to do about Libya probably is let Libya be Libya and solve its own problems, even if that means civil war and a disruption in the oil supply from that nation.
I have not detected much enthusiasm from the mainstream of Americans for the invasion of still another nation in the Middle East.
The only or primary reason the Middle East is of any importance at all to us is that is where much of the world’s oil supply comes from. But all that investment in blood and treasure and we did not take over Iraq’s oil supply, but China has gotten into the market and is drilling there (with no military investment there whatsoever). And as a matter of fact one day China might well get into developing what is believed to be a treasure trove of mineral resources in Afghanistan (with no military investment whatsoever). Inscrutable, those Chinese — well not the right word, but that word is usually applied to them — okay clever.
There is talk of the U.S. putting up a no-fly zone with or without the help of the UN or other nations. Commentators have pointed out that the logistics of an air war would be difficult, as well as the politics in justifying it among the world’s nations (although certainly not impossible).
I always fail to understand why anyone thinks military actions can be limited to the air. There is little evidence of that being the case.
(There was Clinton’s Kosovo thing, but people, to include soldiers of the region and other countries and police and civilians died on the ground. Personally I never did understand that whole thing when it was going on and just now tried to look up some background on it and am still scratching my head.)
At some time or another ground troops have to be called in to consolidate things or actually take control. We started with a no-fly zone in Iraq but certainly did not end that way. We bombed the heck out of North Vietnam but failed to send ground troops over the border — lost that one.
It’s nice to have an excuse to invade a country. Hitler liked to say he was protecting ethnic Germans or providing his people with more living space. The U.S. said it was saving Iraq from Saddam Hussein and there was also something about yellow cake and WMD’s, bogus as it seems to have turned out to be (that’s why we blew up so many Iraqi homes and people and decimated the infrastructure of a whole nation, to include its electricity grid, and sent so many thousands of American soldiers to the grave or wounded them for life, and meanwhile spent billions we could have used constructively here at home).
There has been a citizen revolt in Libya and Libya has had a crazy man, Muammar Gaddafi (there are countless spellings of his name), running it for a long time and he even tricked the U.S. into backing him after he gave up his nuclear program (maybe he is not totally crazy). But now he has his remaining loyal followers and some hired foreign mercenaries shooting his own people. He’s even calling in air strikes on his own people. So, yes the U.S. has a pretext to invade. And Libya has lots of oil. So the U.S. has a good reason to take control there. But easier said than done. It would most likely be costly in lives and money and we would likely end up stirring up resentment among the population — like I have said previously, the cops go and try to save the wife from her husband beating up on her and end up getting resistance from both warring parties.
There seems to be some sentiment on the far left for us to do something for strictly humanitarian reasons. To the extent we could do that without going to war, fine. But good luck.
My own personal opinion here is that we better sit this one out.
But like on all such questions, I would say that if the powers that be do decide to use some type of military action they better be prepared to go all the way and so should the American people — if not, shame on us all!
We haven’t had a win or a clear win for the record books in a long time (in most of our lifetimes). But we keep expending money and asking our own people to die for what?
Since we did not help the Iranian opposition or freedom movement (and Iran has more oil than Libya) it is hard to see why we would step in to help the Libya opposition. Columnist Charles Krauthammer had interesting comments on the situation, not that I agree with any or all of his conclusions: http://www.redding.com/news/2011/mar/03/charles-krauthammer-from-baghdad-to-benghazi/