As I’ve said before, I have no right to an opinion about what’s going on in Libya. I’d like to believe that the President has chosen to do the right thing, both because I admire him politically and because – unlike, apparently, the entire leadership of the Republican Party – I’d like to see my country come out of this with credit rather than ignominy.
Also, I do have a strong prejudice against genocide, and when a dictator already up to his elbows in blood has his supporters sing songs about “disinfecting” the country of his opponents (referred to as “germs”) it’s not unreasonable to suspect that something genocidal is in the works.
So while it’s possible that the near-consensus against the intervention in Left Blogistan is correct, I’d prefer to believe otherwise. And it turns out that Juan Cole, who certainly is entitled to an opinion and who is anything but a reckless hawk, regards the case for intervention as airtight:
Pundits who want this whole thing to be over with in 7 days are being frankly silly. Those who worry about it going on forever are being unrealistic. Those who forget or cannot see the humanitarian achievements already accomplished are being willfully blind.
1. At least some U.S. servicemembers are indeed being “welcomed as liberators” in Libya.
2. Before the establishment of the No-Fly Zone, refugees were streaming across Libya’s border with Egypt. Now they’re streaming back.