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VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: Qaddafi Wanes, and Now Things Get Interesting – National Review Online

August 22, 2011

Qaddafi Wanes, and Now Things Get Interesting

August 22, 2011 12:18 P.M.

By Victor Davis Hanson

I considered the war against Moammar Qaddafi — admittedly a monster — to be ill-conceived, poorly articulated, unnecessarily drawn out, and predicated on the whims of the U.N. and the Arab League rather than on authorization from the U.S. Congress. But the only thing worse than a unwise war is losing an unwise war — and that is what the Obama administration has finally realized.

The bombing in Libya has escalated exponentially in recent days, in response to widespread Western criticism and embarrassing U.N. fickleness and NATO deadlines. Qaddafi’s end is most welcome — though there will certainly be more blood-letting required before he is gone entirely. I predict that there will be a split between NATO and the rebels as the ring around the die-hards in Tripoli tightens. There will be lots of retribution, tribal infighting, and, I think, racially inspired brutality: The rebels will want to settle four-decade-old scores, and the Europeans and Americans might not want to be seen nearby, much less be held responsible.

What Libya will look like in a year, no one knows. Without U.S. ground troops, we will have no say over the outcome — and ground troops would mean a politically unacceptable third Middle East occupation and reconstruction. Given the proximity of Libya to Europe, and the fact that the British and French started the intervention — not to mention their thinly disguised obsession with its oil — one hopes that those two countries will do their best to ensure some sort of consensual government. In the meantime, I am afraid that Libya’s sizable wealth and unaccounted-for arsenals may wind up in the wrong hands, as we have seen in the new unrest in Sinai.

via Qaddafi Wanes, and Now Things Get Interesting – By Victor Davis Hanson – The Corner – National Review Online.

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