Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Libya, the source of so many American nightmares, is fast becoming an American dream.
Reagan was tortured by Tripoli, and its big boss man, sassing the US. He imposed sanctions, and bombed the country, but had no peace. Bush the Younger was reconciled with the prodigal Colonel Gaddafi, but somehow this alliance seemed, well, un-American.
Obama, though, will have the privilege of being an ally of an ostensibly free Libya that he helped birth into existence. At minimal outlay (a mere $1 billion, which is peanuts in Pentagon terms), and with relatively few lives lost from bombing, a US-led operation has deposed a Middle East regime and empowered a transitional regime that is committed to human rights and free elections.
After the carnage of Iraq, such a simple, swift and (apparently) morally uncomplicated victory seemed impossible.
Lest we swoon too quickly, however, it is worth remembering that there are other ways to look at this.