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What Should We Do About Libya?
Experts weigh in.


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DAVID PRYCE-JONES
Three weeks ago, Libya was blowing up, and the right thing would have been immediately to send a battle group to the Mediterranean. There are only four airfields in Libya, and it would have been possible to establish a no-fly zone at no cost. This would have given the anti-Qaddafi forces a chance, and they could have been helped with organization and financing, and if they so demanded, with weaponry.

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The absence of any forward policy has doomed these forces. They will have the impression that the West’s inertia derives from lack of interest and loss of self-confidence. A few may fight to the end, but most are likely to try to escape the coming repression. All that can now be done is to freeze Libyan assets, impose sanctions, and persuade as many countries as possible to ostracize Qaddafi, with penalties at least for Western businesses who try to profiteer in the aftermath of the crisis. But there it is: By doing nothing, we have made ourselves accomplices of Qaddafi. It is truly ominous that he has no real power base yet has made rings round what was supposed to be a superpower.

 — David Pryce-Jones is a senior editor of NR.



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