Well, that was fast. I’m not shocked by the administration’s reversal on Libya, since the sting of humiliation if Qaddafi had simply rolled over Banghazi as promised would have been too much even for this president. It looks like we’re headed for Kosovo II — a military action from the air with no congressional authorization; little in the way of public advocacy by the president; probably limited public support; contention among the allies over means, ends, and rationales; and allied forces on the ground who will not measure up to our civilized standards of warfare.
But we’re also facing, once again, a hideous little tin-pot dictator with a tin-pot military extremely vulnerable to us. Qaddafi will very soon lose control of part of his country and of the entirety of his skies, and — like Milosevic — will be hard pressed to survive over time. He suddenly wants a cease-fire, as Dan notes. I’d think if we’re going to recognize any cease-fire, the line should be established as far west and as close to the outskirts of Tripoli as possible and it shouldn’t obscure the fact that the ultimate issue here is Qaddafi’s continuance in power.