Michael, that Daily Kos guy makes a good point: What are we incentivizing here? If you’re a thug regime and you just want to be left alone to brutalize your people, the best thing to do is get yourself a small, easily affordable nuclear program. The Iranians, for example, have offered to share their nuclear know-how with Sudan. If you’re the Sudanese government (which has killed far more civilians than Gaddafi) and you’re watching what’s happening on your north-western border, doesn’t that offer look a lot more attractive today?
PS Two weeks ago I wrote re Afghanistan:
When America goes into Afghanistan, it doesn’t think it’s prosecuting American interests. Quite the opposite: Regardless of whether it’s officially UN- or Nato-sanctioned, America goes in as the expeditionary force of “world opinion” or “the global commons”. It doesn’t believe it has a national interest in Afghanistan, and indeed assumes that it would be a kind of transnational faux pas to be seen to have one, so it’s hardly surprising that the “nation” it winds up “building” doesn’t look much like anywhere any American would want to have anything to do with… Transnational nation-building is like a mangled Hotel California: We never seriously check in, and yet we never leave.
PPS Have we outspent in Libya all those GOP budget “savings” yet? Or do the Chinese, who after all “support” this intervention at the U.N., give us a special deal on transnationally-approved war debt?