Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Fall of Qaddafi (or is it Gaddafi?)

I might as well add my own voice to the reaction to the fall of Qaddafi (Gaddafi). I rejoice as much as the next person, but with a caveat.

The Libyan tyrant was a curse to his own people and all his neighbors. He went out of his way to make enemies. The world is better off without him. But remember, getting rid of the tyrant is the easy part. The damage to his society remains. And, as a general rule, the worse the tyrant, the worse the damage to clean up and the more difficult the transition. Our wars in Afghanistan and Iraq gave a quick and easy victory over a tyrant, and then a growing mess taking his place that became more and more our responsibility.

Granted, there is a difference here. We have left this war to the Libyans and limited ourselves to air support. That is certainly for the best. But as the "what next" problems begins to grow and become more complicated, let's be very wary about making it our own.

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