Over at DailyKos, the excellent Meteor Blades, who knows something about Libya since he has family there, responds to UN approval for a no-fly zone and maybe much more with the words:
I hope he's right and that we are not seeing the beginning of something unexpectedly long and mistaken.
I am not trusting; the US security establishment is involved. How could I be trusting? I can't offhand think of any military engagement these people got right in my lifetime and the more recent ones have been getting stupider, not smarter. The other day, Tom Ricks, an experienced journalist chronicling military matters who has supported imposition of a no fly zone, admitted that the list of proponents who were urging one gave him pause. It included:
No -- I don't know who they all are either. But every name I do recognize was a fan of the discredited Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld adventure in Iraq. With friends like these, it becomes close to impossible to believe this no fly zone we've just bought into will end well.
Marc Lynch (Abu Aardvark) spent the last week at an al-Jazeera forum in Qatar talking with journalists from all over the Arab world. He had previously supported a no fly zone. But he came away with a new perspective.
My emphasis. He came away slightly more sanguine about a UN- and Arab League-endorsed intervention by someone else's air power (who?).
If outsiders are going to get in, help the Libyan opposition, and get out, it is going to take some fancy footwork. I'd be a lot more comfortable with all this if I thought we had a President who dared resist pressure from the screamers on the right who just love projecting US military power. But we have not seen any sign we have such a President.
Photo from a demonstration in support of the Libyan opposition in San Francisco, February 26.