Oops. Here we go again. The Libyan adventure may prove to be a blow for emerging international civilization -- or just the beginning of yet another bloody stalemate that devolves into a seemingly inescapable quagmire. Time will tell. Our careful, cautious President throws dice.
He also adopted what Andrew Sullivan has rightly called a "Shut up and leave it to us" posture. No Congressional discussions (not that the current bunch have shown themselves capable of serous deliberation); no effort even to sell this adventure to the people. There's contempt in the President's stance both for constitutionally mandated process and for democratic politics itself. He's betting this can be done and over before most of us become engaged with what is happening.
This seems a rather cavalier high stakes bet with human lives to me.
Anthony Shadid reported extensively from Iraq for the Washington Post; he's gone on to travel the Arab world for the Times. His picture of the Libyan rebels in this March 13 dispatch is the most close-up description I've seen of folks we've now gone to war for.
Go read it all as you wonder what Obama has gotten the country into.
As someone who has tried to photograph strange and chaotic scenes myself, I have been in awe of the stark yet sometimes beautiful pictures of desert combat from the Libyan fighting. Before he was captured, Times photographer Tyler Hicks was interviewed about the extraordinary images he was filing.
Here's one of his photos. Go read the whole article.