I recently mentioned that

I recently mentioned that this is going to get worse before it gets better.  We need to start thinking about what we really want in Libya.  Just as many people insisted that Iraq "was a relatively peaceful place with a weak, isolated leader who was relatively harmless" before America invaded and turned the state into a bloodbath of anarchy, we should consider the Libyan future.  Are the Libyans better off under the relative stability of Gadaffi?

In the Lebanese Civil War, the factions were the Christians, the Sunnis, the Shi'ites, the PLO, and the Druze.  The indiscriminate fratricide was mind-blowing, and went on for 15 years.  If Gadaffi falls, there really isn't an alternative.  The Warfallah tribe is the largest in Libya--with something like a million out of a total Libyan population of 7 million, and they have remained on the sidelines so far.  That is the only large group in the nation that could possibly muster the power to influence events or enforce a peace, but that is many years of civil war away.

Libya is not like Tunisia or Egypt, with highly institutionalized militaries capable of stepping in and taking civil society under their wings during the (hopeful) transistion to democracy.  All we are thinking about today is getting rid of Gadaffi, but what happens then?  Will we be looking back to the "good ole days of Moammar" 18 months from now?

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