Here are some thoughts I had

Here are some thoughts I had when Egypt was in the early stages of revolt.  Substituting "Gadaffi" for "Mubarak" and "Libya" for "Egypt", they are in my opinion relevant to what is happening in Libya.  We got too involved in this thing and now we are going to pay a price.  Whatever happens next will incur a culpability that will naturally be assigned to the West:

If the Mubarak regime were to be forced out today, the entire government falls.  There is no structure in place to elect a successor.  Mubarak has never allowed an organized opposition, so there are currently no parties and no candidates with national appeal.  What we are facing is a power vaccuum, and that is always a dangerous thing.

If the government falls, there is no one to pay the police or the soldiers.  Chaos will break out on the streets of a nation of 80 million, and there will be no one to stop it.  A cursory glance at history, ranging from the collapse of the Ancien Regime, the Qing Dynasty, the implosion of Yugoslavia, to the fall of Saddam will give you a general idea of what happens when the center collapses.  Eastern Europe's transition to democracy in 1989 [...] was an historical anomaly.

[....]

Imagine Libya, Somalia, Israel, Sudan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, America and the EU all giving guns to people who delight in using them.  Imagine all those armed factions fighting for control of Egypt and the Suez.  Imagine a massive civil war in a country of 80 million.  Eventually, people will opt for the first movement that can bring order back to the nation.  This is how the Taliban so easily consolidated power in the mid 90s.  It could be a gangster, a thug, a warlord, or a fanatic, but he will not be democratic.  No matter what events develop, America will not be able to enter Egypt to assist.  The international political climate is such that we can not have American or NATO troops in another Arab capitol.  This will be Europe's problem [...]

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