Brendan,Perhaps it is best

Brendan,

Perhaps it is best that I respond to this second post.  It seems like you and I are digging in to our positions, and might not be listening closely to the other at this point.

I do have some reservations about this. It's hard to get information that is believable or verifiable about public opinion, in Tripoli in particular.

Thanks for that.  I do need the occasional acknowledgement that at least some aspects of what I am attempting to convey are getting across.

My big concern is that this situation did not seem to be approached cautiously.(!!!)

I do not believe that the rebels were in immediate danger of extermination.  In past conflicts that I have followed, the press was reporting imminent collapse of the favored side daily--  For years.

As a rule of thumb, it would be better if we were not involved at all, but perhaps--perhaps--an intervention was necessary, but I hadn't really seen the evidence that it was.

(I have heard that the intervention has emboldened people in Tripoli, and they have become more vocal in openly criticising the regime.  That is a good thing.)

The intervention is going to widen the war.  That is just the way these things work.  We don't really know if the LPNTC has any real legitimacy on the ground, so we don't really know who we are dealing with on the ground.  There are just so many things that we don't know.  The French led the push for some unknown reason (maybe it is a good one) but this all happened too fast.  It appears our response was emotional, not carefully measured.  This is all coming across as rather reckless--particularly if you are not a North American or European citizen--and there will be a nasty civil war that follows.  We will carry the blame for it.

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