Meanwhile, the Arab League has asked the United Nations to impose a no-fly zone over Libya to protect vulnerable civilians. Neighboring Egypt and Tunisia voted for it. They have no interest in a victorious Gadhafi seeding regional turmoil. Nor do they have an interest in post-Gadhafi chaos. Given his age and savage madness, even if he smashes the current rebellion, he will go, sooner rather than later, and his going will be ugly. Count on more civil war. Western nations, Egypt and Tunisia will face another "we just don't know" situation. New mass graves will dot the desert.
That's why it makes political and moral sense to help defeat the devil we know now rather than face a worse hell later.
But as Gadhafi's tanks advance and kill, the Obama administration stalls. It apparently finds a Gadhafi victory preferable to facing charges of imperialism or comparison to George W. Bush -- despite the political cover of the Arab League's appeal.
Egypt also has an air force. Pray Cairo uses it in Cyrenaica before Gadhafi's mercenaries reach Tobruk. The Egyptian general who makes that decision will deserve a Nobel Peace Prize.
Austin Bay is the author of three novels. His third novel, The Wrong Side of Brightness, was published by Putnam/Jove in June 2003. He has also co-authored four non-fiction books, to include A Quick and Dirty Guide to War: Third Edition (with James Dunnigan, Morrow, 1996).
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