Should he survive our drive to dethrone and kill him with that cruise missile into his compound the first night of our attack, he is likely to return the favor, as he did at Lockerbie after Ronald Reagan's 1986 attack on his compound.
Should Gadhafi retain power at the end of this war, with friends and family dead, how safe will U.S. airliners be on the North Atlantic run? If, as Reagan rightly said, Gadhafi is the "mad dog of the Middle East," can you leave such a wounded and rabid animal alive?
Our intervention raises other questions that should have been asked and answered before Obama plunged us into this civil war.
Absent some lucky air or cruise missile strike, how do we remove him from power? How do we de-claw him so we do not awaken some morning to a horrific reprisal on U.S. citizens for what we did to him?
The rebel army is not up to it. It did not just retreat from Sirte after tribal forces joined the Libyan army to repel them. It fled in a Mad Max rout, abandoning town after town until some rebels had fled all the way back to Benghazi.
Even with the United States and NATO imposing a no-fly and no-drive zone on Gadhafi's army, the rebel army is not a force that can march to Tripoli and depose him. And it is unlikely to become such a force anytime soon. The rebels lack the arms, training, equipment and numbers to march 600 miles and capture and hold half a dozen towns along the way against hostile tribes and Libyan troops.
Who, then, is going to do it?
Obama has said we will not put boots on the ground. But if we don't put U.S. advisers in, who will train, arm and lead the rebels? The Germans and Turks want no part of this war. The most bellicose allies, Britain and France, had a hellish time in Bosnia before the Americans came and pulled their chestnuts out of the fire.
As for the Arab League, Qatar has sent a few planes, but where is the Egyptian army, half a million strong and right next door? Why is Arabs fighting Arabs an American rather than an Arab problem?
The truth: There is no "international community." There is Uncle Sam. He does it, or it does not get done.
To find out more about Patrick Buchanan, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at www.creators.com.
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