Monday, August 22, 2011

Thus Spake Juan Cole

Professor Cole provides this analysis of Libya's nearly fulfilled revolution.
Moreover, those who question whether there were US interests in Libya seem to me a little blind. The US has an interest in there not being massacres of people for merely exercising their right to free assembly. The US has an interest in a lawful world order, and therefore in the United Nations Security Council resolution demanding that Libyans be protected from their murderous government. The US has an interest in its NATO alliance, and NATO allies France and Britain felt strongly about this intervention. The US has a deep interest in the fate of Egypt, and what happened in Libya would have affected Egypt (Qaddafi allegedly had high Egyptian officials on his payroll).
I would add only that the United States also has an interest in not boxing-in states and leaders in such a way as their only option is to play a destabilizing role in the international system. The only tolerable endgame after the West moved to isolate and marginalize Qaddafi was his ouster--sooner rather than later.  

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