Qaddafi Must Go, Somehow

Andrew Sullivan —  Apr 15 2011 @ 4:59pm


Cameron, Sarko, and Obama collectively authored an op-ed on Libya that asserts "Qaddafi must go and go for good." Greg Scoblete makes the obvious rejoinder:

Nowhere in the article, however, do they explain how they intend to bring about his downfall. The leaders state that unseating Gaddafi was not the point of the mission, but then declare that the NATO mission will not end unless and until Gaddafi steps aside. So it's only natural for people to point out that there is a rather glaring mismatch between means and ends here. Why harp on the fact that the goal is Gaddafi's departure if you're not going to take the necessary steps to hasten him to the door?

Or even taking the humanitarian intervention at face value, how does an air-campaign prevent the use of clusterbombs in urban areas? Or GRAD rockets?

The toll of the GRAD rocket strikes also framed the ways in which civilians in this war are forced into vulnerability. Misurata has few open markets, almost no electricity and limited supplies of food. To eat, many residents must stand in bread lines.

One of the rockets that landed in Qasr Ahmed exploded beside one of those lines, killing several people waiting for food. “I jumped onto the ground when the explosions started,” said Ali Hmouda, 36, an employee of the port. “My friend did not. His head came off.”

This is not to say that NATO or the US should adopt a mission of regime change. Just that the not-intervention in a not-war could go on for quite some time.

(Photo: Libyan men make the V-sign for victory as they stand on the deck of a libyan ship arriving from Misrata to the port of Benghazi on April 9, 2011.  By Mahmud Hams/AFP/Getty Images.)