As the violence in Libya worsens, the U.S. has repositioned a number of its warships and dispatched 2,000 marines to the Mediterranean. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the troops were deployed to rescue refugees, but warned that "nothing is off the table" so long as Gadhafi continues to target his citizens. The U.K. and NATO are reportedly ready to launch aerial strikes if necessary. And don't forget, the Libyan ruler may have up to 14 tons of mustard gas at his disposal. Is now the time to step in and rid Libya of its murderous dictator before the situation becomes even more dangerous? (Watch an Al Jazeera report about Libya's growing resistance)
We must intervene now: We cannot stand by "while Libya burns," says Hussein Ibish at Foreign Policy. Not only would military intervention protect the Libyan people from "serious, sustained mass atrocities," but it would place the U.S. on "the side of the aspirations of millions of ordinary Arabs" — sending a message that the West is a "positive force for change rather than a guardian of the older regional order." It's our chance to be on the right side of history.
The rebels must do this themselves: This uprising has been fueled by the Libyan people, says Muhammad min Libya at The Guardian, and it must remain a "wholly popular revolution." Any intervention by the West would create outrage in the Arab world. Every attempt to "bring the East and the West closer" has failed, "and some of them have made things even worse." This war must be finished by those who started it: "The people of Libya."
"Libya is united in popular revolution — please don't intervene"
We should arm the rebels: Neither the protesters nor Western nations want U.S. soldiers on the ground in Libya, says Elliott Abrams, former U.S. deputy national security director for the Middle East, as quoted by Macleans. "But what about arming the rebels?" If the U.S. covertly gives Gadhafi's foes guns and ammunition via Egypt or Saudi Arabia, it could speed the dictator's fall. Do we really want to "stand by and see [Gadhafi] win it, and then wreak vengeance on the opposition?"
"Should the world intervene in Libya's war?"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- The mystery behind China's aggressive push into space
- Here's the schedule very successful people follow every day
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Why Texas' abortion rates aren't falling as quickly as everyone expected
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- Why all drugs should be legal. (Yes, even heroin.)
- The 6 best low-cost smartphones
- What religious traditionalists can teach us about sex
- Paul Ryan's anti-poverty plan is another sign of life in the GOP
- Yes, Republicans can impeach President Obama
Subscribe to the Week