President Obama and other world leaders have urged Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi to step down, but some U.S. intelligence officials now concede that Gadhafi will probably win. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told Congress Thursday that he thinks "over the longer term, that the regime will prevail" in Libya's civil war, given Gadhafi's superior weapons and better-trained troops. After initial losses, those troops do appear to be driving the rebels back. With many of his own people and most of the world against him, can Gadhafi really hold onto power?
Gadhafi probably will win: The rebels' "morale and resolve" is little "defense against heavy artillery," says Dominic Waghorn at Sky News. And as Gadhafi's forces retake cities and ports, their earlier ineptness looks suspiciously like a ploy to draw the "disorganized rebel militia" out of their safety zone. If the West doesn't step in now, "there is a danger that Libya's democratic uprising is about to be snuffed out as the world does little more than look on with horror."
"Morale and resolve vs. heavy artillery"
The rebels can pull this off... if we help: "I am convinced the rebels will win," says Hisham Matar at The New York Times. And the "fighters are adamant they can win this themselves," without foreign troops. But they do need supplies and better weapons, and a no-fly zone would be nice. Since the West "helped fortify the Gadhafi dictatorship" for so long, it must accept its "great moral responsibility" to "assist the uprising and limit the soaring loss of innocent life."
We shouldn't determine Gadhafi's fate: The U.S. shouldn't get "pulled into a civil war that has nothing to do with us," says Daniel Larison at The American Conservative. It's too bad if Gadhafi wins, but it goes against our self-interest to arm or otherwise help rebels "whose cause we don't fully understand," especially since some of them "are obviously hostile to the U.S."
"Just leave the Libyan civil war alone"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Syrian women know how to defeat ISIS
- The U.S. Marines are developing laser weapons. Here's why.
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- The one thing the New Atheists get right about religion
- Will Kobani be ISIS's Waterloo?
- 5 baffling foreign-language versions of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme song
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- How 1,000-year lifespans could remake the economy
- The stories behind 22 classic album covers
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
Subscribe to the Week