he government of Moammar Gadhafi called for an "immediate ceasefire" Friday, just hours after the United Nations Security Council authorized the use of "all necessary" military force, including airstrikes, to protect civilians from the dictator's violent assault. Rebels celebrated in Benghazi, their last stronghold, as Gadhafi called off what he had said would be a merciless attack on the city. Britain and France vowed to continue with military preparations in case Gadhafi breaks his word. Has the U.N.'s threat already succeeded in saving the rebels?
No. Gadhafi is still in power: "The UN shouldn't accept this nonsense," says Rick Moran at The American Thinker. But it "probably will," because it only wants to stop the slaughter, not overthrow anyone. If the "the U.N. chickens out and agrees to leave Gaddafi in power," his goons will slowly and quietly terrorize the population into submission again. Then "the bloodbath will be even bigger than if they did nothing."
"What planet does the Libyan Foreign Minister live on?"
This is the beginning of the end for Gadhafi: The U.N. may have acted quickly enough to prevent Gadhafi from delivering the "final blow" against the rebels, says Judah Grunstein at World Politics Review. But the move came too late to restore the opposition's momentum and get rid of Gadhafi quickly. Still, if the no-fly zone and airstrikes create a military "stalemate," while sanctions strip Gadhafi of "significant revenue and resources," he won't be able to last.
"Libya: Limited objectives will ultimately be decisive"
Careful what you wish for: Establishing a no-fly zone could backfire on the U.S. and Europe, says Stanley Kurtz in National Review. Even if this ultimately drives Gadhafi out of power, we might get "an anti-Western, pro-terrorist, Islamist government," rather than the liberal democracy we're hoping for. It's not worth the risk.
"Against a no-fly zone"
- There is a better alternative to raising the minimum wage
- How the strange case of Obama's Uncle Omar complicates immigration reform
- Is Biden helping or hurting U.S. interests in Asia?
- Watch The Daily Show use Pope Francis to hammer Fox Business pundits
- Rick Santorum wins the prize for the worst Nelson Mandela tribute
- Which professions have the most psychopaths?
- 5 books to read before your 30th birthday
- This is how much extra it costs to eat healthy every day
- Ryan Seacrest invested $1 million to transform your iPhone into a BlackBerry
- Why European women are still smoking like chimneys
Subscribe to the Week