As the events in Tripoli continue to unfold, this short article from Shadi Hamid provides a coherent argument about the importance of interventions and the lessons to be drawn from Libya.
It's odd, but not necessarily surprising, that critics of the Libya intervention were calling it any number of things: mistake, quagmire, dangerous, an Iraq repeat, and so on. It is odd because the ultimate outcome -- the rebels winning and Qaddafi falling -- never seemed much in doubt. It was a matter of when, not if. For both better and worse, Libya confirms the reality that the role of external actors (in this case, the United States and Europe) can still be decisive in the Arab struggle for freedom.And he remakes a point that should be reiterated constantly:
When you have the ability to act, doing nothing is no longer a neutral position.