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Freeing Libya

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Michael Barone rightly slams the haphazard approach of the president to the liberation of Libya from a madman, and that was before the latest set of screw-ups and incoherencies surfaced.

But it is inconceivable that American military might,backed by our closest allies through NATO and with the authority of the U.N. would not succeed in forcing the removal of a ruthless dictator and his killer cronies and their mercenaries. Critics of the president’s competence in the fumbling start of the operation have got to avoid sounding like Joe Biden did early in the Afghanistan campaign when he warned of the snows in the Hindu Kush and sounded like a prophet of American defeat. Even as proponents of Qadaffi’s removal urge more robust means and more rapid deployment of force and clarity in mission, they have to take care to underscore support for the use of American arms to secure the region from spreading instability and the people of Libya from mass homicide.

The president is incompetent, but the American military isn’t, and Secretary Gates and the military will figure it out and fairly soon.

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Friends and Allies of Rome