A Word on Libya

Well, let's not start sucking each other's dicks quite yet.

The end of Muammar Gaddafi’s regime appears near. Regardless of one’s views on the wisdom of American intervention, that’s cause for celebration.

I’m working on a piece for publication elsewhere on what comes next. The central thesis, which I imagine I’ll word differently, is the immortal advice of Mr. Wolf: “Let’s not start sucking each other’s dicks quite yet.”

FILED UNDER: Quick Takes, World Politics,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Markey says:

    Tarantino would approve of this me thinks, in Babenhausen anyway..

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Any time one can write a blog post AND work in a Pulp Fiction or Reservoir Dogs quote, is a winner.

  3. john personna says:

    Timid soul that I am, I only said “Don’t count your chickens…”

  4. michael reynolds says:

    No, let’s go right to talking about the potential problems, because otherwise that would mean giving credit to Mr. Obama for an overthrow that cost us not a single drop of American blood. After having done the same with OBL.

    Let’s see, under George W. Bush we managed to knock off Saddam with a loss of 4,400 Americans (so far) and many more wounded. And we never did get OBL.

    Obama takes down both Gaddafi and Osama with a loss of zero US dead.

    Easy to see why Republicans insist Obama is “in over his head.”

  5. anjin-san says:

    Obama takes down both Gaddafi and Osama with a loss of zero US dead.

    Nothing to see here folks, move along. Quickly now…

  6. James Joyner says:

    @michael reynolds: The piece gives plenty of credit to those who made this happen and acknowledged that it’s worth celebrating. (Hell, this two-liner preview does the latter.)

    My caution is that many of us were pretty giddy at this phase in Iraq, too.

  7. anjin-san says:

    My caution is that many of us were pretty giddy at this phase in Iraq, too

    I don’t know any Democrats who are “giddy”. Please that things are going well, yes. Let’s take it easy on the false equivalence here.

  8. Rob in CT says:

    Excellent Pulp Fiction reference.

    I was against this intervention, and I continue to think it was ill-advised. From what I understand of the decision-making process (all based on reporting, which could be inaccurate), I think it was a crappy way to get into a war. There is also the whole don’t bother asking Congress part.

    G-man being out of power is a good thing – at least if the new regime ends up being an improvement. I hope it is.

    I also hope that the liberal interventionists/neo-cons don’t go all “Mission Accomplished” on us. How long before they start pushing for intervention in Syria?

  9. michael reynolds says:

    Actually very early on in Iraq my thoughts were, “What the f— do they mean they don’t have enough men to stop the looting?”

    But of course that was under a president who was an idiot, who then proceeded to launch an occupation and rebuilding effort that gave precedence to GOP party hacks and ideologues and funneled money to his Vice President’s former employer.

    We don’t have that president anymore. We traded him in for a smarter model.

  10. anjin-san says:

    How long before they start pushing for intervention in Syria

    I guess by the standard you are using I am a “liberal interventionist”. I can’t imagine any scenario where I would favor our taking military action in Syria.

    Gaddafi is a mass murderer of Americans. It’s a special case. One way or another, his ass is finally going to pay. BLTN.

  11. mattb says:

    @James Joyner& @michael reynolds: :I think NRP’s coverage this morning on “Morning Edition” walked the correct line of excitement, cautious optimism, and cautionary tales (http://www.npr.org/programs/morning-edition/). The first half hour of the program is particularly worth listening to as they managed to juxtapose Libya, Egypt, and the 1991 Soviet Coup.

    There were two bits that particularly caught me:
    Ann Cooper, Former NRP Moscow Bureau Chief (~6 1/2 minutes in)
    http://www.npr.org/2011/08/22/139843553/2-decades-ago-coup-attempt-helps-to-end-soviet-union
    Is happily ever after an option [after a revolution]. [Following a revolution people start to ask] where is all of this really headed? Your get past that first euphoric stage… the leader is toppled and the people are so united against a hated figure, and thats when things get tough. I’m not sure if we ever know if “happily ever after” is ever realized in these revolutions because the aftermath goes on for so long.

    Oliver Miles, Former British Ambassador to Libya
    http://www.npr.org/2011/08/22/139843569/after-months-libyan-rebels-march-into-tripoli
    Just listen to the whole thing… He’s hanging a lot of the UN needing to take a very active and immediate role in freeing up funds to stabilize the new government (this is especially interesting to think about given Cooper’s discussion about how unstable the Yeltsin years were).

  12. @michael reynolds:

    No, let’s go right to talking about the potential problems, because otherwise that would mean giving credit to Mr. Obama for an overthrow that cost us not a single drop of American blood. After having done the same with OBL.

    Again I’m getting Deja Vu for 2003. I remember all the people going “So what’s the plan now?” and all the Bush supporters going “How dare you question our total lack of planning past the fall of Saddam! You just don’t want to be happy because you can’t bear to see Bush get credit for something.”

    What’s the liberal equivalent of a neo-con? A neo-non-con?

  13. matt says:

    @Stormy Dragon: Neo-liberal