Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Carthago Delenda Est

Our UN-blessed war with Libya can end with Khaddafi still in power in whatever rump Libya he still holds, according to Secretary Clinton:

Military action will continue "until Kadhafi fully complies with the terms of (UN Security Council resolution) 1973, ceases his attacks on civilians, pulls his troops back from places they have forcibly entered, and allows key services and humanitarian assistance to reach all Libyans," Clinton said.

The establishment of an immediate ceasefire was one of the top demands of the resolution authorizing "all necessary measures" to protect Libyan civilians, including air strikes on Kadhafi's ground forces and a no-fly zone.

So we would have to accept a ceasefire if he complies with 1973.

Let's recall the other UN-blessed wars that ended short of victory.

First, there was the Korean War begun in 1950. We got a ceasefire and the survival of North Korea. Now they threaten the world with threats ranging from terrorism, nuclear attack, conventional attack, and--funny enough--collapsing from their own economic ineptitude and oppression. So this has been a great experience of a vast coalition acting on behalf of the world.

Then we have the Persian Gulf War of 1991 that liberated Kuwait--thus saving them from attack and oppression by Saddam's forces--but allowed Saddam's weakened Iraq to survive. We got a long no-fly zone followed by another war to finally destroy his regime, and a long counter-insurgency fight to defeat the regime remnants and jihadis and death squads financed and facilitated by the Iraqi Baathists, Syria, Iran, and the wider Sunni Arab world. That was fun, huh?

And now we could easily have this UN-blessed war end in a ceasefire with Khaddafi still standing?

That would be a defeat for America even as the UN types declare mission accomplished because we checked off all the boxes on resolution 1973.

There is no substitute for victory. Khaddafi's regime must be destroyed. Otherwise, we risk having future generations deal with an even worse problem in Libya.

UPDATE: Thank you to The Unreligious Right for the link.