As some on my side of the political aisle seem very encouraged about what's taking place in Libya and while I certainly have nothing but contempt for Muammar Ghadafi, I have to acknowledge a sense of unease about the whole enterprise.
My chief concern is about the endgame. As Admiral Mullen has acknowledged, all this could still result in Ghadafi remaining in power. Assuming Ghadafi and his minions are defeated/killed/exiled, who is to lead Libya and on what basis? How deep will the intervention be?
Another issues that concerns me is why the focus on Libya and perhaps not the Ivory Coast? In the Ivory Coast, an autocratic leader, Laurent Gbabgo, who had resisted calling for elections for some ten years, lost in the second round of elections to Alassane Ouattara and has steadfastly refused to relinquish power. Gbagbo forces have murdered unarmed women at an opposition rally and last Thursday shelled a public market in an area of Abidjan that is pro-Ouattara, killing twenty-five.
In this conflict, unlike Libya, the endgame is clear: Laurent Gbagbo should be jailed and Alassane Ouattara should be sworn in as president. Again, I hold no brief for Ghadafi. I just can't ignore an uneasy twinge of deja vu.