I'm not down with the whole Libya thing, not quite yet anyway. And no its not because I'm some Obama hating wingnut. I actually think Obama has done pretty well playing the part of George W. Bush's 3rd term. I just don't get this military approach to protect civilians. How can you protect civilians when you can't tell combatants from civilians? I guess its to kill off the people who wear uniforms which will then empower the ones who don't wear them and good luck figuring out that mess after the shooting stops.
True there have been attacks from Libyan military on areas where civilians were known to be. Maybe even a case for war crimes. But Quadaffi is fighting a rebellion in a sovereign nation in which the last time I checked, like it or not he was still the HMFWBIC, as in the head mother f-er who be in charge. And the combatants he is fighting are hiding (or not hiding) in civilian areas. Does that give them free reign with no fear of attack? For some perspective look at how Syria handled the Hama uprising in 1982.
The Syrian military shelled, exploded, gassed, and shot an entire village of some 10,000-ish people in which rebels were operating from in cooperation with the locals. No one around the world even blinked an eye back then. Or look at how the US military in Iraq had to operate in civilian areas to engage hostile militias. Or how Israel had to fight their last war in Lebanon when Hezbollah combatants fired rockets from civilian neighborhoods and near UNIFIL locations.
We have two trends working together in a dog-chases-tail scenario.. The Internet allows instant sharing of accounts and video of atrocities, so leaders can no longer quell a rebellion without the world finding out immediately. And the preferred tactic of rebels, insurgents, terrorists, whatever you call them has become to use civilians as shields and wage tactical attacks against the enemy from populated areas. Combined, these two forces will lead to more rebellions and chaos. Fine, you say for people over there.
But what about if some radical armed militia here in the US decides to wage attacks against the government or military from civilian locations? You think we might see some collateral damage in the response? oh perhaps. No I am not trying to compare our two nations' military forces in any way. Of course the US would take every effort to avoid any civilian casualties, but it happens.
Hopefully someday in the future, assuming we can stop the violence by killing enough of the military and security forces, we can hand off the protection of the new Libya to a new batch of soldiers who will get to wear uniforms and be targets for the next rebellious "civilians". Good luck with that.
Why do we want to get in the middle of that hot mess?