The Arab League rarely supports such actions, so if they believe the world should act, it gives the west legitimacy in an area of the world where we haven't traditionally had much. It is in our direct strategic interest to support these democratic movements because of the potential they offer for a new Middle East. And, that is something America has been hoping to see unfold for generations.
The difference between this "Arab Spring" (the overall democratic movement in the region) and past revolutions in the Arab world is that it's largely been supported by those seeking democracy. In years gone by, revolutions against hard-line regimes were done in the name of theocracy but this time the young people saw the mistakes of their parents generations. They know now that clerics and other Islamic radicals failed them in the past. Plus, seeing the information explosion in the world via the internet, they want what the rest of the world has; true freedom, democracy and economic opportunity. In many cases these throngs of young people were educated in the West and have adopted the lifestyles and beliefs of true democracy.
So, how could America, the shining beacon of democracy on the hill, as Ronald Reagan described it, ignore this chance to welcome the Middle-East into the community of modern democracies? If Obama had failed to act, allowed genocide to unfold, as well as, ignoring the unprecedented support from the Arab world, (and countries like France), he would have been seen as weak and ineffectual on foreign policy. He would have been mocked by conservatives and disappointed the entire freedom loving movements of the Middle-East. This "Arab Spring" of democracy has been a long-time in coming and it would have been disastrous to America's strategic interests in the area to have ignored it.
As for the military operation itself, success is unfolding as I type this out. Already Benghazi is liberated, which prevented a near unprecedented massacre in a city of over 650,000--all largely opposed to Gaddafi. Gaddafi's troops have been repelled from Benghazi and the opposition has steadily pushed his forces back all the way West to Gaddafi's home city of Sirte. Capturing Sirte will be a huge psychological victory for the freedom fighters. The tide is turning and as the rebels get further and further toward Tripoli there are already fractures in Gaddafi's inner circle (according to reports). It seems, the Butcher of Libya, Moammar Gaddafi is running out of time, and support.
PHOTO CREDIT: Libyan flag of the democratic revolution by "anonymous" on Deviant Art.
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