i take all these objections and positions on libya seriously, let me say. i realize that there are incredibly difficult questions of all sorts, including what comes next, whether un or us/eu or nato intervention is itself totalitarianism. i don't think you can have a big bombing campaign without killing people other than soldiers. but i just want to say again: gaddafi is a fucking nightmare, and he was just about to slaughter or indeed in the middle of slaughtering people who were resisting his completely indefensible dictatorship. anyone who could do something about it should have. that we're not taking the same steps in yemen or bahrain is problematic, though each of these situations of course has its own incredible complications. but that we aren't is not itself an argument that we shouldn't in libya.
we are trying to save actual human beings from an actual ravening monster. that is a right reason to deploy military force. from the moment the revolts started in tunisia and egypt, my first thought was: could gaddafi go? he needs to go. he would kill everyone to stay in power, and he's got chumps who will help him. unlike egypt or tunisia, or even maybe yemen as it seems the army is turning, there is no other way through except just to watch the slaughter, and then watch him pass along his murderous despotism to his sons. kill him now, is my advice. then revive him by heroic measures and kill him again.