House Republicans who voted to stop the war in Libya right away — 87 of them supported a resolution by isolationist, ultra-left-wing Rep. Dennis Kucinich last week — could not be more out of step with developments on the ground. They seem to think that the war in Libya is a quagmire and that they will derive political advantage from denouncing it. Wrong. The New York Times’s ace war correspondent John Burns reports from Tripoli that the Qaddafi regime is clearing teetering on the brink of disaster:
The Libyan government has a growing record of improbable statements and carefully manipulated news events, but four months into the conflict here, it is showing signs of desperation and disorganization. The loyalist locker seems increasingly bare.
With Colonel Qaddafi effectively a fugitive in his own capital; with Libyan rebels making important gains in recent days in the western mountains; with growing food shortages; and with an urban underground in Tripoli capable of mounting mass protests that the government can suppress only with deadly fire, the government now seems to be relying ever more heavily on its propaganda machine.
But Qaddafi can’t even spread propaganda effectively. His minions are reducing to making improbable claims of NATO brutalities that leave Western reporters amused, not impressed.
Qaddafi will fall; it’s only a matter of time. Washington Republicans would be well advised not to try to come to this discredited tyrant’s rescue. Instead they should push the Obama administration to ensure that there is a good plan in place for the post-Qaddafi phase when it will be imperative to dispatch a substantial international stabilization force to avoid the kind of disasters that occurred in post-2003 Iraq.