It is a different story this time. Libya is not Iraq. The U.S. and West are getting it right this time. The Obama administration is taking a different course towards the Arab World. We are learning from the lessons of the past. This military operation is necessary to limit Gaddafi's military capabilities to slaughter his people. Gaddafi is deeply hated by his people, and the Arab masses who are wishing that the Libyan people will get their freedom after forty two years of Gaddafi's erratic and disastrous rule over Libya.
America is on the right side of history responding to the popular sentiments of Arabs and their gasping for freedom after decades of authoritarian rule of despots who are corrupt and oppressive. America does not need to change the world, but rather listen to the people in these countries, support their hopes for democracy and their right to protest. Our so-called allies across the Arab world have proved to be big liabilities rather than assets; from Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain, and others, the people have spoken and made it clear what they want. They are not afraid anymore of old regimes that have been using fear and oppressive tactics against their people. Arabs are not buying anymore the conspiracy theories that have been promoting by the state media about imperialists, but rather seeing the enemy at home that has been oppressing them, stifling democracy and looting their wealth. It is a brave new world.
The military strikes on Gaddafi's military are weakening him and might not take long. Gaddafi does not have too many choices. His end might be sooner than expected. He is like a cornered rat that might end up in the international court of justice for his crimes against Libyans. Nevertheless, the future seems bright for Libya. It has a fairly small population and is a major oil and gas exporter. It has a viable opposition force and a large community of expatriate Libyans in the West who fled Libya for decades for it was unbearable to live under Gaddafi's regime. The Libyan diaspora is very well-educated and can help in deciding what course Libya will take. They should also be able to take part in near elections.
The US and the West announced that they do not want to run or own that conflict. They are operating under the umbrella of the UN and the blessings of the Arab League. Most probably some Arab countries can participate in that effort. Libya's neighbors like Tunisia and Egypt can help. Emirates, Qatar and Saudi Arabia are involved. We should ask the help of all parties willing to help rather than picking up the tab alone.
Aladdin Elaasar is an expert on the Arab World. He has been a frequent commentator on the Middle East on American and international TV and Radio networks such as CNN, ABC, NBC, NPR, MSNBC, FOX NEWS, BBC radio and TV, and others.