As Roger Cohen notes, it's already happened. And Cohen backs ruthlessness in Libya:
People are being born throughout the Middle East. They are discovering their capacity to change things, their inner “Basta!” That’s how the Arab spring began on Dec. 17 in the little town of Sidi Bouzid in Tunisia with a fruit peddler’s “enough” to humiliation. In my end is my beginning.
Three months later the genie is not only out of the bottle, it’s shattered the bottle. I said of Libya in an earlier column: Be ruthless or stay out. So now the West is in, be ruthless. Arm the resurgent rebels. Incapacitate Qaddafi. Do everything short of putting troops on the ground. Qaddafi, as President Obama has said, “must leave.” So that Libya can be an Arab country that is imperfect but open.
It appears that Clinton has heard him.