The second all Americans were safely out of the country, Obama came out with much more forceful language against Libya. Now think about the discipline of this. It represents the polar opposite of a politician's desire to mouth off in public before fulfilling his more immediate duties to his own employees and citizens. Of course, preening blowhards are already posturing and gasping at the prudence and restraint of this president, with this kind of rhetoric

The idea that assistance does not compromise the autonomy of the assisted is in fact one of the central beliefs of liberalism. We invoke it in our social policies all the time. We help people to help themselves. And that is all that is being asked of us by these liberalizing revolutions; no less, but no more. We disappointed Tehran. We disappointed Cairo. Now we are disappointing Tripoli. It is so foolish, and so sad, and so indecent.

Indecent? That is a very strong word. Would risking hundreds of US citizens to become hostages of a madman be a model of "decency"? And the notion that America would actually serve its own interests by military intervention in Egypt, Iran or Libya is simply blind to the sobering lessons of the last decade. It is a shot almost defined by its cheapness.

Obama's warning about war crimes is appropriate. (If only he had the same position when it comes to the war criminals who once ran this country.) It seems to me to be extremely important to state that all those complicit in these atrocities by Qaddafi's regime be informed that they will one day soon be brought to justice and prosecuted for war crimes. This is the latest:

AJE source says that "security officials were at Tripoli medical centre all day today ... the injured did not go in for help". He estimates that 70 were killed last night alone.

"They were left to drown in their own blood ... the blood banks are empty ... last night (Friday) Tripoli medical centre was over run with the wounded"

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