Just Supply Them

Fareed suggests a half-way position on aid to the Libyan uprising:

Over the past five decades, the U.S. has had very mixed results when it has intervened, by air or land, in other people's wars. But it has done pretty well when it has helped one side of the struggle. Arming rebels in Afghanistan, Central America and Africa has proved to be a relatively low-cost policy with high rates of success. Giving arms, food, logistical help, intelligence and other such tools to the Libyan opposition would boost its strength and give it staying power. Once Gaddafi realizes that he is up against an endless supply of arms and ammunition, he will surely recalibrate his decisions.

The news that Qaddafi is raiding his rainy day massacre fund and has huge resources to pay mercenaries, propagandists and his paramilitary renders this kind of limited intervention more palatable. I'm still queasy. If we arm those rebels, where do those arms eventually end up? Does the future of Egyptian democracy really hinge on the outcome in Libya? I don't see why or how.