Staying Out Of Libya

Leslie Gelb's makes his case against intervention:

It is folly to start that incredibly dangerous process of arming and protecting rebels on the supposition that they are democrats, or that they would be better than their present dictators, or that they could "win" with U.S. help.

Instead, the only safe and sound course is to continue to freeze Libyan funds in the United States; warn Libyan killers of all stripes that they will be held to humanitarian account; provide active and massive humanitarian relief services and aid to refugees; condemn Gaddafi's actions at the U.N.; call for the peaceful resolution of the civil war; and leave any military action and military aid to the African Union, the Arab League, the Europeans, or individual states from these groups. And should Britain and France seek a U.N.-approved no-fly zone, Washington should neither thwart nor join it. In the end, the United States cannot and should not be more helpful than Libya's neighbors themselves. Remember, no one maintains that Libya is a vital strategic interest to Washington.