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What If The French Fail?

Adam Garfinkle pulls no punches while criticizing our slipshod Libya strategy:

We have a great deal riding on the success of the Franco-British operation, assuming one actually takes shape in a hurry. If it doesn’t work, the U.S. government is very likely going to be dragged, even with the President privately kicking and screaming all the way, to a mission definition (again, the only logical one available) that will presage an open-ended commitment.

As I have said, a Qaddafi left armed and dangerous when the dust settles is an unacceptable outcome. Civilian planes will likely start failing out the sky, as did the one over Lockerbie; assassination attempts will multiply, like the attempted Libyan-backed murder of the Saudi king in 2003; al-Qaeda and affiliates might be aided and abetted to do Lord-knows-what to the Italians, the French, the British and, of course, to us. With nothing to lose, and way beyond the threshold of worrying about sanctions and such, Qaddafi could well become more dangerous than ever. If I were Silvio Berlusconi, in particular, I’d pick my future whorehouses with extreme care.

Douthat's outlook on Libya remains equally gloomy.