Five Best Friday Columns

On NATO's commitment to freeing Libya, the actual abundance of fish, and Obama's chances of reelection

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The Wall Street Journal Editors on the Lesson of the Winklevoss Case  The Wall Street Journal Editors recognize observe "a broader cultural lesson" looking at the written decision in the Winklevosses' suit against Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg. The judge refers often to the number of highly talented lawyers in who's help the Winklevi enlisted. "While it may be unfair to regard the Winklevoss twins as characters out of Dickens, we suspect that the author of 'Bleak House' might conclude that if one is bringing a sad tale before the court, the court may set the bar of belief at least as high as one's high-powered battalions of legal minds," they propose.

Barack Obama, David Cameron and Nicolas Sarkozy on Goals for Libya  Barack Obama, David Cameron and Nicolas Sarkozy clarify the goals of the Libyan mission in The New York Times today and confirm their commitment to staying until the job is done. The objective here "is not to remove Qaddafi by force. But it is impossible to imagine a future for Libya with Qaddafi in power." NATO must continue what its doing to protect civilians until Qaddafi has been removed and then aid in the transition to new, elected government. "Britain, France and the United States will not rest until the United Nations Security Council resolutions have been implemented and the Libyan people can choose their own future."

Ray Hilborn Says You Shouldn't Feel Guilty About Eating Fish  Ray Hilborn, University of Washington professor of aquatic and fishery sciences, refutes the claim that fish stocks are depleting, pointing to evidence that, in fact, they've rebounded spectacularly in the past decade due to fishing policies. Right now, policies need to be more flexible, as we're restricting catch for some fish when we don't have to. Though he doesn't deny the need for care, "after all, if fish are off the menu, we will likely eat more beef, chicken and pork. And the environmental costs of producing more livestock are much higher than accepting fewer fish in the ocean: lost habitat, the need for ever more water, pesticides, fertilizer and antibiotics, chemical runoff and 'dead zones' in the world's seas."

Philip Stephens on American Troops in Europe At the Financial Times, Philip Stephens thinks the fact that the U.S., after over 20 years after the Cold War, is withdrawing some troops from Europe is a sign that "Americans are giving up on Europe." And this is a good thing. Europe has  relied on the U.S. for defense help and seems unprepared for the lead role it shouldered in the current Libyan conflict, he argues. "In the circumstances, many would say that the intelligent course for Europeans is to plead with the Americans to stay. The harsh truth, though, is that Europe needs shock treatment," Stephens argues. "As long as they are nestling comfortably under the US security umbrella, Europeans will continue to inhabit a postmodern utopia in which the only thing to do with defence spending is to cut it and the only power worth talking about is of a distinctly soft variety."

Peggy Noonan on Why the GOP Needs to Get Serious  The Wall Street Journal's Peggy Noonan argues that President Obama is not in a good position to win the 2012 election. Though his poll numbers are high Noonan suspects most people who actually dislike the President are unwilling to admit that to a pollster. Yet Democrats are not downcast, and "hope that the GOP will nominate for the presidency someone strange, extreme or barely qualified." The outcome of the 2012 election will depend on whether the GOP can get serious and nominate an experienced and qualified traditional Republican candidate. If so, she predicts, "they will likely win the thing without which they cannot achieve the big changes they seek, and that is the presidency."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.