UPDATE 11:15: Mulitiple news outlets and the Libyan government are reporting that Gadhafi has been killed. The Associated Press has moved grisly photos of a dead body that appears to be that of the Libyan leader.
Just days after a celebratory visit to Libya by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former dictator Moammar Gadhafi has reportedly been captured or even killed. The news, if confirmed, would constitute a pretty big win for the NATO policy of supporting anti-Gadhafi rebels without putting Western troops on the ground. Even if Gadhafi remains at large for the time being, his regime is finished.
True, nobody knows with any certainty where Libya will go from here. A democracy of sorts could emerge; a new dictator could seize power; Islamic radicals could take control. The transition from an Arab world dominated by cruelly repressive regimes to an Arab world with a more normalized relationship between the government and the governed is not going to occur quickly, and it’s not going to occur without setbacks.
But preserving the status quo simply isn’t an option. In this case, a low-risk policy of limited intervention has helped to remove a brutal dictator with a long history of sponsoring international terrorism. It has given the people of Libya the opportunity to create something much better for themselves, and providing that opportunity is about all the non-Arab world can hope to accomplish in that region. We can help, but THEY have to actually do it.
– Jay Bookman