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Commentary – Optimistic about Libya, Pessimistic about Syria

The Arab Spring’s turn towards bloodshed remains, rightly, topic number one over at the National Journal security blog. I’ve commented lately on both Libya and Syria. 

Today’s optimistic post on the fall of Qaddafi:

Certainly it’s a mess. Certainly, everyone involved screwed up in ways that cost human lives – but war is like that even when you win. Certainly, Libya is just beginning a long and dangerous journey that could lead to chaos or renewed tyranny – but revolutions are like that, including ours in 1775. And frankly even a new authoritarian regime would be an improvement on Qaddafi as long as the new strongman met the minimum standards of (1) not sponsoring terrorism, (2) not gunning down crowds of protestors, and (3) not being batshit insane. But I think Libya can do a lot better than that…

Last week’s pessimistic comment on the endurance of the Assad regime:

Whoa, slow down. We’re “preparing for a post-Assad Syria”? Contingency planning is a good idea – look what a mess we made of Iraq when we didn’t plan – but Assad’s exit probably won’t come soon, if it comes at all. Whether, how, and when he falls, furthermore, has very little to do with what any outside power says or does, and arguably least of all what the U.S. might do….

For my full posts in the context of the moderators’ questions and other contributors’ responses, go to this week’s ongoing discussion on Libya or last week’s on Syria – but as always with the NJ blog, you’ll have to come back here to comment yourself.

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