Who Leads in Libya

So here we are. Rebels in Libya have taken control of most of the capital of Tripoli, and Gaddafi has been forced into hiding, although loyalist forces still retain control of parts of the country. It has yet to be seen what will become of Libya in the long run, of course, but coming this far is a success in itself. And all of this happened without a major influx of U.S. ground troops.

Apparently that means that there's a lack of U.S. leadership here. That this "leading from behind" isn't actually leading at all. I find it difficult to be overly concerned with that, to be honest. Simply because I don't think the U.S. should be in the lead here.

It seems that the general point of a revolution is to install a new government that is more receptive to the will of the people of the nation in question. Or, "that whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness," in the words of our own Declaration of Independence. And that means that the U.S. simply cannot be in the lead. The Libyan rebels must be the ones to institute new government; it is our place to respect their right to self-determination and offer them assistance if they ask.

Put more simply? They are the protagonists here. And complaining that the U.S. failed to lead entirely misses that point - that we should never have been in the lead in the first place.

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