Many of my conservative friends like to claim that anyone to the left of Jesse Helms doesn't understand the reality that "the world can be a tough and ugly place." They seem to want to channel Col. Nathan Jessup (a fictional zealot who has one of his troops beaten, inadvertently causing his death) while claiming to stand-up for liberty and a willingness to pay "that price" so that all of the rest of the "soft" masses can sleep easily at night. A task for which we are to thank him and be on our way.
Of course, just as in the movie, where the irony of Jessup's conduct counter-balances his sacrifice in that he needlessly brutalized his troops (denying them the liberty he professes to cherish) in a very selfish and self-serving way, the reality in life is that such prices are sometimes warranted, sometimes needed, and it's hardly the case that recognizing such is the sole province of the "ready, shoot, aim" crowd (e.g. the ultra-conservative, xenophobic and ethnocentric violence lovers on the far right).
Libya was, under George W. (Dubbya) Bush, declared a "friendly" Arab/Muslim nation. One which had changed it's "evil" ways, abandoning (supposedly) weapons of mass destruction. Unfortunately, a funny thing happened on the way to the forum, and Libya AFTER being declared "not so bad" by Bush, was found to have been trying to buy Uranium Hexaflouride (U-Hex) from North Korea - something the Bush crowd attempted to ballywhoo as justifying their animosity toward North Korea UNTIL it became known that the U-Hex was tran-shipped through Pakistan (with Pakistani governmental assistance) and was being shipped through (you guessed it), Dubia - including being handled by Dubai Ports World (the company to which Bush wanted to turn over security control of the majority of the US' major ports). Irony indeed.
Now, we find out that ole' Moamar Qadhaffi isn't perhaps the changed man he was proclaimed to be. We find out that he's killing his citizens while proclaiming they love him. Apparently the only good and loyal Libyan rebel is a dead Libyan rebel in Qadhaffi's eyes.. and of course, the UN and the US are seeking to prevent genocide in this civil war. So here's the thing, Qaddafi was a problem under Bush - this action certainly could have been taken after 9/11 - rather than invading Iraq. Qadhaffi (like Hussien) sponsored Hamas in Lebanon. He has killed his own citizens - but apparently if you're a cooperative "little Muslim" all's well - especially if you make oil available. But in truth, "realpolitik" is a poor approach to the world - he's a thug, has been for decades, and it's damned well time for him to go. Having an army so that you can invade a country to take it's oil (as was done in Iraq - make NO mistake) is a crap-poor reason to have an army. Having an army to stop genocide, like we did in Bosnia (and the right bitched about without stopping during a time of war), is exactly why you have an army, it's the noble and right(eous) thing to do - I support it wholeheartedly, and I don't need to ask you to be grateful - it is one of the best things about America that we have the will and strength to act when others won't. Sometimes violence is the last act of diplomacy and sometimes it's necessary. This is one of those times.