As wonderful as it would be to remove a tyrant, it is difficult to imagine the United States engaging in another regional conflict when our prior two regional engagements have yet to be concluded successfully. I'm not even talking about all the possible realist and pragmatic obstacles that exist to US intervention in Libya, I'm discussing things from a straight-up resource managment scenario.
If your domestic priority is the subsidization of the uber-wealthy, your nation cannot also pursue unending wars and military conflicts as a foreign priority. At least, your nation cannot do both of these things, and hope to remain solvent.
In America, our governments are slashing funding for medicine, schools, roads, infrastructure, and programs that assist our most vulnerable citizens under the guise of "fiscal responsibility," even while our nation maintains a robust military presence all over the world, and is still engaged in not one but two ongoing wars.
And now, a lot of the same folks who have argued that health care and schools are too expensive want to get us to go in, guns blazing, and rescue a bunch of Libyan rebels who many not really represent the "good guys" we'd like to pretend they are on the evening news.
Which is it, fellas? Are we broke, or do bombs grow on trees?
I will be the first one to say that Quaddafi's continued rule is not in the interests of American foreign policy; nor is it in the interests of human rights and dignity. The best thing would be a cavalry-call of international smackdown to remove the liveried dictator from power and drag his ass before The Hauge.
But there is only so much the United States can do about that based on the resource management skills of our former and current national leaders. The nations of Europe have militaries, as do the nations of Egypt and Saudi Arabia. (Well, I guess our allies the Saudis are too busy putting down the popular demonstrations with their military in another US client state to be bothered by an actual military threat that exists in their region.)
And that's just the resource managment angle. The moral responsibility angle is still out there. Luckily, some real conservatives are specifically examining America's responsibilities in this scenario. Too bad we didn't read more of that back in 2002.