What happened the last time a revolution was sped through and the people left to rebuild as they see fit?
Oh, yeah. Iraq.
My support of the Iraq war came after a lot of soul searching because I expected two things to happen. First, there would be war opportunists all over. I don't think there has ever been a war that didn't include portions of the government connect private sector trying to spin a fast buck out of it. It has been a long time since I saw war as some simple "march in, kick ass, and leave" operation. Because of how many times the news reported on backroom deals and fleecing tax payers and attrocities in a foreign land in disarray that can't quite track or prosecute a powerful out of town corporation, these considerations factor into my decision. War is the liberation of the dark side of man, every primal and immediate concern allowed to be first nature, from the blatant to the subtle. The question is, knowing this will happen, would I be able to look back afterwards and say, "Yes, we should have done it?"
The second thing I expected to happen was the civil unrest. Allow me to use the illustrating example of Juan Peron (yes, the guy from Evita). Peron's supporters only had him in common. It wasn't unusual for him to pass a group by, and those around him would be adoring him, but as soon as he was gone, people would begin fighting amongst themselves. Saddam Hussein in Iraq was the lord of several factions that were prone to interfighting but kept from doing so by the country's dictator. When the Iraq War started, I prayed that the US led forces would keep a close eye on things. Otherwise, once America turned its back, the people would start attacking each other. Decades of unrest, injustice, discrimination, and flat out hatred would demand repayment in blood. And sure enough, that was what happened, and the four major divisions squabbled with each other for superiority instead of tending to the needs of the fractured citizenry.
I read about Libya, and I get nervous. A lot of people are cheering this because they see it as freedom and liberty and all that stuff. But it's not. It's people demanding justice, not freedom. And justice is a very dangerous drug that spoils quickly. If the NATO forces bail too quickly, the infighting among the groups will happen and it will be just like Iraq -- destabilized.
A lot of people have been hoping for democracy to come to the Middle East for years. But you are talking about a region that fights over wars lost thousands of years ago, before history was even recorded. People who scream "Remember the Alamo!" got nothing on these people.
If NATO is truly doing this to help people be free, they need to stay and make sure that these old blood debts are not being collected. Otherwise, NATO's only hope was just knocking out another opposing dictator. They are not sowing peace, they are sowing chaos. And that's just wrong.