The Arabs need to police their own. Obama will be remembered for his belated, seemingly uninterested stance, one way or the other, on the issue. The US will be damned if it does or damned if it doesn't buy the Muslim community for any deaths that may have occurred before or after US involvement. If ever a case can be made that it was "for the OIL" this is it.
Now I'm no big fan of Momar (I was on the giving end to Libya in 86). He ordered the deaths of Americans, and deserves a horrible death himself. Where were the oppressed freedom fighters in the 80's when the bombs were falling and the opportunity was ripe? That said, he is the devil we know. I haven't heard squat about the people (or person) that will replace him. Just that they are the poor, innocent "civilians" (apparently with AA guns, RPG's, and other weapons) that need our protection. Will they be better or worse? Nobody can say. Didn't we learn one thing from the ending of the Soviet experience in Afghanistan? I think not. When you have a civil war you don't just step into the middle it, the chance that either side can punch you is too great.
Some may compare this to the American Revolution (I see it every 5 minutes across the internet). Many believe France helped the colonies out of "love and respect" (and completely forget about the previous French and Indian War). France sold us weapons, then went on to help us to tweak the nose of the British who at the time were not exactly friendly to them. In the end France made money and gained a safe, reliable business partner that later came to their aid in 2 world wars and were never repaid. Clever French!
So, who benefits today with Libya? The US? No. Those Tomahawk missiles aren't cheap, nor are the other resources to keep ships and other support units offshore. Does anyone truly expect more than a thank you from Libya for our effort? France? Well they do get a LOT of oil from Libya. Seems the French still come out ahead two hundred + years later. The Arab League? Sure it's win win for them, little to no effort on their part, maybe a more reliable future OPEC partner, and a big "WE CARE" to the Muslim world in the hopes of pacifying their own troubled populations. The Libyans? Hard to say, haven't heard what they want. Some say democracy, some say Islamic state. Doesn't matter we'll shoot first and ask questions later.
So now what do we do in the rest of the Arab world? Protesters were shot by US backed government forces in Yemen. When does the no-fly zone and the tank busting start there? How about Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Jordan, and Iran? Or are only some worth saving? Surely the US's actions will embolden other protesters in the middle east. Will we come to their aid as well? Or (more likely) be the great hypocrites we are, and cause more distrust. What a slippery slope.
Personally, I'd let them fight it out, their victory (and freedom if that's what they really want) would be much sweeter. They want US arms... that will be cash... up front please. Supporters could go their to help on their own if they feel that strongly, just like the Spanish Civil war. The US is broke, we don't have the money for this. I'm not suggesting isolationism, just that we need to pick our battles more carefully. We have allies that need us (Japan). We have our own unsecured border. We don't need to waste one more American life for someone that will be pissing on or burning a US flag tomorrow. Of course everyone should be free, but it can't be given, it must be earned, otherwise it holds little meaning. A lot of folks are forgetting that right here.