"Gaddafi is a brutal killer and Libya – not to mention the world – would be better off if he were out of power."
Sarah Palin is right, we should be helping and publicly supporting those in Libya who are fighting to oust Gaggafi. Although, I don't think that the institution of a no-fly zone is enough. Were I President, I'd be sending in covert operatives to help organize and arm rebels actively fighting Gaddafi forces.
The other thing we should be doing as a freedom-loving democratic nation is calling for the U.N., N.A.T.O., and any other international organization to take direct action against Gaddafi, and assist those struggling against him.
America's problem is that we don't really support freedom and democracy, beyond our borders, in a consistent reliable manner. In fact, our government has allies and long standing relationships with unelected dictators, repressive monarchies, and not so democratic leaders. We tolerate these nations' actions because we get something, usually oil, from such outlets. Saudi Arabia one of our biggest crude contributers is not a democracy, or republic of any kind. Yet, this royal family has been the honored guest of more than one U.S. President, and our ally.
We support what is in our economic interest to support, if that's a democracy, great. If it's a repressive monarchy, oh well...
We live in a complicated world, but what shouldn't be complicated is saving people from being murdered by a violent dictator, bent on staying in power by killing civilians until everyone gets back into line. One of the reasons we went into Iraq was to stop Saddam Hussein from his oppression of Iraqis, and his people weren't even actively complaining or actively protesting.
All that said, even if our economic needs keep us from taking principled public stands, we should be taking covert steps to organize, arm, and train democratic rebellions.
Allowing Gaddafi to maintain control over Libya is entirely unacceptable.