Let us all hope for the best for the people of Libya, who have lived under the rule of a tyrant for four decades.

Col. Muammar Gaddafi, whom Ronald Reagan dubbed a “mad dog,” was tied to some of the worst incidents of terror before September 11, and he has been ruthless with the people of Libya. Good riddance!

I thought last night, as I watched the jubilation in Libya, about how we didn’t know what would come next. Well, we knew one thing that would come next: a statement from President Obama. Of course, it was right and called for that the president, who played a role in this outcome, shuld speak. But what did he say?

One line was perfect and poetic:

Tripoli is slipping from the grasp of a tyrant.

The president quickly moved from the poetry to pure Obama lecturing:  

The surest way for the bloodshed to end is simple: Moammar Qadhafi and his regime need to recognize that their rule has come to an end. Qadhafi needs to acknowledge the reality that he no longer controls Libya.

He needs to relinquish power once and for all.

Gaddafi and his band of thugs “need to recognize” and “need to relinquish?” Gaddafi and his bloodstained followers recognize the use of force, not fantasy appeals to the arc of history, or whatever.

Max Boot points out that  the regime might have fallen sooner if President Obama and the European community had acted sooner and with more force. My qualms are of a different order: the president’s unilateralism-he snubbed Congress-was disturbing. Presidents have been doing this forever, of course, and at least this appears to have been a successful kinetic action, as the president called his non-war.

Still, the president can take a bow—this outcome was a result of the U.S. and NATO’s intervention, ever how late and imperfect and, arguably, lacking in proper authorization. The Wall Street Journal points out that the leading rebel leader is calling for disarming the rebel forces, which it regards as a hopeful sign.  

Let’s hope that the fall of Gaddafi will have a good impact on our oil supply and that Libya will find its way to becoming a safe and stable place for its people (here and here).