The Obama administration makes a reckless boast about Libya.
Politics is such that people have to say stuff like this when they really shouldn't:
"The fact that it is Libyans marching into Tripoli not only provides a basis of legitimacy for this but also will provide contrast to situations when the foreign government is the occupier," said Ben Rhodes, deputy national security advisor for communications, in an exclusive interview on Wednesday with FP. "While there will be huge challenges ahead, one of the positive aspects here is that the Libyans are the ones who are undertaking the regime change and the ones leading the transition."
Despite criticism from Congress and elsewhere, President Barack Obama's strategy for the military intervention in Libya will not only result in a better outcome in Libya but also will form the basis of Obama's preferred model for any future military interventions, Rhodes said. [emphasis mine]
It's one thing for the Obama administration to take credit for knocking off Gaddafi at a relatively low cost. If Rhodes had confined his boast to that, few could complain. But it's quite a huge leap to predict that this approach will lead to a better outcome in Libya. This implies that somehow this outcome is the responsibility of the United States. Is it? Is Rhodes implying that the U.S. has a continued commitment to see this revolution through to a benign end? Well, maybe not - later in his interview, Rhodes insists that there's no plan for a NATO-led peacekeeping force in Libya.
So what we have here is a kind of contortion about the nature of a post-Gaddafi Libya from the Obama administration. On the one hand, they want credit for fighting on behalf of American values in Libya. On the other, they want an arms-length relationship with what comes next.