Or, when hope for luck became a plan for war kinetic military action. After saying that he’s glad the American president won’t wait for images of mass slaughter to act (but what if there are no photographers on hand?), Friedman rubs the belly of a lucky totem, wishes upon a falling star and searches his yard for a four-leafed clover:
I don’t know Libya, but my gut tells me that any kind of decent outcome there will require boots on the ground — either as military help for the rebels to oust Qaddafi as we want, or as post-Qaddafi peacekeepers and referees between tribes and factions to help with any transition to democracy. Those boots cannot be ours. We absolutely cannot afford it — whether in terms of money, manpower, energy or attention. But I am deeply dubious that our allies can or will handle it without us, either. And if the fight there turns ugly, or stalemates, people will be calling for our humanitarian help again. You bomb it, you own it.
Which is why, most of all, I hope President Obama is lucky. I hope Qaddafi’s regime collapses like a sand castle, that the Libyan opposition turns out to be decent and united and that they require just a bare minimum of international help to get on their feet. Then U.S. prestige will be enhanced and this humanitarian mission will have both saved lives and helped to lock another Arab state into the democratic camp.
Dear Lord, please make President Obama lucky.
Maybe you should get to know Libya, Tom. Hope is not a plan. Hoping for luck is even less of a plan. Hoping for luck in a part of the world where the enemy of your enemy is your very temporary friend, and where religious/political violence is a way of life and a frequent path to power, is insanity.