It is an outrageous situation when a nation’s people yearn to be free, demonstrate publicly to express this desire, and then find themselves violently oppressed at the hands of their own government’s army.

Word spreads lightning fast in this age of cell phones, the Internet, Twitter and the like. A sympathetic world is soon glued to the resulting conflict via computers or TV screens. The cry goes up. Something must be done to protect that country’s civilian population and who better to handle the job than the United States, the world’s policeman?

But then to our current White House, this is outmoded thinking. In the case of Libya, our President was much more concerned with what the United Nations wanted to do. To date, the UN has shied away from calling for regime change.

Not that we are in favor of the U.S. being the world’s policeman. We cannot possibly insert ourselves into every situation around the world where peoples’ human rights are being violated. But if our country’s leaders call for military action there should be only one goal, and that is to win.

Half measures with our military for a week to ten days until NATO can take over, followed by our President and Secretary of State then becoming something of a peanut gallery shouting for regime change, are nothing short of embarrassing.

Col. Qaddafi was at least partially right when he said his people love him. Unfortunately, for the masses, the people who love him are the ones with the best weapons. Regime change seems no closer today than it did when the ruckus started several weeks ago.

This action was fraught with peril from the beginning. Even if America had gone in with guns blazing in the air, on land and sea and won the day, there would have been untenable residual issues just like in Iraq and Afghanistan.

But to approach it the way a swimmer sticks a toe into cold water is not the answer either. The best bet would be not to go into the deep end in the first place. But if you do, commit yourself totally.

— Loné Beasley