As always, I'm coming a little late to the Foreign Affairs party, so I'm here to look for some quick answers. Everybody's welcome to sound off; fringe opinions welcome. Not like anything anybody here has to say is going to be any more whacked out than what the people in charge have to say.
So. Here is what I gather is the deal so far.
Some weeks ago, fueled by unrest all over the region, an uprising gets into full swing in Libya, I guess with the goal of unseating tyrant-for-40-some-odd-years Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, or however we're spelling it this decade. Unlike relatively more peaceful protests, this blossomed into a full-on armed rebellion taking over territories and shit, and actually engaging in armed conflict with the government's army. Basically a civil war. At some point more recently, the League of Arab Nations approached the United Nations Security Council and suggested that a no-fly zone in Libya would be a good idea, since Gaddafi's natural instinct to mow down dissidents with armed response is likely to cause civilians a lot of trouble. Security Council passes a resolution to that effect. Gaddafi doesn't seem to care. The West rides in with guns blazing.
To those who prefer dialogue to prose, this is how I imagine it:
LIBYAN MALCONTENT: Check it. People in other countries rising up and freeing themselves from despotic rule! We should do that.
OTHER LIBYAN MALCONTENTS: Okay.
GADDAFI: lol, wut.
LIBYAN MALCONTENTS: Revolution! Uprising! [Become LIBYAN REBELS.]
GADDAFI: lol, wut. go back to bed. i got this. [Deploys Libyan army.]
ARAB LEAGUE: Wait, what? Deployed whatnow?
LIBYAN REBELS: We have taken the East.
LIBYAN REBELS: We have taken Benghazi! Tripoli soon!
GADDFI: wtf. [Starts to fume.]
ARAB LEAGUE: Um, hello, United Nations? Yeah, shit's gonna get real soon. Gaddafi, holding down the West Side, is about to go mental on an armed rebellion on the East Side, and in the middle is basically the rest of Libya getting ready to hide under tables.
UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL: Hark! So be it. Libya, you are under arrest. [Declares no-fly zone.]
LIBYA FOREIGN MINISTER: Oh shit. Cease fire! Cease fire!
GADDAFI: man fuck *that*!!! destroy them shits [Bombs some cities; army moves in on Benghazi, rebel stronghold.]
UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL: Naughty, naughty.
FRANCE: Do not worry, mon amis, I have zis. You see how much Sarkozy is not in ze pockette of Gaddafi? We send ze warplanes! Mais oui! [Launches air strikes against Gaddafi's forces.]
UNITED KINGDOM: I say! [Sets up naval blockade around Libya.]
UNITED STATES: Yo yo yo, hold up. Global military action up in this piece? Headed by France?! Yo, check it. [Launches warship missiles into Libyan forces.]
ARAB LEAGUE: [Shakes head sadly.] Asses.
GADDAFI: [Explosions all round, shaking his fists to the sky.] I WILL KILL YOU ALL!!!
So I look to you, my Internet pals. Is that about right?