The president of France has recognized the Libyan rebels declaration of a republic. President Sarkozy, who will probably lose in 2013 in his re-election bid because he raised the French retirement age by 2 years, did a smart move here that our President Obama would be smart to duplicate. It is hard to get the UN to agree on any action as the Russians and Chinese will veto movements as this would set a precedent of intervention. Outright military intervention would be unwise as getting involved in a civil war in a Muslim country would be complicated and stretch our troops even thinner. We can use covert means of aid as well as supply munitions, food and material.
This is the brilliance of Sarkozy's move. He knows nothing will happen through the UN, so he can claim he would do something. He knows a no-fly zone would be hard to do, and the pro-Ghaddafi forces would just use their artillery and armored advantage with close helicopter support (arms sold to them by Europe). By recognizing the rebels, Sarkozy can set up an embassy within international norms, which means he can set up communications with them and a channel for sending military aid and covert 'advisors'. This is how the Western world can go after Ghaddafi. Berlusconi questions if it was wise to jump quickly on him or if he'd even lose. I would prefer to see Ghaddafi gone, but it is a tricky situation as what measures or limits does a government have to quell an internal uprising? What right does the outside world have with interfering? I applaud Sarkozy's move, and wish Obama would follow through the same, and hope that covertly and clandestinely, Western aid cna help the rebels take out a horrible dictator who has oppressed his people and funded international terrorism and other dictatorships around the world.
Note: I enjoy how the yahoo piece comments on Sarkozy's bold move, compares it to US dithering, but never calls out Obama for being indecisive and confused. The US media will do their best to protect Obama.