While peace is better than war, there is no doubt that sometimes war holds more clarity for participants than does peace.
Looking at the difficult transitions going on in Iraq and Afghanistan from all-out war to the maintenance of order, one sees the warning signs for Libya.
Nevertheless, if the future can be murky, we are encouraged by the progressive sentiments of the triumphant transitional government in Libya headed by Mustafa Abdel-Jalil.
At a rally in Martyr’s Square in Tripoli, he pledged honest government and sought technical assistance from the international community to build a democratic society.
“We will not accept any extremist ideology, on the right or the left,” Abdel-Jalil said. “We are a Muslim people, for a moderate Islam, and will stay on this road.”
Among other pledges, the transitional council seeks to have women play a vital role in national life.
A free Libya has mineral wealth and a location between Tunisia and Egypt, across the Mediterranean Sea from Europe.
It could be almost immediately a tourist attraction for its Greco-Roman ruins, as well as a commercial center.
The future is murky, but the promises of moderation and honesty provide some reason for optimism.