The current stalemate in Libya could last weeks, if not months. In that case, balkanization looms. Think of eastern Libya with Benghazi as capital, oil-rich and with a United States-installed puppet regime (a Libyan Hamid Karzai, like the Afghan president). It would be like a kind of northern Africa Saudi Arabia (the House of Saud would love it).
And think of a western Libya with Tripoli as capital, impoverished, angry and ruled by Muammar Gaddafi and sons. If that applies, we're back to the 1950s; Libya as the new Korea. Or, more ominously, back to the 1960s; Libya as the new Vietnam.
Vietnam? No wonder a paranoid Anglo-American-French consortium will pull all stops to take out Gaddafi. They don't want half a spring roll; they want the whole kebab.