When a child makes a mistake, you can say it is only the act of a child.
When adults make mistakes, you can have a laugh.
When governments make mistakes, it is unforgivable, especially when it involves other people’s lives.
So, when Britain warns Libyan rebels that it must not repeat the mistakes made by the US in post-Saddam Iraq once Colonel Gaddafi falls then you don’t know whether to laugh or cry.
Libyan rebels and their leaders are by all accounts in the same league as the Afghan northern alliance backed by George Bush in 2001 and the shadowy bunch of politicians that were brought in to run Baghdad.
Neither of the last two were liked by the people whose country had been invaded and they have acted frankly exactly in the manner that was expected of them.
Libya may be run by a mad man, but he is a mad man that has come from Libya, in the same way that Saddam was a monster from Iraq.
Mad men and monsters installed from outside are never accepted or appreciated, which is why one fears for the future of Libya and perhaps Syria.