All people want freedom.
I don't think that's true. What all human beings want is to be safe from oppression, but that is not exactly the same thing. Nobody wants a tyrant who abuses and terrorises you or your kin and strips your country of its wealth. But to presume that means that everybody desires Western-style democracy (far less its sudden arrival out of nowhere) is a pretty arrogant Western idea that has been repeatedly disproved. Many people in non-Western societies would be content enough to be ruled by a fatherly-figure, strict without being cruel, and only mildly corrupt. That is not to mean they don't desire further freedoms, it only means that they prefer less freedom within a system that respects their ways and culture rather than more freedom under a system that is alien to that culture.
We have no right to be involved in Libya in order to install our idea of democracy, only to aid Libyans who want reform and avoid their being physically exterminated by a violent tyrant. But just what exactly is the extent and the sort of reform they want is something that only Libyans can settle.
I don't think anybody, neither in Libya nor in the Arab world, nor even in the West, wants another Iraq-style fiasco. If the West only cared about oil in this case, it only had to wait a couple of weeks until Gaddafi stamped out the revolt with an iron fist. Dear old Muammar has proven his willingness to keep Europe's oil and gasoduts well furnished as long as the money keeps coming into his bank account. No need for bombs to getour share of his energy resources. Bussiness as usual.
What's is striking in this case is that -in sharp contrast to Iraq- the case for intervention hasn't come from the top down, no need for invented excuses and months of spin and propaganda, in this case rather the opposite has happened. Sarkozy in particular -ever the populist and the opportunist- has cynically jumped at the chance to take the lead of a public opinion over most of Europe that was shocked by the passiveness and the lack of empathy with which Western leaders were reacting to popular revolts in the ME. Don't know about what went on elsewhere, but the press of both countries I usually read (Spain and UK) had for weeks been full to the brim of articles, editorials and letters scorning the West for its hypocresy and its lack of resolve, an opinion that was particularly widespread among European citizens/residents of North African heritage. Obama's almost immediate back-peddling, Berlusconi's at best halfhearted approach and Merkel's pettyness would stand against any wider Western conspiracy, as would the fact of France's initial extremely poor response to the crisis in Tunisia -trying to be forgiven for that goes a long way into explaining Sarkozy's sudden rush to make the frontpages in this issue-.
Quite another thing is whether the European public opinion will be able or willing to force its leaders to keep supporting true change in the Maghrib, or whether, once forced to interfere, those leaders will resume playing their old games. While that risk is certainly there and is even likely, the fault will not lie with the fact that for once we stood on the right side of this struggle, but with our resolve (by 'our' I mean us citizens) to demand a true change in how our countries have dealt with third world affairs for much too long.
One can only hope.