The Libyans have won
After months of stalemate and slow progress, the final act has come in Libya with startling speed. Less than two days after the rebels began their assault on Tripoli, they already control most of the city; much of Qaddhafi's military seems to have melted away once it became clear the regime was finished, and only pockets of resistance remain, though there is still heavy fighting going on to overcome these. We don't know whether or not Qaddhafi will soon be found, alive or dead, but it no longer matters much to the big picture. His 42-year (!) rule over Libya has ended.
Next will come the slow, grinding political work of designing a new government. The rebels' leadership, the National Transitional Council, has already announced plans to move from Benghazi to Tripoli to start the process.
For the West, whose intervention helped bring the victory about, it means a clear-cut end to military action in Libya, successfully concluded. This may prove difficult to parse for today's pundits who are used to thinking about military conflict in terms of "exit strategy", not winning (just imagine if we'd gone into World War II with that attitude).
In the US, it will be interesting to watch the spin from Obama's enemies both on the right and on the extreme left. For the latter, every overseas military intervention is automatically an "illegal war" and a "quagmire", from which the US must extricate itself as quickly as possible, while any talk of winning is to be dismissed with a cynical smirk. For the far right, well, I've pretty much given up trying to understand their stance on this, and I'm not sure they even have one beyond "Anything Obama does must, somehow, be wrong". For both, it's been Obama's war -- never mind that the Libyan rebels have done the actual ground fighting (and dying), and that even the Western intervention was much more a French and British project than an American one.
They'll seize upon every misstep by the rebels (and there will be some -- there always are) and upon every problem and obstacle that arises as the new government takes shape. They'll clutch at every straw to paint the intervention as a failure and a mistake.
But the reality is clear. It will soon be over, we've won, and more importantly, the Libyans have won.