At last, there are signs of a working American policy toward Libya. The embarrassing and damaging “days not weeks” war has turned into a stalemate that makes America look both violent (bombing villages in order to save them) and weak (the Loon is still spouting defiance from Tripoli). The lesson so far to despots like Assad: dig in your heels and murder the protestors — the Americans can overthrow weak and compliant dictators like Mubarak but the tough guys can outlast them.News from Istanbul means the tide could be turning at last; western recognition of the loose and disorganized rebel factions as a government may be an act of diplomatic hypocrisy, but it opens the doors to handing the Great Loon’s foreign bank accounts over to the opposition.Don’t be fooled: this operation is a net loss for the causes of democracy, the rule of law and US power. Russia and China have no mind to accept new UN resolutions like the one NATO has stretched beyond recognition to turn a humanitarian mandate into the foundation of regime change. And the association with France and Britain has made the US once again look more like an imperialist crusader than a freedom fighter.Winning and winning fast is the only damage control strategy that can work; let’s hope that cancelling the Great Loon’s checking accounts and cutting up his credit cards puts an end to this mess ASAP.