I wrote yesterday that the Obama administration’s policies in the Middle East look more and more like President Bush’s third term. Democracy is the goal, regime change one of the options, and military force is not off the table.This morning we see another similarity between the Obama policies and the Bush years: as celebrations in Tripoli turned into a new round of bloody fighting, it is clear that impressive military advances do not always bring political stability and peace in their train.As in Iraq, what is ultimately needed is a political rather than a military solution and in Libya as in Iraq the corrosive effects of decades of dictatorship on the institutions of the state and the fabric of civil society mean that political solutions will be very hard to find. The rebels have not yet shown much ability or interest in state building and in Libya as in Iraq it is easier for outsiders to provide military assistance than to rebuild a broken state.We must hope that the violence in Tripoli can be quickly put down, though the military capacity of the rebels is not impressive. If there is prolonged fighting in the Libyan capital, NATO’s avowed humanitarian aims will look increasingly hollow; moving a bloodbath from Benghazi to Tripoli is not what the Obama administration’s humanitarian hawks had in mind.NATO air power cannot be used effectively in an urban setting. The battle for Tripoli, to say nothing of the coming effort to rebuild, could be uglier and more expensive than the allies expect.