The Nation’s Katrina vanden Heuvel speaks with Juan Cole about his open letter to the left on Libya.

In his “Open Letter to the Left on Libya,” Nation contributor and esteemed scholar of the Middle East and the Muslim world Juan Cole announced that he was “unabashedly cheering the liberation movement on, and glad that the UNSC-authorized intervention has saved them from being crushed.”

As the international coalition continues their campaign against Muammar el-Qaddafi’s forces, Cole joined The Nation‘s Katrina vanden Heuvel via telephone for a discussion of the future for the Libyan rebellion, the constitutionality of America’s involvement in the intervention and how our military action in the country differs from our disastrous experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“I am supporting the intervention,” Cole says in this Nation Conversation, “because I think the civilian populations of these cities, which are in the moment in rebellion against the regime and which Qaddafi is attempting to reduce even under the current situation of international intervention, that that is something that should prick our conscience.” Read Cole’s letter for more on the ethics of our involvement in Libya, and visit the Nation Conversations page for more podcasts from Nation writers and contributors.