The May 5 Sunday Opinion commentary “Libya at risk,” by Charles Dunne, Stephen McInerney and Karim Mezran, highlighted the need for U.S. leadership to engage in Libya’s transition to a form of Muslim democracy. But the authors are too optimistic.

Regrettably, the task of moderating Libyan politics is lost, and diplomatic and military dillydallying by the United States is to blame. A very strong military response to the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi would have gone a long way toward emboldening the budding secular and moderate Libyan political system. Asserting U.S. leadership there now and expecting any kind of meaningful outcome is highly unlikely.

And gone is the quest for a new democratic Libya. The radical forces will see to it that the moderates never succeed. And, as usual, American political leaders will do nothing about it.

Bruno Heidik, Burtonsville