The chaos following the death of Libya's dictator Moammar Gadhafi is of his own making.
It will take time -- perhaps a long time -- for the people of Libya to realize the benefits of their brave citizen-soldiers, facing down and finally killing the architect of their decades of misery.
And the decades of misery for many in the United States.
Americans were particularly relieved to see Gadhafi gone because he was widely believed to have been the instigator of the bombing that blew a Pan Am airliner out of the skies over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988, killing 270 people, many of them Americans.
Gadhafi died like an old-time gangster, surrounded by loyalists trying to flee with him even as their one-time compatriots in arms shed their Libyan Army uniforms in the streets to escape the wrath of the people they had once so casually abused.
"We want him alive!" some called as the end came, but the world was spared the ordeal of continued turbulence in Libya, we hope, as the 69-year-old colonel reportedly bled to death in an ambulance.
We are seeing already the predictable aftermath of the fall of a tyrant.
Gadhafi ruled by whim and by terror. His was a lawless country because he could not rule where there was a higher authority than his.
So the usual institutions of governance were strangled by his regime as a hoped-for insurance against a popular uprising.
Along with the Arab Spring came Gadhafi's Autumn.
The victorious citizen soldiers wanted Gadhafi gone. They wanted, by and large, a free, popular government to replace him.
But they have so few institutions that already the system itself is threatened.
We must be ready, even in these economically trying times, to give the new leadership in Libya, if it is worthy, help when it is asked for.
And we should do it with the same spirit and commitment we made when the uprising was little more than riots in the street that Gadhafi attempted to tamp down with tanks and air power.
Along with talk of modern civil infrastructure being almost totally absent in Libya, there is of course another huge factor.
Attempts have been made to reopen the oil fields of Libya as Gadhafi was in hiding or on the run.
His removal will make restoration easier but not easy.
According to The Associated Press, a year ago Libya produced about 1.6 million barrels of oil per day. Now it is at about 390,000 barrels a day.
Experts believe Libya can produce 600,000 barrels per day by the end of this year and 1.6 million by the second half of next year.
That should help the new government of Libya meet its bills in creating a stable government, one that works, out of the wreck left by Gadhafi.
And perhaps by then we will see some drop in our prices at the pump.
We regret that any discussion of the noble efforts of the people of the Middle East to better their lives always, on this side of the ocean, needs to mention the cost of oil.
But it is an unavoidable fact that the Great Recession has made economic concerns the primary focus of U.S. citizens.
But independent of America's reaction, the Arab Spring has taken another great stride forward.
The question is this: Is it over?
As long as autocrats rule in today's vastly connected world, not one of them can ever really be sure.