President Barack Obama wanted to tell a hesitant America why he launched a military assault in Libya, and he wanted to describe it on his terms — limited, sensible, moral and backed by international partners with the shared goal of protecting Libyans from a ruthless despot.
Trouble is, the war he described Monday doesn’t quite match the fight the United States is in.
It also doesn’t line up with the conflict Obama himself had seemed to presage, when he expressly called for Moammar Gadhafi’s overthrow or resignation. Obama’s stated goals stop well short of that. And although Obama talked of the risks of a long war, he did not say just when or on what terms the United States would leave Libya.
Obama never directly mention the Libyan rebels seeking Gadhafi’s overthrow, even though the heavy U.S.-led firepower trained on Gadhafi’s forces has allowed those rebels to regain momentum and push toward Gadhafi’s territory.
“We have intervened to stop a massacre,” Obama said.
When Rebels win and start their massacre do we flip flop and support Gadhafi?