The president speaks in a bit on Libya. I hope he’s aware that there are really only two strategies open to the administration, one good, the other not so:
I. Get Qaddafi ASAP: A quick ratcheting up of the air campaign to go well beyond a no-fly zone (we, or our allies, have already been doing that at times) to destroy as many assets as we can of Qaddafi’s clique, along with supplying arms to the rebels — in the hopes (a) that Britain and France can help us deal with the PR problems of exceeding the (apparently) important U.N. and Arab League no-fly-zone-only mandate, and (b) that pro-constitutional rebels outnumber and are morepowerful than the sharia Islamists in their midst. There would be good reason to believe that such a course might follow the sort of NATO campaign that Clinton led successfully in Kosovo (in this regard the death of Richard Holbrooke was especially untimely, because he was the one seasoned diplomat in the administration who might have brought some coherence to the crisis based on his prior record in the Balkans).