The wily Col. Gaddafi declared a cease fire after the U.N. resolution authorizing use of force. If he stuck by it, President Obama, speaking at his press conference this afternoon seemed prepared in turn to avoid any military action against Gaddafi, thereby leaving him in power and establishing a tense division of the country between Gaddafi and the rebels. but pursuing that half-way approach to war would be feckless and reckless. It opens the prospect that the allies, including the U.S., will do the one thing in Libya they must not do: get sucked into a long term commitment.
The old Machiavellian principle is apt: If you attack a king, make sure you kill him. Don’t merely wound him and make him vengeful. In other words, either get in and win, or stay out.
We are now in. But does Mr. Obama plan on winning or just creating another military swamp for the USA?
As of this morning, it seemed the Gaddafi’s forces were still trying to assault the rebel positions, regardless of the so-called cease fire. That at least gives the allies a reason–an excuse–to to set aside the mild initial approach and go in for a military victory.
As Margaret Thatcher warned at the time of the first Gulf War, “Don’t go wobbly.”