David Frum wonders. This is one of his articles that makes good sense .... after a long time.
Would President Obama prefer a Gaddafi victory? If that sounds implausible, then just look at the record. On March 3, Obama announced that Gaddafi "must go". Two weeks have passed since then – and more than a month since the uprising began on February 15. In the interim, the tide of war has turned in Gaddafi's favour. Yet Obama has done nothing to make his own words reality.
Every proposal – from the no-fly zone and aid to rebels, to recognition of a provisional government – has somehow become bogged down.
The administration never rejected the proposals out of hand, but it never accepted them either. And now time, so very unfortunately, has run out. Admittedly, the American government moves slowly. But it does not move this slowly.
The Obama administration may not care to admit it, but it did make a decision, and one of benefit to Gaddafi. Why? One factor was surely Obama's preference for a less activist foreign policy in general.
But there were special considerations in Libya, and they were clearly stated in a piece by General Wesley Clark for the Washington Post last Friday. The former US commander in Kosovo and a 2004 Democratic presidential candidate wrote: "We don't have a clearly stated objective, legal authority, committed international support or adequate on-the-scene military capabilities, and Libya's politics hardly foreshadow a clear outcome." ...........