CNN: US changing war “strategy” to all-out attack on Gaddafi forces

posted at 12:15 pm on March 30, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Is this really a change? For the last eleven days, the US has attacked Libyan military targets almost exclusively under the wide definition of “protecting civilians,” which looks more like air cover for the rebellion. It hasn’t worked very well to stop Moammar Gaddafi, as the rebels now have begun falling back along a long line, losing Ras Lanuf today after retreating in disarray from Sirte yesterday. Misrata is now under “intensified” attack from government forces despite the no-fly zone and its air-to-ground strategy, which has Congress worried about the likelihood of a “stalemate”:

Opposition members in Libya said Wednesday their fighters are working to regain momentum in the face of punishing assaults by forces loyal to leader Moammar Gadhafi.

After days of dramatic advances by rebels, government forces have cranked up their firepower, pushing from Bin Jawad to Ras Lanuf, a key eastern oil town that the opposition seized Sunday, and launching escalated strikes in the western town of Misrata.

Now the US says that NATO may start attacking Tripoli itself, presumably to get to Gaddafi’s command and control functions, which makes perfect sense if the mission objective was regime change. There are no reports of massacres in Libya’s capital at the moment, at least none which NATO or the White House have publicized.If the mission is the protection of civilians, which is what the UN mandate states (which Obama said he would not exceed in his speech Monday night), how will bombing Tripoli accomplish that?  We will increase the odds for significant collateral civilian losses, not decrease them.

The only explanation that makes sense is an attempt to decapitate the regime, a legitimate goal if we knew the nature of the rebels and what would follow afterward.  CNN reports the “flicker of al-Qaeda” testimony from Admiral Stavridis yesterday in a dismissive fashion without mentioning that one of the rebel commanders was captured by the US in Afghanistan in 2002 fighting for the Taliban.  John McCain insists that the rebellion isn’t hoisting the AQ flag, but even Stavridis wouldn’t say that yesterday.

Clearly, air power alone won’t stop Gaddafi unless we just happen to get lucky and kill him, and the shift in momentum back to the government on the ground won’t encourage military units to defect any time soon, either.  We’re either looking at stalemate or escalation, as Obama and the West can’t afford to leave Gaddafi in power after these efforts to dislodge him.  We’ll end up with another Saddam Hussein in North Africa, right where he can wreak a lot of havoc in the underbelly of Europe.

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Elitists WANT Sharia Law in place for their own use, knowing that they themselves remain insulated from obedience as “law” only applies to everyone else, namely you and me.

maverick muse on March 30, 2011 at 1:55 PM

What amazes me to no end is the blind eye that the usefull idiots have turned toward history which is replete with instances of the useful idiots being the first to go.

Somehow or another they are always able to convince themselves that they will survive – feed others to the tiger first – right up until they find themselves with their backs against a blood soaked wall.

oldfiveanddimer on March 30, 2011 at 3:18 PM

Libs don’t get stuck in quagmires, they just fold up the umbrella and beach chairs and head home.

darwin-t on March 30, 2011 at 2:07 PM

Ewwwww…..this beach is dirty…lets go to Nantucket or Spain instead.

BobMbx on March 30, 2011 at 3:31 PM

If Bush did it…

agmartin on March 30, 2011 at 3:34 PM

“Yessiree I saw him say it too. “CNN said they saw the birth certificate and they never lie.”
Brat on March 30, 2011 at 2:53 PM

Oy! I guess my T-Paw as Prez action figures will go into the ‘Dewey Wins’ museum. AMF Tim.

JimP on March 30, 2011 at 3:34 PM

What should and does worry the west.

The president’s speech made clear that his was more than just sensitive diplomacy; in future, the US will not be in the driving seat. Many in Europe will welcome this; we do not. For the reality is that when the going gets tough, only the US has the muscle to make a difference. How long before it is asked to ride to the West’s rescue once again?

Schadenfreude on March 30, 2011 at 3:38 PM

Remember, when Obama said Daffy must go, the rebels were almost at Tripoli and rebel victory looked like a sure thing. I think Obama expected the rebels to win, opened his mouth and now that the rebels are being pushed around, he doesn’t know what to do. So now he is trying to figure out how to get out of the mess vacillating as he always does, trying to set things up so that no matter who wins he can say he had a hand in it. I do not like seeing more US Air power being sent to Libya in an undeclared war. Bomb them today, don’t bomb them tomorrow. Push them back today, watch them come back tomorrow. This half way stuff doesn’t work. Either bomb Daffy’s strongholds so heavily you have to take DNA samples of the little bits that are left to see if you got him, or get out. This half way stuff will only get our best killed.

rant off.

Duncan Khuver on March 30, 2011 at 3:51 PM

It appears we have been worrying for nothing.

7:47pm Libyan rebels have denied allegations by a top NATO commander there may be al-Qaeda fighters in their ranks. Rebel army officer Colonel Ahmad Bani said:

We don’t have this organisation in Libya because their culture is different from ours. If there are any Libyans who were associated with al-Qaeda around the world and are now in Libya, they are fighting on behalf of Libya. If.

a capella on March 30, 2011 at 3:58 PM

a capella on March 30, 2011 at 3:58 PM

Good enough for me!

Chuck Schick on March 30, 2011 at 4:05 PM

This may be a way to get arms to the rebels.
the system appears to already be in place.

a capella on March 30, 2011 at 4:12 PM

Smart bombs.

Dumb President

Roy Rogers on March 30, 2011 at 2:59 PM


petefrt on March 30, 2011 at 4:13 PM

a capella on March 30, 2011 at 3:58 PM

Al Jazeera & CNN: ‘They never lie’.

JimP on March 30, 2011 at 4:54 PM

Hmm. Drudge. Presidental finding authorizes covert ops in Libya. Sounds like carte blanche. He edidn’t lie to us about boots on the ground did he?

a capella on March 30, 2011 at 5:16 PM

Hmm. Drudge. Presidental finding authorizes covert ops in Libya. Sounds like carte blanche. He edidn’t lie to us about boots on the ground did he?

a capella on March 30, 2011 at 5:16 PM

Special Forces wear sneakers! Nya-ah, I won!

slickwillie2001 on March 30, 2011 at 5:46 PM

Shi-yoot. Now we have A-10s running CAS missions in Libya?? God please watch over our pilots, it only takes one Golden BB to bring one down.

EasyEight on March 30, 2011 at 12:57 PM

I saw a couple of those chewing up the side of a hill at Ft. Sill with their Gatling guns…GOD I’d hate to be on the receiving end of a Warthog’s fire!

If the Libyan Gov’t forces can still make gains with that stuff reigning down on them, then I would think they would deserve some respect (from a military point of view).

Dr. ZhivBlago on March 30, 2011 at 6:03 PM

Any paint-baller is better organized than Libyan Rebels, 30 Mar 2011
“paint-baller” stolen from someone from hotair :D

will13smith on March 30, 2011 at 6:29 PM

And just whom are the the “Freedom Fighting Rebels” following?

Heckle on March 30, 2011 at 7:30 PM

Why is Obama ordering the U.S. military to fight on the same side as al Queda?

Heckle on March 30, 2011 at 7:32 PM

… and why are they following his illegal orders?

Heckle on March 30, 2011 at 7:37 PM

“It took several years for mission creep in Vietnam”…..and on the Sunday morning shows Hillary sounded just like Robert McNamara.

RADIOONE on March 30, 2011 at 8:58 PM

At least McNamara was smart…

Khun Joe on March 31, 2011 at 12:45 AM

We are only helping the Islamists. Or rather the anti-Semite progressives are. At this point the only middle-eastern nation with a chance of becoming democratic is Iraq. And I judge that chance to be slim.

Better to assume that the rest of the middle-east is destined to be ruled by the Islamists.

In “aiding” Libya we are only aiding our enemy in the end.
And that is truly insane. But insane is the word of the day.
And it has been many times in the past. We are merely repeating history by placating enemies who have no interest in being placated. And only hate us the more for it.

Does anyone really believe that these middle-eastern nations will go democratic?? I guess I am referring to “educated” someones who somehow managed to find the truth or at least continue to search for it. And a hard search that is these days despite googling (no because of googling, especially google.)

My friends, we are a minority in the midst of an uneducated majority.

Most of our comments and this blog are only viewed by people like us.

People like us will check out NPR and MSNBC and CNN and NBC and the like to see the lies purveyed so that we can counter them.

Unfortunately most liberals and progressives don`t like to read or study or think too much, much less do us the favor of checking out our kinda comments or blogs. No, the favor is not returned nor will it be except on a small scale.

A mind is a terrible thing to waste, and there are many wasting.

Our educators` educators`s educators have done great damage to our educational system and the results are practically killing us.

The hippies attacked the man. But now the man is the hippies grown corrupt and ugly like ole Dorian Grey`s portrait.

And we are the revolutionaries trying to get our Liberty and Freedom back.

You ain`t got nothing if you ain`t got freedom.

Yeah, and Obama was educated by the worst of the worst and elected by an ill-informed citizenry.

So, we are in Libya for no good reason and you can count on it.

Libya will be Islamist (as will Egypt) and we only lifted a finger to HELP our enemies.

Kill Kaddafy and the Lockerbie Bomber and that`s enough.

Sherman1864 on March 31, 2011 at 4:42 AM

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