On Monday night, President Obama proudly reported to the nation that his intervention in Libya had “stopped Qaddafi’s deadly advances.” Today Qaddafi’s deadly advances resumed, as rebel forces fled the port city of Ras Lanouf.
The Associated Press reports that “a rebel near the front lines” told them “opposition fighters withdrew from Ras Lanouf rather than fighting the regime forces who were closing in on them.”
A NATO spokesman said that Western aircraft attacked Qaddafi’s forces, and “the joint task force is still supporting the civilians on the ground via sorties.” The spokesman, incidentally, is a United States Marine Corps captain, speaking aboard the USS Mount Whitney. The NBC news affiliate in North Carolina ran a story yesterday that said “thousands of Marines from Camp Lejeune, Cherry Point, and New River are preparing to head to waters off Libya.” They’re just going to relieve the guys doing search-and-rescue and helping to coordinate air operations, though. Nothing to get excited about.
I’ve also heard rumors that Army troops are being told to prepare for deployment to Libya in the summer or fall, but since the President said that “we would not put ground troops into Libya,” I’m sure that’s all just scuttlebutt. As Obama reminded us several times on Monday night, he is the model of truth and swift, decisive action, his every decision rendered with the speed of light, producing an intellectual laser beam that carves history into tablets of stone.
At any rate, the Associated Press tells us “the poorly organized rebel forces have been in full retreat back eastward on the coastal highway, with no help from NATO airstrikes that they had pleaded for until around midday Wednesday.” I can’t see any reason we would need to make the “false choice” of “broadening our involvement” when they’ve got things so well in hand.