Seriously, folks, the fighting is all but over, as rebel opposition has collapsed while the so-called leader of the free world dithered.
Moammar Gadhafi's forces captured the last rebel-held town west of Tripoli after a heavy barrage of tank and artillery fire Tuesday as regime forces pressed forward in the east.But the noose is tightening or something.
The victory in Zwara, about 30 miles (50 kilometers) from the Tunisian border, solidifies Gadhafi's hold in his western stronghold, reversing gains made by rebels in several cities early in the uprising against his rule that began on Feb. 15.
Gadhafi's gains in recent days have increased pressure on the U.S. and other Western powers to intervene to stop the bloodshed.
The Obama administration on Monday held its first high-level talks with the Libyan opposition and introduced a liaison to deal full time with their ranks. But it remained undecided about exactly how much support to lend a group it still knows little about while turmoil and uncertainty increase across the Arab world.
Seems like eons since those heady days when Obama, with omnipresent halo in background, declared change had come to the Middle East.
Now while he golfs and cracks jokes with the state-run media, those seeking change in Libya are being slaughtered.
Don't worry though, what with freedom fighters being routed in Libya and conditions deteriorating in Japan, our fearless leader will find time to make his all-important NCAA basketball selections.
President Barack Obama will also be making his NCAA tournament picks. Last year, President Obama whiffed on his picks, not getting one of the Final Four teams right. He did pretty well in 2009, when he picked North Carolina to win the title and they did, but that was the only Final Four team he got right that year.If this all sounds like a sick joke, it's not. It's merely a nightmare.
How pathetic is it? Even Richard Cohen has had enough.
In calling for the imposition of a no-fly zone over Libya, various American politicians and others have mixed their historical metaphors to make their point. They cite America’s refusal to stop the genocide in Rwanda and our tardy response to the slaughter of civilians in the Balkans. However, Libya is — or has been — different. This is a civil war of some kind — the people vs. the government. No genocide has been ordered and no genocide has yet been carried out. Libya is not Rwanda. Libya is not the Balkans.Now that the Libyan opposition has been crushed, what's to prevent Khadafy from returning to his old ways?
But it could be. And to preclude that possibility it would be productive if the Obama administration got its marbles out of its mouth. Its pronouncements thus far have been all over the lot: Gaddafi must go . . . but not if he really doesn’t want to. In a Post interview, Ben Rhodes of the National Security Council propounded what the Wall Street Journal has rightly called “The Obama Doctrine.” It goes like this: You first.
Amazingly, the White House wants to wait on nearly everyone to do almost anything — the United Nations, NATO, “multilateral organizations and bilateral relationships,” in the words of Rhodes. This is a highfalutin way of saying that first we’re gonna have a meeting and then break into committees and then report back here sometime soon . . . the good Lord willin’.
Certainly not the United States.
Update: It's official. He's making his MCAA picks today. Good grief. Now I have to avoid ESPN the next couple of weeks.