The United States is now promising forces trying to overthrow Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi $25 million in “non-lethal” aid.
That’s the latest from President Obama.
When rebel forces in Libya first launched their campaign to take control of the country, Obama declared that Gadhafi had to go – giving verbal encouragement to the rebels. After all, Gadhafi was behind the downing of a U.S. airliner over Scotland that killed hundreds of Americans.
Go for it, rebels!
But Gadhafi’s well-equipped air and artillery power soon turned the tide against rebel forces.
U.S. carrier aircraft and missile ships – as a part of NATO – took the lead in countering Gadhafi’s military. A U.S. plane went down in Libya, ostensibly from mechanical problems. There quickly escalated opposition at home over our involvement in “another war.”
President Obama began backing off. No more U.S. aircraft or missiles would be sent to help the rebels get rid of Gadhafi.
More criticism at home over the president’s confusing, contradictory signals. Rebel forces in Libya faltered, began falling back under increasing pressure from Gadhafi forces.
Then came the renewed U.S. assurance: We’ll provide the rebels with $25 million in “surplus non-lethal” aid – materials not to be used to combat government forces.
So much for our declaration that Gadhafi must go…
And for our international credibility.