Today, on the 8th anniversary of the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom, an international coalition began military action in Libya.
No boots on the ground, yet, and apparently that was a main condition of Obama’s willingness to involve U.S. forces; and, also, French president Nicolas Sarkozy has said that as soon as the violence has stopped the west will be open to negotiations with Qaddafi.
But… the fighting today is quite serious. The French have struck a military vehicle (i.e. going beyond mere no-fly-zone enforcement). For a reason I don’t understand, it does appear that the French are leading the way at the moment. Secretary Clinton seems to relish the lack of American leadership:
Clinton emphasized that the United States is not taking the lead role in the action.“We did not lead this. We did not engage in unilateral action in any way,” she said.
Qaddafi sent a personal letter to PM David Cameron, President Nicolas Sarkozy, and Secretary General Ban Ki-moon:
“Libya is not yours. Libya is for all Libyans. The resolutions of the Security Council are invalid because the Security Council is not authorized, … to intervene in the internal affairs of any country. This is injustice, it’s a clear aggression, and it’s uncalculated risk for its consequences on the Mediterranean and Europe.”
And he sent a much weirder letter to Obama:
To Obama, he wrote: “If Libya and the US enter into a war you will always remain my son, and I have love for you.” Libya is battling al-Qaeda, he said, seeking Obama’s advice. “How would you behave so that I can follow your example?” he asked.
Meanwhile, this dramatic video shows a downed fighter jet, purportedly shot down over Benghazi.