The Associated Press is reporting that Obama’s top advisers will meet today to outline steps that are “realistic and possible” to push Qaddafi from power.
But a Pentagon spokesman indicated no decision is likely this week, and Secretary of State Clinton said the United States is seeking broad international support for any meaningful action.
The AP story recalled a statement by Obama during the campaign that suggested mass murder is reason enough to intervene.
“When genocide is happening, when ethnic cleansing is happening somewhere around the world and we stand idly by, that diminishes us,” Obama said in October 2008 in his second presidential debate with Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. “We have to consider it as part of our interests, our national interests, in intervening where possible.”
So far, Obama is talking tough. He has demanded Gadhafi move aside so that the democratic transitions like those gripping neighboring Tunisia and Egypt can get under way in Libya. And he has vowed that the international community will hold senior Libyan officials accountable for their crimes.
Yet his words have yet to be backed by forceful action. And it’s unclear whether Libya’s crisis is so extreme that it meets his criteria for a U.S. attack.
H/T to Mike Allen’s Playbook, where I noticed this story.