Thursday, June 16, 2011

DC showdown over Libya


Hans and Carolyn photo/Flickr
By GARY BAUMGARTEN
No doubt Moammar Gaddafi is observing the political and legal wrangling in Washington over the War Powers Act with great interest.
Members of Congress, from both sides of the aisle, are miffed over President Obama’s refusal to adhere to the act and come to them for money to continue the funding of the NATO mission in Libya. The White House fired back with a 30-plus page document, arguing that the president need not seek approval from Congress because no Americans are in harm’s way.
This is all giving Gaddafi, who, clearly, is the object of the mission, potential options other than resigning and fleeing the country. Even with the NATO air strikes, the civil war that’s evolved in Libya has become a stalemate. Rebel troops have been unsuccessful in pressing to the capital of Tripoli. And Gaddafi’s son is offering to hold elections and invite international observers, including those from France, to ensure that they are fair.
This is a sign that Gaddafi feels confident that, should he stand for election, he’d remain in office. It also is an indication that he is looking for a political solution. One that does not necessarily spell his demise. Political or otherwise.

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