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Matthews: What is the endgame in Libya?

What is the real mission in Libya, not the "no fly zone" - that's a method.  What's the mission?  How do we want this to end?

What is the real mission in Libya, not the "no fly zone" - that's a method.  What's the mission?  How do we want this to end? The president said in Santiago today that the military mission isn't aimed at getting rid of Khaddafy.  He said we have other means to do that; sanctions and money freezes and that stuff. 

Well, excuse me for being skeptical, but we've done all this before and regimes have survived it for years - many years.  I remember how many years we had white-ruled Rhodesia under sanction.  When I was there, it meant watching old movies instead of the ones currently out there.  No, it didn't really work all that fast. 

Americans don't like long wars.  Are we going to be backing this military campaign in Libya for months or even years - with the French and the Brits and a token Arab force flying overhead while Khaddafy kills his people in alleys and basements?  Are we going to wait for, excuse me, "sanctions," to work their way? 

It doesn't ring true.  We went in there to stop a killer from massacring his people.  If he's set on doing it, he's got plenty of time to find ways of doing it - if all we're doing is running sanctions against him. 

So we need to know more.  Perhaps there's a secret plan to overthrow Khaddafy.   Are we offering him safe-conduct to Venezuela?  Are we giving him a means to end this stand-off?

Because if we're doing none of this, it promises to be a long war, a stand-off where Khaddafy sacrifices more and more of his people to prolong his own rule, which he needs to prolong if he is to survive.  

I hope we have a plan here that we're "not" talking about, because what we're seeing makes no sense.  We say we want to overthrow Khaddafy but give him no place to escape.  If that's the nature of this contest, he will fight to the death - as most people would - and that will mean the deaths of countless people who would survive if we had a quicker, smarter plan that promised a quicker, smarter ending to this thing. 

I don't like the looks of this campaign for the simple reason it looks like so many others.  In an effort to reduce our footprint we are making it a far longer, more bloody journey to where we're headed in the end.