Forces loyal to Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi battered rebel fighters on the road outside this strategic oil town on Tuesday with rocket fire, mortars and artillery, driving them many miles to the north and leaving them in disarray.
Even after a senior rebel leader criticized the NATO-led air campaign for a second straight day, there was still no sign of the air power that two weeks ago seemed to have the loyalist forces reeling toward the Qaddafi stronghold of Surt, more than 100 miles to the west.
I honestly don't get it. Obama starts an undeclared war without Congressional approval, spends a few hundred million dollars, because Qaddafi was about to smash the rebels outside of Benghazi. Then after a couple of weeks, he has the US effectively pull its fighters and bombers out of the war, turning tail and running. With the US out of the picture, Qaddafi is again smashing the rebels. So how is all this helping?
Meanwhile, there's a bloody civil war going on in the Ivory Coast, violent repression of protests in Syria, Yemen trembling on the brink of something bad, and the US does nothing.
Whatever happened to the Powell doctrine? If we're going to make war on Qadaffi, do it right, kill him, take out his senior staff, and get out. Otherwise, stay out. This sort of half-hearted nonsense, however, seems the worst of all worlds.