POSTED: Monday, August 22, 2011 - 5:01pm
UPDATED: Monday, August 22, 2011 - 5:17pm
NBC NEWs — Libyan rebels and their many sympathizers are celebrating in Tripoli. They have control of the Libyan capital, but what they want is Moammar Khaddafy.
U.S. officials say there's no indication the erratic colonel has left Libya; Khaddafy was defiant in a radio broadcast, even though three of his sons were captured.
President Obama applauded the rebel victory and pressured the defeated dictator.
"Although it's clear that Khaddafy's rule is over, he still has the opportunity to reduce further bloodshed by explicitly relinquishing power to the people of Libya," stated Obama.
After six months, the breakthrough came on August 21. Rebels streamed into Tripoli, helped by some of the heaviest NATO airstrikes of the conflict. The U.S. is still flying only surveillance missions, letting other nations take the more costly dangerous roles.
That was the Obama plan, no repeat of Iraq.
But, like Iraq after 2003, Libya is now unstable. Some rebel leaders might turn out to be anti-American Muslim fundamentalists.
So far it looks like a win for the Obama plan and for most Libyans.
Aside from a few special forces units, no U.S. ground troops went into Libya and the president’s administration insists today none will be sent now.