Still, in effect, the president laid out an effort that is aimed at regime change in Libya – though not by military means. On Tuesday, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will go to London for a meeting with the Libyan opposition and for consultations with more than 30 nations.
“These discussions will focus on what kind of political effort is necessary to pressure Qaddafi, while also supporting a transition to the future that the Libyan people deserve,” Obama said. “Because while our military mission is narrowly focused on saving lives, we continue to pursue the broader goal of a Libya that belongs not to a dictator, but to its people.”
In his speech, Obama also ranged into ideas that might form a framework for an “Obama doctrine” – in effect, an approach to situations where US action is not imperative but desirable, in concert with the international community. These would be times, he said, “when our safety is not directly threatened, but our interests and values are.”