Vigorously defending the first war launched on his watch, President Obama declared Monday night that the United States intervened in Libya to prevent a slaughter of civilians that would have stained the world's conscience and "been a betrayal of who we are" as Americans.
Yet the president ruled out targeting Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, warning that trying to oust him militarily would be a mistake as costly as the war in Iraq.
Obama announced that NATO would take command over the entire Libya operation Wednesday, keeping his pledge to get the United States out of the lead fast -- but offering no estimate on when the conflict might end and no details about its costs despite demands for those answers from lawmakers.
He declined to label the U.S.-led military campaign as a "war" but made an expansive case for why he believed it was in the national interest of the United States and allies to use force.
If you omit the obligatory back handed insults of Bush, Obama's Libyan war speech was the exact thing we heard from Bush for 8 years.