President Obama: ‘Qaddafi Has a Choice’

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Photo: Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images

At a press conference this afternoon, President Obama laid out the United States' case for backing the U.N. Security Council's no-fly resolution. He also offered details as to how the resolution will be enforced, including a promise that no ground troops would be deployed. Obama carefully laid out the events of the Libyan uprising as a series of choices in which Qaddafi had the option to respond to the will of his own people and international pressure, but again and again chose "brutal suppression." The president said that we had every reason to believe he would make good on his recent claims to "have no mercy and no pity" on his own people due to his history of "sponsorship of terrorism against the American people" and "the killings he has carried out within his own borders."

Through the speech, Obama emphasized that the U.S. was acting as part of an international community and on behalf of the Arab League and the Libyan people, stressing that U.S. military would work as enablers for international forces. The boundaries for the mission of the resolution were clear: "Protecting innocent civilians within Libya and holding the Qaddafi regime accountable."

The president also explained "why this matters to us."

"Many thousands could die. A humanitarian crisis would ensue. The entire region could be destabilized, endangering many of our allies and partners. The calls of the Libyan people for help would go unanswered. The democratic values that we stand for would be overrun. Moreover the words of the international community would be rendered hollow."

Here's how the resolution will be enforced: