President Obama to Finally Explain Why We’re Bombing Another Country

US President Barack Obama speaks about Libya during a joint press conference with President Mauricio Funes of El Salvador at the National Palace in San Salvador, El Salvador, March 22, 2011. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images) Photo: SAUL LOEB/2011 AFP

Over a week after the war "kinetic military action" in Libya began, President Obama will interrupt your sitcom reruns at 7:30 p.m. tonight to "discuss how our efforts in Libya have advanced our interests and averted a catastrophe." (In another signal that this is not a war, Obama will give the address not from the weighty confines of the Oval Office, but behind a lectern at the National Defense University in Washington.) While the momentum has clearly swung to the anti-Qaddafi forces, Obama's challenge remains convincing a skeptical nation that this costly — in dollars, if not in American casualties — campaign was a necessary use of our armed forces. Over the weekend, the secretary of Defense actually made that task a bit harder, when he admitted on Meet the Press, "I don't think it's a vital interest of the United States, but we clearly have an interest there." Oh ... okay. Other major questions Obama will hopefully answer: How much longer will this last? How does it end? Also: Don't you feel like the term rebel fighters is a little too Star Wars?

Obama gears up for hard sell on Libya [AFP]
In 7:30 p.m. address, Obama to say Libya strikes averted catastrophe [Playbook/Politico]