UPDATE 6:45 pm: In Cairo, where she met with the new Egyptian foreign minister, Hillary Clinton commented on Libya in response to a question at her news conference. She used a lot of weasel words, but in the end she seems to stick with the idea that no intervention in Libya, including a no-fly zone, will happens without specific authorization by the UN Security Council. That, of course, is not likely, given opposition from Russia and China. Here’s her comment:
“With regard to Libya, we welcomed the Arab League’s statement on Saturday. And I consulted with my G-8 colleagues yesterday in Paris. As you probably know, there is a British-French-Lebanese Security Council resolution that is being discussed at this time in New York. We are consulting with the Arab League about their understanding of the goals and modalities of a no-fly zone as well as other forms of support. We understand the urgency of this and therefore we are upping our humanitarian assistance. We are looking for ways to support the opposition, with whom I met last night. But we believe that this must be an international effort and that there has to be decisions made in the Security Council in order for any of these steps to go forward.”
UPDATE 3:05 pm Staunch opposition from Germany has killed, for now, any chance of a NATO or European-backed effort to impose a no-fly zone against Libya. At a meeting of the G8 in Paris, the German objections were supported by Russia.
UPDATE Tuesday 2:30 pm:The entire conclave of neoconservatives, virtually an identical collection to the cohorts of the Project for a New American Century and the pro-Iraq war lobby before 2003, issued another call for President Obama to intervene in Libya, including air strikes on Libyan military positions.
Says the statement issued by the Foreign Policy Institute (FPI), Bill Kristol’s thinktank:
"Thirty-eight former U.S. government officials, human rights and democracy advocates, and foreign policy experts expressed concern Tuesday regarding the ongoing crisis in Libya, urging President Obama to: urgently institute a no fly zone over key Libyan cities and towns, recognize the Libyan National Transitional Council, and explore the possibility of targeted strikes against Qaddafi regime assets."
You can read the whole letter at their site. Signers include Randy Scheunemann, who is chief foreign policy adviser to Sarah Palin, Martin Peretz and Leon Wieseltier of the New Republic, Gary Schmitt, Tom Donnelly, and Danielle Pletka of the American Enterprise Institute, Robert Kagan and Michael O’Hanlon of the Brookings Institution, Bill Kristol of FPI and the Weekly Standard, Eric Edelman, Reuel Marc Gerecht, and many others.
UPDATE Monday, 4:45 pm: The United States public is overwhelmingly opposed to U.S. intervention in Libya, according to a new Pew poll:
"The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted March 10-13 among 1,001 adults, finds that 63% say the United States does not have a responsibility to act in Libya; fewer than half as many (27%) say the U.S. has this responsibility. Opinion about U.S. responsibility to take action in Libya is comparable to views about the conflict between Serbs and Bosnians in 1995; just 30% said the U.S. had a responsibility in that case. By contrast, far more Americans said the U.S. had a responsibility to take action in Kosovo in 1999 and in the Darfur crisis of 2007. …