Libya Speech: Obama Makes His Case for Intervention

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"To be blunt, we went down that road in Iraq," he said. "[R]regime change there took eight years, thousands of American and Iraqi lives, and nearly a trillion dollars. That is not something we can afford to repeat in Libya."

However, no one expects Gadhafi to be ousted from power easily.

The American general who has overseen much of the bombing against Gadhafi's forces urged the rebels to slow down or they might be "destroyed."

"Among my concerns right now is that the opposition will overreach in their haste to move west. They are not a match for the regime forces. If they move hastily and get destroyed, then there's nothing to stop regime from moving right back down the coast road," Gen. Carter Ham told ABC's Martha Raddatz.

ABC News' Jake Tapper and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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