B. CLINTON: We have the planes to make our appropriate contribution to this. And I wouldn't do it if they hadn't asked, but if the leaders are on television pleading for it so that the people don't get bombed who are there with, you know, revolvers, I think that...
(UNKNOWN): But NATO today...
B. CLINTON: ... we should do it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: "I think we should do it," says Bill Clinton. Is President Obama showing enough leadership on this?
ROBERTS: I think it's a problem that the United States should have private leadership. I mean, the president, as George says, has said what he can say publicly at this point. But when he says we want NATO to lead, we want the U.N. to lead, that really means the U.S. has to lead and has to lead inside those organizations.
The problem is, they don't know where they want to go. We don't know who the opposition is. The administration really doesn't have a clue who those people are. And getting involved, as -- as Secretary Gates and Chief of Staff Daley have made clear, in another Muslim country with U.S. military is problematic, at the very least.
TAPPER: And yet, Jon, Republicans on Capitol Hill have been very -- are starting to become very critical of the president.
KARL: Yeah, no question. And, look, there are good reasons why a no-fly zone might be a very bad idea. I mean, you have to begin by bombing the country, as Gates pointed out. It's not simply a no-fly zone. It starts with an attack on Libya. Make that clear.
But make no mistake, Jake: If this -- if Gadhafi is still in power next year, if Libya is still a mess, this will be a central issue for Republicans. They will say this is Exhibit A of what happens when you have a foreign policy where America does not show leadership. You're already seeing it with some on the Hill saying, look, the French are leading on this. Where is America?
TAPPER: Donna, is this fair?
BRAZILE: No, it's not fair. And I agree with George Will. This is a first. No, I'm joking.
TAPPER: It's a second.
BRAZILE: No, it may be a third. But, look, the French, they are taking the lead, the British. They want to impose a no-fly zone. But Italy is not prepared. Other countries, Germany, they're not prepared. So the Europeans are divided.
The Arab League might -- may be united, but the Europeans are not united. I think the president is right to pressure Gadhafi as much as possible, to help the opposition, to the extent we know who they are, and to hold all of the other contingencies on the side. The last thing we need to do is right now is to intervene in another Muslim country, unless we have the kind of broad support from our allies, NATO and others, so that we can enforce whatever we decide to do.
ROBERTS: Well, so it's not just the U.S. going in.
WILL: It seems reasonably clear from John McCain's comments that, if he had won the 2008 election, we would be at war in a third Muslim country right now. Jim Webb, senator from Virginia, perhaps the only man in Congress -- you may correct me -- who's known combat, said, "I do not think it's a good idea to give arms"...
ROBERTS: John Kerry.
WILL: Yeah, that's true.
TAPPER: McCain from the air. But in any case, he knows combat.