KRUGMAN: This is clear. I actually have a lot of sympathy for the president on this. It's clearly -- this was not like Iraq. This was not a gung-ho president who wanted to win himself some military glory. There is going to be no landings on aircraft carriers for this one, right? This was something where he was dragged in. He was dragged in by the spectacle of a looming humanitarian disaster.
And it's very, very hard -- it's hard both directions. I think if you actually look at the people like me who are very opposed to Iraq, we're actually very divided. And in many cases divided within ourselves, as I am. But this is -- this was not easy. Of course there's no clear end game. This was something where pulled in by events.
I think the president's speech wasn't very effective because I'm pretty sure he's internally divided too. But I think that's to his credit.
CLARKE: Wow. Maxwell Taylor, who President Kennedy brought back to look at Vietnam did this amazing speech in which he said, when you look at these things, the commitment of forces, you better be able to explain to the man in the street in a simple sentence or two what you're trying to accomplish.
I could pick 500 people off the street and say what are we trying to get done in Libya? They would not be able to answer that question. I don't know what the answer to that question is.
AMANPOUR: One of your former colleagues in the Bush administration, Megan Sullivan, has just written an op-ed...
CLARKE: Smart piece.
AMANPOUR: ...saying that it could be Obama's Iraq. I mean, is that completely fantastical or is that possible?
CLARKE: I think, with all due respect for all these brilliant people sitting around the table, I think anybody that says they know is either stupid or lying. We don't know.
CLARKE: You're either going to be stupid or lying. So go ahead.
IGNATIUS: The unknowns are scary. Secretary of Defense Gates said to me and then on your show, I think, the shows -- this is dark territory. We don't see what is down there. I think there's reason not to worry this is spinning off to an Iraq. There are not the tens of thousands of troops on the ground.
AMANPOUR: Do you think Gadhafi will go?
IGNATIUS: I think the White House strategy today is to seek what one person described to me as regime implosion. And that is happening. This regime that requires cash to survive. The cash basically is cut off. This is a regime that has a small inner circle of people close to Gadhafi. One by one, they're leaving. They're going to London. They're defecting to Egypt.
AMANPOUR: Well, really two biggies.
IGNATIUS: Well, there are more on the way. I have been told another senior cabinet minister has already made his deal and will be out soon.
The point is we're picking off elements around Gadhafi. The hope is that he'll end up as the mayor of Tripoli. Is that a realistic hope? Hard to say, but it's not -- I wouldn't rule that out as impossible.
AMANPOUR: Or a safe area around Benghazi for maybe 12 years like we had with Saddam Hussein in Kuwait -- in Iraq rather.
KRUGMAN: Well, the parallel with the Kurdish protection after the first Gulf war is a better parallel. And that was not ideal, but it was not such a terrible thing either.
AMANPOUR: We have to go. Everybody, thank you very much. And this conversation continues in the Green Room. You can watch at abcnews.com/thisweek.