'This Week' Transcript: Target Libya

Share
Copy

So, Allan, you heard from the Gadhafis. You heard the mood in Benghazi. What do you think is the next move in Tripoli? And how are they portraying it there?

LITTLE: Well, fighting talk from Colonel Gadhafi, as from his son, Saif, largely for domestic consumption. It's not hard to go around the city and find people willing to echo those sentiments, diehard devotees of Colonel Gadhafi saying that -- people saying they're willing to die along with him if it comes to that.

There's no doubting the sincerity of those people, I think, and the passion with which they speak. Their devotion then seems to get more intense the more isolated he becomes from the world. The question is, how representative is that voice? No other voice can make itself heard here in the prevailing atmosphere in which patriotism for Libya is fused with devotion to the person of Gadhafi himself.

What are those hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people who do not take part in those demonstrations of devotion, really feel and think in the silence of their own heads? What is the real sentiment of Tripoli? That is simply impossible in this atmosphere to gauge.

AMANPOUR: Allan, thank you so much.

And, of course, the leaders of Britain, France, and President Obama is keeping a close tab on the unfolding situation. ABC's Jake Tapper is live at the White House.

And, Jake, what from the White House is the end game here? What's the perspective from there?

TAPPER: Good morning, Christiane. President Obama is in Brazil. But you talked on a very, very difficult question for the White House, because it's been the position of President Obama that there should be regime change in Libya, since March 3rd, when Obama said that Gadhafi has to go.

But that is not the goal of this military operation. The goal of this military operation officially is to impose a no-fly zone and to protect civilians. Gadhafi stepping down is not part of it.

So what I would expect is that you will see more efforts internationally to arm the Libyan rebels so that they will take into their own hands the goal of toppling Gadhafi. But that is not officially the goal of this military operation, so it's a delicate dance for President Obama as he attempts to make this military operation even more international than previous U.S. military operations.

As you know, as we've talked about, there's been a huge effort by the White House to make this seem as though the United States is not playing a leading role, even though, of course, we have 11 ships in the Mediterranean, five of which were firing Tomahawk missiles. There, of course, are other nations participating in the military operation, France, the U.K., and others coming in the coming days, but right now, the U.S. is taking a major leadership role, although the Obama administration wants to make this seem as though it is the world against Gadhafi, not Obama and the U.S. against Gadhafi, Christiane.

AMANPOUR: Jake, just very quickly, do you think the U.S. will arm the rebels?

TAPPER: I think it's a distinct possibility that the U.S. will be part of an international effort to do so. I would doubt very much that the U.S. would do so on its own.

AMANPOUR: Jake, all right.

Page
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...