Without a doubt, the US president has already begun to do so with his rather self-congratulatory statement on Thursday at the White House. And his Secretary of State and Vice President have been loudly joining in, with Hillary Clinton jubilantly proclaiming that “we came, we saw, he died.” Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman John Kerry was positively gushing in his praise of the Obama administration’s role, declaring: “the United States demonstrated clear-eyed leadership, patience, and foresight by pushing the international community into action after Qaddafi promised a massacre.”
Clinton was in Tripoli earlier this week for talks with leaders of Libya's National Transitional Council (NTC). The reporter asked if Qaddafi's death had anything to do with her surprise visit to show support for the Libyan people. "No," she replied, before rolling her eyes and saying "I'm sure it did" with a chuckle.
In the coming months I expect we will see the White House starting to rewrite history when it comes to Barack Obama’s role in the Libyan operation. There will no doubt be numerous references in his upcoming speeches to his supposedly decisive “leadership” in bringing down Gaddafi, and his imaginary rallying of the international community. In reality, President Obama dithered for weeks, and initially projected a great deal of confusion and mixed-messaging on Libya, in marked contrast to key US allies. During the war itself the president preferred to be largely an observer rather than a robust commander in chief with a clearly defined mission.