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March 19th, 2011
03:12 PM ET

Letters to the President: #789 'Threading the Libyan needle'

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Reporter's Note: Libya is rapidly taking over the headlines again, and today’s letter to the White House.

Dear Mr. President,

The problem with problems, of course, is that they don’t come along just when it is convenient. Here we are just trying to make it past the shock of the Japan quake, still worrying about those nuclear reactors, and suddenly Libya is back on the schedule.

My understanding from our reporting at CNN is that you are trying to support the U.N. effort to shut down Gadhafi’s military attacks on his opponents, hoping he’ll be booted from power, and yet trying to not get our military heavily involved in the process; as in, we help with radar, and drones, and intelligence, but not the actual fighting.

That is a difficult needle to thread.

Related: Obama trying to limit military involvement in Libya

It takes much more experience, strength, and focus to dance around the edges of a war than it does to actually engage in one. The lines in that type of fighting are many, many shades of gray and it is easy to find oneself uncertain of the mission. That, in my experience, is something that deeply troubles military leaders, and can infuriate and demoralize troops. Don’t get me wrong: I have no doubt that our skilled military professionals are capable of it. I’m just saying that it is tough.
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March 19th, 2011
01:48 AM ET

Update: Man reported to be trapped in rubble was actually visiting home after spending days in shelter

CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) - A young man authorities originally thought had been rescued from his home in Japan after being trapped for eight days actually had been staying in a shelter, the Japan Self-Defence Forces said Saturday.

The man had been visiting his home temporarily when rescuers found him, the forces said.

Kyodo News reported that the man had been staying in a shelter since the quake and tsunami hit the coastal city of Kesennuma on March 11. He returned home around noon Friday to clean it up, Kyodo reported, citing his family.

Related: Searches continues in Japan as death toll rises


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