You may not agree with him, but you must admit: President Obama made the case for American intervention in Libya strongly and clearly.

He told us why he authorized the use of military force, at the request of the Arab League and the United Nations Security Council: to stop the slaughter of the Libyan people by Gadhafi’s forces.

He reported our success so far in stopping Gadhafi in his tracks and turning all operations over the NATO. The U.S. will now continue our involvement only in a supporting role.

And he spelled out our ultimate goal: to continue diplomatic and financial pressure on Gadhafi until he is forced out of power — without using the U.S. military to achieve regime change.

On this point, President Obama was especially forceful. We made the mistake of pursuing regime change with the military in Iraq, he reminded us. That decision has cost us eight years so far, trillions of dollars and some 5,000 American lives. He vowed: We’re not going to repeat that mistake again.

Sure, there are still questions about how long this operation will take and what it will cost.

But the president made a convincing case. Stopping the slaughter of innocents, helping get rid of a tyrant, and smoothing the transition to democracy in Libya is worth America’s limited military involvement.