Not only are the rebels failing to make much headway against the dictator's forces, but France now is urging the opposition to begin talks with Gaddafi and pull them out of the quagmire NATO is in.
The Libyan leader is refusing to quit and the rebels have been unable to make a decisive breakthrough toward his stronghold in the capital despite support from Western warplanes.
DEAL "TAKING SHAPE"
France said on Tuesday a political way out of the conflict was now being looked at, and that Gaddafi's emissaries have been in contact with NATO members to say he is ready to leave power.
"A political solution is more than ever indispensable and is beginning to take shape," French Prime Minister Francois Fillon said in Paris.
But it was not obvious how negotiations could persuade Gaddafi to change his mind and relinquish power, especially at a time when the Western alliance ranged against him is showing signs of wavering.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy is under pressure to find a quick solution. He gambled by taking a personal role in supporting the rebels, but is now anxious to avoid costly military operations running into the start of campaigning for the April 2012 presidential election.
Sorry, Nick. No go. As time goes on, Gaddafi grows stronger and you and NATO grow weaker. He has no incentive to leave, no reason to divide his country in two, and every reason to ratchet up the pressure on the rebels who have no heavy weapons to counter the tanks, artillery, and armored units that Gaddafi can put in the field.
If Gaddafi is smart, he will negotiate some kind of face saving deal for NATO and then, when things are back to normal, quietly go about the task of murdering his adversaries. My guess is, he will die some years in the future, quietly, in his bed - long after Sarkozy, Obama, and Cameron are history in their own countries.