It was pretty clear at this late date that denying Gaddafi the skies would not cut it. It seems that that lesson was well appreciated. From Karim Fahim's article in The New York Times:
The attack seemed to have come out of clear skies onto a field of wildflowers.
Littered across the landscape, some 30 miles south of Benghazi, the detritus of the allied airstrikes on Saturday and Sunday morning offered a panorama of destruction: tanks, charred and battered, their turrets blasted clean off, one with a body still caught in its remnants; a small Toyota truck with its roof torn away; a tank transporter still on fire. But it did not end there.
Full-scale war from the air.