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Entries in Libya Intervention (4)

Friday
Apr012011

Rep. Dennis Kucinich Blasts Obama on Libyan Intervention

Mark Wilson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Rep. Dennis Kucinich is enraged by the president's decision for the U.S. to participate in military action to aid rebels in Libya, saying he bypassed Congress' authority to declare war.

The Ohio Democrat went on a 40-minute tirade on the House floor Thursday against what he termed the "Libyan war," declaring, "we we are in a constitutional crisis because our chief executive has assumed for himself powers to wage war which are neither expressly defined nor implicit in the Constitution, nor permitted under the War Powers Act."

Kucinich alleged that Obama violated the War Powers Resolution that allows a president to move militarily without congressional approval if the nation faces "imminent danger," asserting that the threshold wasn't met in Libya.

Furthermore, the lawmaker argued that the administration used faulty rationale to explain that action was necessary because one side threatened force against the other in Libya.

Not content to stop there, Kucinich accused the president of a premeditated strike against forces loyal to Col. Moammar Gadhafi, alleging that Obama knew what he would do a month in advance and therefore, could have consulted Congress before acting.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Mar292011

President Obama Says 'Noose Is Tightening' on Gadhafi Inner Circle

ABC News (NEW YORK) -- President Obama believes that Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi's inner circle is realizing that the "noose is tightening, that their days are numbered."

The president spoke with ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer one day after addressing the nation on his reason for joining with NATO and other allies in imposing a no-fly zone over Libya and suggested that it is pressuring Gadhafi into stepping down.

"I think what we're seeing is that the circle around Gadhafi understands that the noose is tightening, that their days are probably numbered, and they are going to have to think through what their next steps are," the president said.

The president said there are signals Gadhafi and his allies can give to indicate they are ready to go but until that point, the U.S. and its international allies will continue to apply pressure.

"They're going to have to think through what their next steps are. But as I have been clear throughout, there are certain things that are non-negotiable," he said. "He's got to pull his troops out of places like Mistrata…he's got to stand down with respect to his troops."

The president declined to rule out sending arms to the Libyan rebels, but said if his administration wanted to get them into the country, it could.

Obama said Tuesday that Libya was a "unique situation" and the world should not expect the United States to intervene in every humanitarian crisis.

Obama said his policy of intervening in Libya does not extend to Syria, where protesters have been met with violence and that he tried to make that clear in his address to the nation Monday night.

"Part of the point that I tried to make last night is that we had a moment in time where we did have this international mandate, including from Arab countries," he said. "We had a brutal dictator who had shown himself willing to kill thousands of people in the past -- and to show no mercy."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Mar292011

Obama Presents Reasons for Libya Action

ABC News (WASHINGTON) -- President Obama defended the U.S. military involvement in Libya Monday evening as a necessary humanitarian intervention to prevent a massacre, saying that while the United States does not rush into war, "mindful of the risks and costs of military action," there are times when American interests and values are at stake and presidents have a "responsibility to act."

"That is what happened in Libya over the course of these last six weeks," he said.

The president defended the military operations launched by the U.S.-led international coalition as necessary to stop Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, whom the president labeled a "tyrant" that launched violence against his own people.

"Innocent people were targeted for killing. Hospitals and ambulances were attacked," the president said. "Journalists were arrested, sexually assaulted, and killed. Supplies of food and fuel were choked off."

Taking on critics who have said that the United States should not use military intervention or "police the world," Obama acknowledged that the American military cannot be deployed "wherever repression occurs."

But he said that cannot be an argument for inaction.

"To brush aside America's responsibility as a leader and -- more profoundly -- our responsibilities to our fellow human beings under such circumstances would have been a betrayal of who we are," he said. "Some nations may be able to turn a blind eye to atrocities in other countries. The United States of America is different. And as President, I refused to wait for the images of slaughter and mass graves before taking action."

To critics who have argued that Obama and the international coalition should be doing more to bring down Gadhafi, the president said broadening the mission to include "regime change" would be a mistake.

"To be blunt, we went down that road in Iraq," he said. "[R]egime change there took eight years, thousands of American and Iraqi lives, and nearly a trillion dollars. That is not something we can afford to repeat in Libya."

Obama said that in just 10 days his administration has fulfilled its pledge to the American people to keep a limited role for the U.S. military by focusing "unique capabilities on the front end of the operation" and then transferring responsibility to international allies.

The President's remarks Monday night came during what seems to be a momentum shift in Libya -- the rebels, aided by the U.S.-and European-engineered no-fly zone and bombing of Gadhafi's strongholds, have advanced on Gadhafi's hometown and reclaimed two critical oil-producing areas.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 

Monday
Mar282011

Rep. Mike Rogers Supports Libya Action But Says President Obama Not Showing Leadership

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- An important Republican backer of military action in Libya is Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., although he said after the President's speech Monday night that the White House is not showing leadership on the issue.

Back when the no-fly zone was first announced, ABC’s Jonathan Karl talked to Rogers after he met with the President. Rogers called the no-fly zone “absolutely the right thing to do.”

But Rogers is not sure that President Obama has shown enough leadership before the military action.

“He was led into the conflict by our British allies and our French allies,” said Rogers.

And now that American forces are engaged in the NATO-led effort, Rogers said the President needs to show more leadership to accomplish U.S. policy goals.

In his speech Monday night, President Obama described a limited engagement and said that ousting Gadhafi was not the goal of American military action.

Rogers said the President is "trying to have it both ways politically" and an indecisive Libya policy could lead to the “worst of all possibilities.”

What is that worst outcome? According to Rogers the worst scenario is an extended engagement for the American military without ousting Gadhafi.

“That Gadhafi pulls back…with an impotent America still there, flying planes around half the country,” Rogers told Karl after the President’s address Monday night.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 







ABC News Radio