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Entries in Moammar Gadhafi (24)

Monday
Oct242011

Obama Congratulates People of Libya on Declaration of Liberation

The White House/Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama congratulated the people of Libya on Sunday for their declaration of liberation.

In a statement, the president said the Libyan people can “celebrate their freedom and the beginning of a new era of promise” after four decades of Moammar Gadhafi’s rule.

The president says the United States will continue working with international partners and the United Nations to help Libya stabilize.  The United States will also, Obama says, help Libya’s transitional council hold the country’s first free and fair elections.

Gadhafi was captured and killed by Libyans Thursday, seven months after Obama authorized the Pentagon to begin what the administration described as a limited military campaign to protect Libyan civilians who were rebelling against the dictator's rule.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Oct242011

Hillary Clinton Defends Obama’s Handling of National Security

The White House/Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) -- Now that Osama bin Laden, Moammar Gadhafi and Anwar al-Awlaki have meet their end under President Obama’s term in office, how does Hillary Clinton feel about Obama’s ability to handle national security issues, namely those “3 a.m. calls” she implied he wouldn’t be able to handle during the 2008 presidential primary campaign?

“President Obama has passed with flying colors every leadership challenge,” Clinton said Sunday on NBC’s Meet the Press.

Asked about her accusation during their heated battle for the Democratic nomination that Obama wouldn’t be able to handle emergencies, the secretary of state, who by many accounts works well with the president, defended her boss.

“I think this president has demonstrated that, in a still very dangerous world, it’s important to have someone at the helm of our country who understands how to manage what is an incredibly complex world now,” she said.  “Yes, we have a lot of threats, but we also have opportunities, and I think President Obama has grasped that and has performed extraordinarily well.”

But though she praised Obama, she declined to wade back into politics.

“I’m out of politics, as you know, David [Gregory, host of Meet the Press].  I don’t comment on it.  But I think Americans are going to want to know that they have a steady, experienced, smart hand on the tiller of the ship of state, and there’s no doubt that that’s Barack Obama,” she said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Oct212011

Romney Says Obama Deserves Credit for Gadhafi's Death

TIM SLOAN/AFP/Getty Images(COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa) -- In a rare admission, Mitt Romney said Thursday that President Obama deserves credit for Thursday’s killing of Moammar Gadhafi.

Asked by reporters as he left an event in Council Bluffs, Iowa, if Obama deserves credit, Romney responded, “Yes, yes, absolutely.”

Earlier in the day, the presidential hopeful told reporters in Sioux City, Iowa, that the “world is a better place” without Gadhafi.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Oct202011

Sens. Marco Rubio, Mitch McConnell React to Gadhafi's Death

US Senate(WASHINGTON) -- Sen. Marco Rubio, R-FL., who traveled with other members of Congress to Libya last month, said that even though the administration’s handling of Libya turned out well, as evidenced by the reported killing of Moammar Gadhafi on Thursday, the administration has “failed” by moving too slow on the outset with consequences already seen for the country.

“I think the president did the right thing, he just took too long to do it and he didn’t do enough of it,” Rubio said at a press conference Thursday. “Had the U.S. gotten in early, aggressively and decisively today would have happened months ago, Libya wouldn’t be as destroyed, it wouldn’t cost as much money to rebuild, there wouldn’t be as many people dead or injured and there wouldn’t be as many injured or rockets missing.”

Rubio said the administration failed to “do the right thing at the right time,” and said credit should go to the right people for the killing of Gadhafi.

“Number one the French and the British carried the load on that. And let’s not forget that. Number two, the Libyan people...those are Libyans who are laying there in those beds and who fought for their freedom and were able to accomplish it,” Rubio said. “The British, the French, and our NATO allies who were involved.”

The Senator from Florida said this is a “new chapter” for the Libyan people “to create for themselves a free Libya,” but they face real challenges which the United States, he says, should help with.

“Primarily in the short term what we really could do to help, along with our allies, is to provide some medical assistance to help especially those who have lost limbs to be able to rehab and be productive citizens and members of their work force.”

At the same press conference Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY., also spoke about Gadhafi’s death.

“That certainly clears the way for the Transitional National Council in Libya to begin to put together a representative government,” McConnell said. “And I am confident that we, along with the Europeans, will try to help them in that process.  A number of the people who led the Transitional National Council were educated in the United States, and we're obviously hopeful that they will want to have a representative government and that they will be an ally of the United States.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Aug232011

Obama's Strategy in Libya Vindicated by Gadhafi Downfall?

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- When President Obama announced military intervention in Libya in March, he was criticized by liberals for injecting the United States into a third war, and by conservatives for doing it too slowly.

As the mission dragged on, from "days and weeks" to months, the bipartisan criticism only grew, with charges that Obama was "leading from behind" and violating the War Powers Act in the process.

Now, the impending downfall of Moammar Gadhafi brings one of Obama's key foreign policy objectives closer to fulfillment, and signals that the president's strategy was at least partly a success.

"As of today, I think it is a partial vindication of the so-called Obama Doctrine, at least for certain kinds of cases," said Michael O'Hanlon, a military and foreign policy analyst at the Brookings Institution.

Obama had justified limited, pre-emptive U.S. military action in Libya as part a broad "international mandate for action" and compelling humanitarian interest to prevent "violence on a horrific scale," all while not requiring formal congressional approval.  He charted a course for greater U.S. support for multinational action instead of isolationism or unilateral force.

"The robust leadership of the president is pretty clear here," White House spokesman Josh Earnest said, "and had a tangible impact on the outcome in Libya."

But the administration should avoid a victory lap too soon, foreign policy experts warn, with Gadhafi's whereabouts still unknown and the transition to new government in Libya in flux.

"Obama hasn't yet proven that he's going to avoid the problem George Bush faced in Iraq: the problem of catastrophic success," O'Hanlon said.  "We should all be a little chastened by the example of 2003 in Iraq and any feeling of triumphalism just because the bad guy falls.  We've seen what follows."

Two months after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, President George W. Bush delivered a speech claiming victory in toppling Saddam Hussein's regime.  Eight years after that moment -- what has become known as his "mission accomplished" speech -- the war still lingers.

"The danger is that we will have another 'Mission Accomplished' moment, when French President Nicolas Sarkozy, NATO head Anders Fogh Rasmussen, President Obama, and their various pro-intervention advisers give each other a lot of high-fives, utter solemn words about having vindicated the new 'Responsibility to Protect' doctrine, and then turn to some new set of problems while Libya deteriorates," Harvard University professor Stephen M. Walt said in a blog post on ForeignPolicy.com.

Speaking from his seaside compound on Martha's Vineyard, Obama offered reassurances that NATO allies would not abandon Libya but instead remain "a friend and a partner," continuing military and diplomatic ties to "safeguard" the Libyan people.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Aug222011

Battle for Libya: Obama Calls on Gadhafi to Step Down

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images(MARTHA'S VINEYARD, Mass.) -- President Obama called on Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi to resign and praised Libyan rebels fighting to oust Gadhafi and gain control of Tripoli.

"Although it's clear that Gadhafi's rule is over, he still has the opportunity to reduce further bloodshed by explicitly relinquishing power to the people of Libya and calling for those forces that continue to fight to lay down their arms for the sake of Libya," Obama said from Martha's Vineyard, Mass., where he's vacationing.

Obama called the situation in Tripoli "very fluid."

"I want to emphasize that this is not over yet. As the regime collapses, there is still fierce fighting in some areas. We have reports of regime elements threatening to continue fighting," he said.

Rebels attempting to take over Gadhafi's presidential compound, Bab al-Aziziya, have been met by tanks. Firefights are also raging in Green Square, the symbolic heart of Gadhafi's regime, which rebels Sunday renamed Martyrs' Square, and outside the Rixos Hotel, which houses several journalists.

State Department officials estimate that the rebels are in control of 90 percent of Tripoli.

"Over the last several days, the situation in Libya has reached a tipping point as the opposition increased its coordination from east to west, took town after town and the people of Tripoli rose up to claim their freedom. For over four decades, the Libyan people have lived under the rule of a tyrant who denied them their most basic human rights," Obama said.

Obama pledged that the United States would act as a "friend and partner" to the Transitional National Council, the administration set up by the rebel forces, as they form a new government.

Obama echoed the pleas of top diplomats urging Libyans not to seek violent retribution.

"True justice will not come from reprisals, violence. It will come from reconciliation and a Libya that allows its citizens to determine their own destiny."

As Obama spoke, the whereabouts of Gadhafi are still unknown. Pentagon officials believe Gadhafi is still in Libya.  

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Aug222011

Full Remarks: President Obama Addresses Situation in Libya

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images(MARTHA'S VINEYARD, Mass.) -- President Obama adressed the ongoing situation in Libya Monday from Martha's Vineyard, Mass., where he is vacationing.

Here are the president's remarks, in full:


Good afternoon, everybody. I just completed a call with my National Security Council on the situation in Libya. And earlier today, I spoke to Prime Minister Cameron about the extraordinary events taking place there. The situation is still very fluid. There remains a degree of uncertainty, and there are still regime elements who pose a threat.  But this much is clear: The Gadhafi regime is coming to an end, and the future of Libya is in the hands of its people.  In just six months, the 42-year reign of Moammar Gadhafi has unraveled.


Earlier this year, we were inspired by the peaceful protests that broke out across Libya. This basic and joyful longing for human freedom echoed the voices that we had heard all across the region, from Tunis to Cairo.  In the face of these protests, the Gadhafi regime responded with brutal crackdowns. Civilians were murdered in the streets. A campaign of violence was launched against the Libyan people. Gadhafi threatened to hunt peaceful protesters down like rats. As his forces advanced across the country, there existed the potential for wholesale massacres of innocent civilians.  In the face of this aggression, the international community took action. The United States helped shape a U.N. Security Council resolution that mandated the protection of Libyan civilians. An unprecedented coalition was formed that included the United States, our NATO partners and Arab nations. And in March, the international community launched a military operation to save lives and stop Gadhafi's forces in their tracks.

In the early days of this intervention, the United States provided the bulk of the fire power, and then our friends and allies stepped forward. The Transitional National Council established itself as a credible representative of the Libyan people. And the United States, together with our European allies and friends across the region, recognized the TNC as the legitimate governing authority in Libya.  Gadhafi was cut off from arms and cash, and his forces were steadily degraded. From Benghazi to Misurata to the western mountains, the Libyan opposition courageously confronted the regime, and the tide turned in their favor. Over the last several days, the situation in Libya has reached a tipping point, as the opposition increased its coordination from east to west, took town after town, and the people of -- of Tripoli rose up to claim their freedom.

For over four decades, the Libyan people had lived under the rule of a tyrant who denied them their most basic human rights. Now, the celebrations that we've seen in the streets of Libya shows that the pursuit of human dignity is far stronger than any dictator.  I want to emphasize that this is not over yet. As the regime collapses, there's still fierce fighting in some areas, and we have reports of regime elements threatening to continue fighting. Although it's clear that Gadhafi's rule is over, he still has the opportunity to reduce further bloodshed by explicitly relinquishing power to the people of Libya and calling for those forces that continue to fight to lay down their arms for the sake of Libya.

As we move forward from this pivotal phase, the opposition should continue to take important steps to bring about a transition that is peaceful, inclusive and just. That the leadership of the TNC has made clear the rights of all Libyans must be respected. True justice will not come from reprisals and violence; it will come from reconciliation and a Libya that allows its citizens to determine their own destiny.  In that effort, the United States will be a friend and a partner. We will join with allies and partners to continue the work of safeguarding the people of Libya. As remaining regime elements menace parts of the country, I've directed my team to be in close contact with NATO as well as the United Nations to determine other steps that we can take to deal with the humanitarian impact. We're working to ensure that critical supplies reach those in need, particularly those who've been wounded.  

Secretary Clinton spoke today with her counterparts from leading nations of the coalition on all these matters, and I've directed Ambassador Susan Rice to request that the U.N. secretary-general use next month's General Assembly to support this important transition.  For many months, the TNC has been working with the international community to prepare for a post-Gadhafi Libya. As those efforts proceed, our diplomats will work with the TNC as they ensure that the institutions of the Libyan state are protected, and we will support them with the assets of the Gadhafi regime that were frozen earlier this year. Above all, we will call for an inclusive transition that leads to a democratic Libya.  As we move forward, we should also recognize the extraordinary work that has already been done. To the American people, these events have particular resonance. Gadhafi's regime has murdered scores of American citizens in acts of terror in the past.  Today, we remember the lives of those who were taken in those acts of terror and stand in solidarity with their families.  We also pay tribute to Admiral Sam Locklear and all of the men and women in uniform who have saved so many lives over the last several months, including our brave pilots. They've executed their mission with skill and extraordinary bravery, and all of this was done without putting a single U.S. troop on the ground.

To our friends and allies, the Libyan intervention demonstrates what the international community can achieve when we stand together as one. Although the efforts in Libya are not yet over, NATO has once more proven that it is the most capable alliance in the world and that its strength comes from both its firepower and the power of our democratic ideals.   And the Arab members of our coalition have stepped up and shown what can be achieved when we act together as equal partners. Their actions sent a powerful message about the unity of our effort and our support for the future of Libya.  Finally, the Libyan people: Your courage and character have been unbreakable in the face of the tyrant. An ocean divides us, but we are joined in the basic human longing for freedom, for justice and for dignity. Your revolution is your own, and your sacrifices have been extraordinary. Now, the Libya that you deserve is within your reach. Going forward, we will stay in close coordination with the TNC to support that outcome. And though there will be huge challenges ahead, the extraordinary events in Libya remind us that fear can give way to hope, and that the power of people striving for freedom can bring about a brighter day. Thank you very much.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Aug222011

Hillary Clinton Speaks with World Leaders on Libya

Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton continues her vacation in New York, but she’s spent a busy day on the phone talking to world leaders about Libya.

Spokesperson Victoria Nuland says that Clinton has made separate calls to Chris Stevens, the U.S. envoy to the Libyan rebels; Jeffrey Feltman, the top U.S. diplomat in the Middle East; Mustafa Jalil, Chairman of the Libyan Transitional National Council and participated in a conference call with key members of the Libya Contact Group.

In her conversation with Jalil, she discussed ways the international community can assist the rebels with providing humanitarian relief, restoring basic services, and protection of civilians.

The Contact Group conference call with key foreign ministers discussed ways these countries could help Libya move forward, mainly in getting financial support to them.  Political representatives will meet this Thursday in Istanbul to coordinate the Contact Group’s next steps.

Nuland said the U.S. has been encouraged by the TNC’s statements urging calm and reconciliation instead of settling of scores.

Where is Gadhafi? “We don't have any reason to believe that he's not in Tripoli,” Nuland said. “But  again, he hasn't been seen.  And the right thing for him to do is to show himself and step down, face justice.”

“He is less powerful,” she said. “It's over for him.  This is the word that the president used in his statement last night.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Aug222011

Obama Interrupts Vacation to Be Briefed on Libya

The White House/Pete Souza(CAPE COD, Mass.) -- As opposition forces descended on Tripoli and the nearly 42-year reign of Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi crumbled around him, President Obama was asked about the situation there.

“We’re going to wait until we have full confirmation of what has happened,” he said as he entered Nancy’s Restaurant in Oak Bluffs, Martha's Vineyard Sunday evening.

Shortly after, the president issued a statement saying, "Moammar Gadhafi and his regime need to recognize that their rule has come to an end.   Gadhafi needs to acknowledge the reality that he no longer controls Libya.  He needs to relinquish power once and for all."

"The United States has recognized the Transitional National Council as the legitimate governing authority in Libya," Obama went on to say, adding that "the future of Libya is now in the hands of the Libyan people."
 
Nancy’s, one of Obama's “favorite spots on the island,” according to Josh Ernest, a deputy press secretary, was the second of three stops he and the first lady made Sunday night.  The president was greeted outside the restaurant by a throng of supporters and well-wishers chanting “Four more years,” and “We love you.”  The first couple went inside for a few minutes to see some friends, Ernest said.

When they emerged, they were holding hands.  The first lady was wearing a black top with spaghetti straps and a yellow and white skirt.  The president wore a blue, short-sleeved shirt outside dark khakis.

The first couple's next stop was at the home where Valerie Jarrett, a senior adviser, is staying.
 
Earlier in the evening, the president and first lady attended a reception at the West Tisbury home of Aileen and Brian Roberts, the CEO of Comcast, a parent company to MSNBC.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Sunday
May082011

White House: U.S. Won't Increase Presence in Libya

MARCO LONGARI/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- In an interview with ABC News’ Christiane Amanapour, President Obama’s National Security adviser Tom Donilon insisted that the United States would not increase its presence in Libya due to NATO's success in protecting the embattled nation's civilians.

"NATO is still running this operation now, we're supporting it," Donilon told Amanpour. "They have the assets that are needed for them to engage in the civilian protection mission, and they are engaging."

Recalling NATO's ineffective war policy in Bosnia, where the U.S. "gave the Europeans the lead and they weren't able to protect the civilians," Amanpour asked if the United States policy of "leading from behind" will be ineffective in achieving the desired results in Libya.

"Will the U.S. step up more involvement?" Amanpour asked the White House National Security Adviser.

"No," responded Donilon. "When the president made this decision, there was an immediate threat to 700,000 Libyan civilians in the town of Benghazi. We've had a success here in terms of being able to protect those civilians. Now we need to continue that civilian protection mission and continue to put the pressure on Gadhaffi."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







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