News / USA

Congressional Concerns Continue Over US Libya Involvement

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., the ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., the ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee

President Barack Obama’s defense of limited U.S. military engagement in Libya appears not to have won over many congressional critics of his administration’s handling of developments in the northern African nation. The U.S. mission in Libya remains a contentious issue on Capitol Hill.

The top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, John McCain of Arizona, says President Obama made a strong case for U.S. intervention in Libya in his speech to the nation late Monday. But, appearing on CBS’ Early Show, McCain took issue with the president’s assertion that going beyond a no-fly zone in Libya and forcing leader Moammar Gadhafi from power would be a mistake, drawing comparison's with Iraq.

"If Gadhafi remains in power, you will see a stalemate, the same kind of thing we saw with [former Iraqi leader] Saddam Hussein when we established a no-fly zone, sanctions, etc, and it lasted 10 years. Gadhafi in power will continue to commit acts of terror against his own people. And, of course, he is guilty of war crimes," he said.

McCain said the United States should, as he put it, "continue all the way to Tripoli" and help rebel forces remove the Libyan leader as soon as possible.

Other Republicans criticized President Obama less for what he said in his speech than for what they say he left unsaid as far as an endgame in Libya. A spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner said, more than a week after U.S. military intervention began, "Americans still have no answer to the fundamental question: What does success in Libya look like?"

Destroyed military vehicles are seen at a naval military facility after last night's coalition air strikes in People's Port in eastern Tripoli, March 22, 2011
Destroyed military vehicles are seen at a naval military facility after last night's coalition air strikes in People's Port in eastern Tripoli, March 22, 2011

Democratic lawmakers appear divided on the administration’s handling of Libya as well as the president's speech. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Obama laid out a clear vision for Libya's freedom. Missouri Congressman Emanuel Cleaver applauded the president’s announcement that command of the military mission will be transferred to NATO, saying Obama "fully understands" that the United States cannot afford what he termed "another Iraq or Afghanistan."

Other Democrats remain strongly opposed to U.S. military intervention in Libya, especially without congressional consent. Ohio Representative Dennis Kucinich put it this way.

"America is now the policeman of the world again, as our executive defines when we have to go in [intervene]. And I think that is a really dangerous position for us to be in," he said.

That theme was echoed by Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky. "Our brave men and women in uniform are patriotic defenders of our nation," he said. "They should not be asked to be nation-builders or the world's policemen."

"And they should serve in wars authorized and called for by the United States Congress, not the United Nations. At the moment, there are uprisings taking place across the Middle East. The problem with sending U.S. military to help rebels in Libya or anywhere else is that we are taking sides in a conflict and on behalf of a people whom we know nothing about," he added.

Administration officials are expected to testify on Libya in both closed door and public hearings on Capitol Hill this week. Legislators of both parties say they will press for answers on the expected costs of the mission.

Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid