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

Scotland Vote Raises Questions of International Law

Experts say self-determination, as defined and protected by international law, confined narrowly to independence movements in process of de-colonization More

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

Conservationists hail ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015 More

Annual Military Exercise Takes on New Meaning for Ukraine Troops

Troops from 15 nations participating in annual event, 'Rapid Trident' in western Ukraine 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.
Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctionsi
X
September 18, 2014 2:28 AM
A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid