News / Africa

Libyan Opposition Leader Hails Obama Speech

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks about the conflict in Libya during an address at the National Defense University in Washington, March 28, 2011.
U.S. President Barack Obama speaks about the conflict in Libya during an address at the National Defense University in Washington, March 28, 2011.

Multimedia

Audio
  • Clottey interview with Mufta Lamloom, leader of the main opposition Libyan National Movement

Peter Clottey

The leader of the main opposition Libyan National Movement says President Barack Obama’s speech late Monday demonstrates America’s commitment to not abandon ordinary Libyans in their time of need.

Mufta Lamloom says America’s intervention in the Libyan crisis has prevented forces loyal to leader Moammar Gadhafi from massacring ordinary unarmed Libyans who are opposed to what he describes as Gadhafi’s tyrannical rule.

“What I got from the speech is that he was very cautious trying to address the American people about what he did in Libya and that it was a decision that has to be taken without referring to anybody because there was a massacre about to happen in Benghazi,” said Lamloom.

“It means a lot to Libyans. It means that the United States has not abandoned them in their hour of need because, despite all the obligations of the United States, despite all the hardships the whole world is going through, despite their involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan, the United States has found a way to intervene in the last minute to stop the massacre in Libya,” he added.

In a nationally-televised address Monday from Washington, Obama accused Gadhafi of “brutal repression” and creating a “looming humanitarian crisis,” which he said forced the international community to act.

Lamloom hailed Obama’s speech saying Libyans are encouraged and pleased with America’s intervention.

“[Libyans] will take from the speech that United States has obligations towards the people of the world, especially those who are seeking to liberate themselves from dictatorship and want freedom. This has been shown in a very precise and clear language. He said, whoever is looking for their freedom, they will find a friend in the United States,” Lamloom said.

Obama's speech came 10 days after the Western air campaign against forces loyal to Gadhafi began. He pointed out that the campaign was authorized by what he called a historic vote in the U.N. Security Council and that NATO is to assume enforcement of the no-fly zone and the protection of the Libyan people.

Lamloom also says his expectations about Obama’s speech were met.

“What Libyans see in it [the speech] is that what the coalition or NATO has done is that they have opened the way for Libyans to talk to the chief of the dictatorship. At one point, the Libyans were desperate because Gadhafi was actually massacring the people…he uses the pretext of fighting fundamentalists or al Qaeda,” Lamloom said.

“But, nobody in Libya will believe that because we don’t have those elements in Libya. What Gadhafi was doing was just killing his people systematically. He was encouraging his troops to rape women; that is something that should not be accepted in the Arab World,” he added.

Obama repeated his pledge that the U.S. role would be limited and no U.S. ground forces would be used. The speech was designed to address the concerns of those in Congress and elsewhere who have criticized Obama for failing to clarify U.S. goals before involving U.S. forces in the air assault in support of Libyan rebels.

His speech comes on the eve of a 35-nation conference in London to discuss the situation in Libya and ways to bring about regime change there.

You May Like

Pundits Split Over Long-Term US Role in Afghanistan

Security pact remains condition for American presence beyond 2014; deadline criticized More

US Eyes Islamic State Threat

Officials warn that IS could pose a threat to US homeland More

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Moscow says Russian troops crossed into Ukrainian territory by mistake 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.
Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocksi
X
George Putic
August 25, 2014 4:00 PM
How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that was eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports on how one band is bringing Yiddish tango to Los Angeles.
Video

Video Peace Returns to Ferguson as Community Tries to Heal

Thousands of people nationwide are expected to attend funeral services Monday in the U.S. Midwestern city of St. Louis, Missouri, for Michael Brown, the unarmed African-American teenager who was fatally shot by a white police officer August 9 in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. The shooting touched off days of violent demonstrations there, resulting in more than 100 arrests. VOA's Chris Simkins reports from Ferguson where the community is trying to move on after weeks of racial tension.
Video

Video Meeting in Minsk May Hinge on Putin Story

The presidents of Russia and Ukraine are expected to meet face-to-face Tuesday in Minsk, along with European leaders, for talks on the situation in Ukraine. Political analysts say the much welcomed dialogue could help bring an end to months of deadly clashes between pro-Russia separatists and Ukrainian forces in the country's southeast. But much depends on the actions of one man, Russian President Vladimir Putin. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Artists Shun Russia's Profanity Law

Russia in July enacted a law threatening fines for publicly displayed profanity in media, films, literature, music and theater. The restriction, the toughest since the Soviet era, aims to protect the Russian language and culture and has been welcomed by those who say cursing is getting out of control. But many artists reject the move as a patronizing and ineffective act of censorship in line with a string of conservative morality laws. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video British Fighters on Frontline of ISIS Information War

Security services are racing to identify the Islamic State militant who beheaded U.S. journalist James Foley in Syria. The murderer spoke English on camera with a British accent. It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for the Islamic State, also called ISIL or ISIS, alongside thousands of other foreign jihadists. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from the center of the investigation in London.

AppleAndroid