News / USA

Two US Senators Urge Intervention in Libya

U.S. Senators John McCain, R-Ariz., left, and Joseph Lieberman (flle photo)
U.S. Senators John McCain, R-Ariz., left, and Joseph Lieberman (flle photo)
Michael Bowman

Two high-ranking U.S. senators are calling on the Obama administration to recognize Libya’s opposition, as France has done, and impose a no-fly zone to aid rebels battling forces loyal to leader Moammar Gadhafi. The senators introduced a resolution Monday urging prompt U.S. intervention in Libya.

Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona says the situation in Libya is growing increasingly grim. "At this moment, opponents of Colonel Gadhafi and his supporters are fighting for their very survival. Gadhafi has unleashed a merciless campaign of violence against the Libyan people, including civilian non-combatants, using every tool at his disposal," he said.

Forces loyal to the Libyan leader have been continuing an offensive against rebel-held towns in the east of the country. Over the past week, the rebel advance west has been pushed back nearly 200 kilometers.

Speaking on the Senate floor, McCain said the United States cannot remain on the sidelines of the conflict and watch Mr. Gadhafi reassert control over Libya.

"First, the president [Barack Obama] should recognize Libya’s transitional national council, which is based in Benghazi but representative of communities across the country, as the sole legitimate governing authority of Libya, just as France has done.  Second, the president should take immediate steps to implement a no-fly zone in Libya with international support," he said.

On Saturday, the Arab League endorsed the idea of a no-fly zone and said it would ask the U.N. Security Council to impose such restrictions. The White House said it welcomed the Arab League position, saying the international community is unified in sending a "clear message that the violence in Libya must stop."

McCain said a no-fly zone would not, by itself, assure defeat of Mr. Gadhafi’s forces, but would provide a boost to rebels when they need it most. "It is Libyans themselves who want to do the fighting against Gadhafi. But they want it to be a fair fight, and so should we [the United States]," he said.

President Obama has said that Mr. Gadhafi is "on the wrong side of history," and the U.S. leader has not decided on any military action but is still considering imposing a no-fly zone. Critics of a no-fly zone say it is an act of war, and could embroil the United States in another conflict in the Arab world on the side of forces whose ultimate intentions are not yet clear.

Those arguments are rejected by Independent Democratic Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, who also sponsored the proposed resolution. Lieberman said the anti-totalitarian revolution sweeping northern Africa must not be allowed to fail in Libya.

"There is a danger that what is happening in Libya is essentially a wall being put up, which says, 'this peaceful, democratic revolution in the Arab world ends here.' That the ‘Arab Spring’ might be going the way of the 'Prague Spring' of 1968. We simply cannot let that happen," he said.

For weeks, the two senators have urged a more active U.S. response to events in Libya. In the United States, the executive branch bears responsibility for conducting foreign policy. Congress may urge and advise the president on foreign matters. If adopted, the proposed Senate resolution cannot force President Obama to intervene in Libya, but could add weight and political backing to any decision he may ultimately make.

You May Like

Mugabe Dismisses Male-Female Equality

'It is not possible that women can be at par with men' incoming African Union president declares on eve of summit More

Somali Terror Suspect's Light Sentence Raises Questions

Abdullahi Yusuf, 18, could have spent 15 years in prison but judge instead sentenced him to a halfway house, and a program to try to integrate him back into the community More

Video Kobani Ravaged Following Kurdish Ouster of IS Militants

Even so, hundreds of refugees sheltering in Turkey seek to return; Kurdish forces hold some back, saying fighting continues 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.
Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Productioni
X
George Putic
January 29, 2015 9:43 PM
The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Production

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Crowded Republican Presidential Field Off to Early Start for 2016

It seems early, but the 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign is already heating up. Though no one has officially announced a candidacy, several potential Republican contenders have been busy speaking to conservative groups about making a White House run next year. Many of the possible contenders are critical of the Obama administration’s foreign policy record. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid