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

Sambisa Forest Stands Between Nigeria, Victory Over Boko Haram

Military takes back nearly all towns, villages in northeast, except for massive expanse of forest that spreads thousands of square kilometers over several states More

Islamic State Recruiting Stokes Fears for Parents in Georgia

Chechens are a notable part of Islamic State's gains in Syria and Iraq, and analysts fear what might happen if those fighters return to the Caucasus More

Yarmouk Camp Becomes Distant Memory for Palestinian Diaspora

Once thriving capital of Palestinian diaspora, after siege by Syrian government forces and Islamic State group, camp becomes 'deepest circle of hell' 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.
Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'i
X
Sharon Behn
April 21, 2015 9:18 PM
A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten. Sharon Behn reports on the politics of the word genocide on the 100th anniversary of the events.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video German Program Helps Migrants Overcome Traumatic Experience at Sea

Migrants fleeing poverty and violence in parts of Africa, the Middle East and Asia risk life and limb to reach safety in Europe. Those who have made it to European shores are traumatized by the experience. A program in Germany helps survivors overcome the trauma by giving a new perspective to their catastrophic experience. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.
Video

Video Hope, Prayer Enter Fight Against S. Africa Xenophobia

South Africa has been swept by disturbing attacks on foreign nationals. Some blame the attacks on a legacy of colonialism, while others say the economy is to blame. Whatever the cause, ordinary South Africans - and South African residents from around the world - say they're praying for the siege of violence to end. Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.
Video

Video New Test Set to Be Game Changer in Eradicating Malaria

The World Health Organization estimates 3.4 billion people are at risk of malaria, with children under the age of five and pregnant women being the most vulnerable. As World Malaria Day approaches (April 25), mortality rates are falling, and a new test -- well into the last stage of trials -- is having positive results in Kenya. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA from Nairobi.
Video

Video Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?

Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Eye Contact Secures Dog's Place in Human Heart

Dogs serve in the military, work with police and assist the disabled, and have been by our side for thousands of years serving as companions and loyal friends. We love them. They love us in return. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on a new study that looks at the bio-chemical bond that cements that human-canine connection.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Search for Bodies of Missing Soldiers

As the cease-fire becomes more fragile in eastern Ukraine, a team of volunteer body collectors travels to the small village of Savur Mohyla in the what pro-Russian separatists call the Donetsk Peoples Republic - to retrieve bodies of fallen Ukrainian servicemen from rebel-held territories. Adam Bailes traveled with the team and has this report.
Video

Video Apollo 13, NASA's 'Successful Failure,' Remembered

The Apollo 13 mission in 1970 was supposed to be NASA's third manned trip to the moon, but it became much more. On the flight's 45th anniversary, astronauts and flight directors gathered at Chicago's Adler Planetarium to talk about how the aborted mission changed manned spaceflight and continues to influence space exploration today. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Endangered Hawaiian Birds Get Second Chance

Of the world's nearly 9,900 bird species, 13 percent are threatened with extinction, according to BirdLife International. Among them are two Hawaiian honeycreepers - tiny birds that live in the forest canopy, and, as the name implies, survive on nectar from tropical flowers. Scientists at the San Diego Zoo report they have managed to hatch half a dozen of their chicks in captivity, raising hopes that the birds will flutter back from the brink of extinction. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Exhibit Brings Renaissance Master Out of the Shadows

The National Gallery of Art in Washington has raised the curtain on one of the most intriguing painters of the High Renaissance. Mostly ignored after his death in the early 1500s, Italian master Piero di Cosimo is now claiming his place alongside the best-known artists of the period. VOA’s Ardita Dunellari reports.

VOA Blogs