News / Africa

    US: A Victorious Gadhafi Could Return to Terrorism

    This image taken March 16, 2011 from amateur video and obtained March 17, 2011 shows a plume of smoke rising over the skyline in Ajdabiya, eastern Libya, the last major city between forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi and rebel-held Benghazi
    This image taken March 16, 2011 from amateur video and obtained March 17, 2011 shows a plume of smoke rising over the skyline in Ajdabiya, eastern Libya, the last major city between forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi and rebel-held Benghazi

    Multimedia

    Audio

    A senior U.S. State Department official is warning that Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, if he prevails over opposition forces, could return to fomenting terrorism and regional instability.  Under-Secretary of State for political Affairs William Burns appeared before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

    Under-Secretary of State William Burns, speaking as the U.N. Security Council debated possible action to halt the Libyan military advance against rebels, painted a grim picture of what might happen if Moammar Gadhafi manages to hold on to power.

    Asked by a committee member if extremist factions might prevail in Libya if Colonel Gadhafi was deposed, the undersecretary suggested there is a greater danger of instability if the Libyan leader retains control.

    "There is also a very real danger that if Gadhafi is successful on the ground that you also face a number of other considerable risks as well: the dangers of him returning to terrorism and violent extremism himself, the dangers of the turmoil that he could help create at a very critical moment elsewhere in the region," said Burns.

    Burns, the State Department's senior career foreign service officer, said the United States would support a U.N. Security Council resolution that includes and goes beyond a no-fly-zone, but would stop short of what he termed "boots on the ground," or direct  intervention by U.S. or other ground troops.

    Several members of the committee from both parties were apprehensive about the prospect of a U.N. resolution that might draw the United States into another Middle East conflict.

    The committee's ranking Republican, Richard Lugar, said no-fly-zone enforcement could lead to a costly military escalation, and the Obama administration should formally consult Congress before any new commitment.

    "If the Obama administration decides to impose a no-fly-zone or other significant military action in Libya, I believe it should first seek a Congressional debate on a declaration of war under Article One," said Lugar.  "Section Eight of the [U.S.] Constitution.  I have also made the point that if American forces go to war in Libya, we should ask Arab League governments, and other governments advocating for American military action to pledge resources necessary to pay for it."

    Democratic committee member Jim Webb and Republican Bob Corker expressed similar reservations.  But Committee Chairman John Kerry said in cases like Libya, time does not permit a full-scale Congressional debate of a U.S. military commitment.

    "[Debate] is better," said Kerry.  "But life does not always present us with circumstances that afford us the opportunity to always do that.  And we have not always.  Republican and Democrat Presidents alike have had to make tough choices, faced with the moment."

    Burns promised thorough consultation with Congress on the content of a Security Council resolution.

    He said the United States would not only seek Arab League support for a no-fly-zone, as declared by the  group late last week, but also "active Arab partnership" and financial support in any action that would be taken.

    You May Like

    Clinton, Trump and the 'Woman’s Card'

    Ask supporters of Democratic front-runner in US presidential campaign, and they’ll tell you Republican presidential candidate is playing a dangerous hand

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    Video Makeshift Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Free classes in Islamabad park serve a few of the country’s nearly 25 million out-of-school youths; NGO cites ‘education crisis’

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

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora