Washington Post


Some Republicans calling for U.S. to step up role in Libya after Gaddafi falls

(AMR ABDALLAH DALSH – REUTERS) Several congressional Republicans are hailing the U.S. military involvement in Libya and are calling for the U.S. to increase its involvement in the country if Moammar Gaddafi’s regime falls.

Throughout the U.S. involvement in Libya, which is in its 155th day, most members of Congress have been sharply critical of President Obama’s handling of the mission, arguing that the president overstepped his authority by not seeking authorization from Congress. Several members have also contended that the intervention was unwise at a time when the nation’s military and financial resources are stretched thin.

But Democratic leaders, as well as some of the GOP’s leading foreign policy voices, have expressed support for Obama’s actions and have called for the White House to do more to support the rebels working for Gaddafi’s ouster.

Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), who was one of eight House Republicans joining most Democrats in June in voting to authorize the U.S. mission, said Monday that “in particular, we must ensure that Qaddafi’s stockpiles of advanced weapons, chemical weapons and explosives don’t fall into the wrong hands.”

“We can be proud of the role the United States and its allies have played,” Rogers, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said in a statement. “Assertive action by the United States can make a critical difference in the struggle against dictatorship and oppression. But this is not over yet. Even after Qaddafi is out of power we will have to step up and lead to ensure U.S. national security interests are safeguarded.”

And Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), two other early backers of the mission, said in a statement Sunday night that “Americans can be proud of the role our country has played in helping to defeat Qaddafi, but we regret that this success was so long in coming due to the failure of the United States to employ the full weight of our airpower.”

“While Libya’s future will of course be made by the Libyan people themselves, the United States must lead the international community to provide the support that our Libyan friends need,” McCain and Graham said. “We must remain engaged with the Transitional National Council and move expeditiously to release the assets of the Qaddafi regime so they can be used for the benefit of the Libyan people and the reconstruction of the country.”

“Ultimately, our intervention in Libya will be judged a success or failure based not on the collapse of the Qaddafi regime, but on the political order that emerges in its place,” they added.

Congress as a whole has given mixed messages when it comes to Libya, however.

The House in June rejected a measure authorizing the mission but also voted against a bill that would have immediately withdrawn U.S. troops from the region; the chamber also voted down a measure that would have limited funding of the mission and voted in favor of legislation rebuking Obama for his handling of the conflict.

The Senate, meanwhile, voted in March to support the establishment of a no-fly zone before Obama’s formal announcement of the U.S. mission. Since then, efforts to craft a resolution authorizing the mission have fallen through, and the chamber has taken no action on Libya throughout the five-month-long conflict




August 21, 2011 at 9:31 pm by Ben Doody

Sen. Joe Lieberman issued the following statement tonight on the developments in Libya:

“The liberation of Tripoli that is at last happening now marks a historic turning point in the Arab Spring and a victory for the advance of freedom globally. For the first time, a Middle Eastern dictator who tried to hang onto power by unleashing the most brutal possible violence is being deposed by his own people. The collapse of the Qaddafi regime thus sends a clear message to other autocratic regimes throughout the region — from Damascus to Teheran — that their day of reckoning too shall come.

“The liberation of Libya is an achievement that belongs first and foremost to the Libyan people, whose bravery and determination has forever changed the course of their history, and ours. This is also a victory for the United States and our NATO allies, whose use of military force stopped Qaddafi when he was on the brink of slaughtering his own people and empowered them to secure their destiny for themselves. America should be proud of the role we have played.

“While we join the Libyan people in celebrating this moment, we also know from history that the fall of a dictator does not guarantee the emergence of a successful, stable democracy in its wake. We also know that decisions and actions made in the immediate days and weeks ahead will carry consequences for years to come. For this reason, it is critical for the U.S. to redouble our assistance to and coordination with the Transitional National Council.

“In particular, we must support the new Libyan authorities to ensure they are able to prevent acts of retribution, initiate a credible process of national reconciliation, secure weapons depots and critical infrastructure, protect vulnerable populations, establish security and rule of law in Tripoli and throughout Libya, and begin the broadest possible outreach across Libyan society for an inclusive and transparent political transition. I am encouraged by the statements of Council leaders in recent days, instructing their forces to treat captured Qaddafi forces in accordance with the Geneva Conventions and pledging to protect the rights of all people in a post-Qaddafi Libya. These are precisely the right messages and reinforce the confidence of the international community in the TNC.

“Although I am optimistic that the Libyans will be able to shoulder the bulk of the transition to democracy on their own, I also hope that the U.S. and its allies will make available any and all assistance they request, including a civilian international monitoring mission.

“Qaddafi and his remaining loyalists also have a choice now. Rather than inflicting further pointless bloodshed and suffering, it is time for them to accept the will of the Libyan people and give up peacefully, before it is too late. There should be no doubt, anyone who persists in pursuing violence will be defeated.

“The liberation of Tripoli is a great step forward on the long and difficult path of the Libyan people to freedom. We recognize that journey is still far from complete, and that there are still many perils and pitfalls ahead. But as long as the Libyan people continue on this path, they should know that America will stay by their side as a friend and ally.”




But despite the Lockean tenor of much of the constitution, the inescapable clause lies right in Part 1, Article 1: “Islam is the Religion of the State, and the principal source of legislation is Islamic Jurisprudence (Sharia).” Under this constitution, in other words, Islam is law. That makes other phrases such as “there shall be no crime or penalty except by virtue of the law” and “Judges shall be independent, subject to no other authority but law and conscience” a bit more ominous.

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