Reactions to President Obama's statement on Libya
March 18th, 2011
03:46 PM ET

Reactions to President Obama's statement on Libya

By Amar C. Bakshi, CNN

President Obama just gave a news conference on Libya, stating:

“Now, once more, Moammar Gadhafi has a choice. The resolution that passed lays out very clear conditions that must be met. The United States, the United Kingdom, France and Arab states agree that a cease-fire must be implemented immediately. That means all attacks against civilians must stop. …

I also want to be clear about what we will not be doing. The United States is not going to deploy ground troops into Libya. And we are not going to use force to go beyond a well-defined goal, specifically the protection of civilians in Libya.”

Max Boot at the Council on Foreign Relations found it "curious that [Obama] did not reiterate what he said before, which was that Gadhafi had to go."

Danielle Pletka, vice president for foreign and defense policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute “was amazed that Obama didn’t say Gadhafi must go. He seems to have changed his position and to have enshrined this horrible stalemate into U.S. policy....It’s always interesting to see a President’s passion when he speaks. The only time he [Obama] appeared to light up was when he said what he was not doing.”

Boot asked: "How can you protect Libyan civilians while Gadhafi remains in power, unless we want an indefinite no-fly zone and military intervention? There is a lot of definition which still needs to happen in terms of what objectives we and our allies will try to achieve."

Michael Tomasky of the Guardian pretty much agreed:

“Just watched [Obama’s] press statement on Libya. The sentence that mattered was the one in which he defined the mission: to protect the Libyan people from further abuses. Not to overthrow Gaddafi. To protect the people.

That's the right thing to say now, and I'm sure that's the mission ... now. But will it remain the mission? It seems to me that, ineluctably, the mission will become regime change. Isn't that the only logical end point of the whole business?”

Boot hopes that with the help of international air and sea power, and with arms coming in from Egypt, Libyan rebels would be able to beat back Gadhafi's forces.

“It would not take that much because they're not facing the Wehrmacht of 1939,” he said. “This is a pretty ramshackle force that Gadhafi has put together that is great for slaughtering civilians but cannot stand up very long to advanced firepower.”

In the end, he notes, the real ground action is going to come not from Western troops, but from Libyans.

soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. WorldSpring

    I actually liked the president carefully worded speech. He isn't there to dazzle with his charms, he tries to deliver a clear meaage to the world about how it should behave. A hint that there is a need for a "world police" but that the us shouldn't be it.

    In other worrds he's hinting at what everyone is thinking anyway. That the UN should be more than just the local international bar, that it should stand for solid principles and enforce them. That a nation sovereignty stop where its stupidity start. But also that he doesn't want to force our style of democracy on anyone. (But err, dictatorship isn't democracy is it)

    Anyway he didn't said it in those words, and not all of that. But I think that's where it's leading, change and evolution while respecting each other. But don't just stand by while your neighbor kill his two daughters for having white boyfriends. Something like that. Ok I maybe mixing old news headlines there 9D

    Personaly I think every nation can teach a little to its neigbors, and not so close neigbors. Just check Japan incredible discipline in face of adversity.

    I think we're going in the right direction !

    March 18, 2011 at 5:04 pm | Reply
  2. Ross

    how many more US soldier must die in a foreign land, who will shoulder the billions of dollar of expenses, . did America send troops and spend billion of dollars in order to stop the killings, rapes in Africa.. lol, is it Humanitarian reason or OIL reason..remember Iraq? Amercan casualties are higher than any other nation.

    March 19, 2011 at 6:20 am | Reply
  3. j. von hettlingen

    Obama has once in while a weaknes, he never speaks outspokenly, what he wants. Now in the dilemma he is facing, this weakness turns out to be an advantage. He spells out words, without really speaking them. So those who listen, should draw their own conclusions. Deep inside he has no interest in participating. It is out of solidarity for his bosom-friends Cameron and Sarkozy that he half-heartedly show his support.

    March 19, 2011 at 9:48 am | Reply
  4. Am I an Alien

    Once again imperialist nations are trying to force their will in a foreign country... No one interfered in America's Civil War... Why are we not dropping bombs in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, are they not killing civilians right now... and also, are the foreign invaders not killing civilians when they drop bombs indiscriminately...

    Once again it has been proven that the American president is nothing but a puppet... Barack Obama hustled us all to get into office and has not kept most of the promises he made and he is now acting just like his predecessor...I gave him the name Bush 3 months ago but this confirms it... Please American people lets get rid of this guy in 2012 (and yes I voted for him the first time)... Have we not learned that alliances to political parties are stupid... it doesnt matter who win... they all serve their own selfish agendas and those of wealthy businessmen and oil companies... Defeat Obama 2012

    March 21, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Reply
    • cj

      to "i'm no alien": if your arguement is true, so how is defeating obama in 2012 going to change anything. according to u, we'll just end up with another selfish agenda-driven president. u must have seen something in obama to have voted for him. give the guy a chance. you're not going to agree 100% with anyone in the white house. stop jumping on hate-obama bandwagons!

      March 21, 2011 at 6:15 pm | Reply
  5. I'm no alien

    Both Great Britain and France favored the South through clandestine efforts. Many of the South's ships came from Britain, such as the CSS Alabama; in 1872, reparations were made to the US from Britain because an artibitration tribunal ruled that they broke the laws of neutrality.I've read that they even sent troops to Canada "just in case" but never ordered them down into the states to interfere. The South was allied also with many Native American tribes, such as the Choctaw and Seminole. European bankers funded the North, and Russia was friendly to them. While no countries interfered by sending troops, they did interfere in other ways, and remember we're comparing modern warfare to the warfare of the 1800s, which is...pointless.

    March 21, 2011 at 2:41 pm | Reply
  6. I'm no alien

    Also, Obama didn't declare war; he's cooperating with our allies, the United Nations, and NATO, who voted to take action. Democracy remember?

    March 21, 2011 at 2:41 pm | Reply
  7. cj

    Sorry my comment was to "Am I an Alien"

    if your arguement is true, so how is defeating obama in 2012 going to change anything. according to u, we'll just end up with another selfish agenda-driven president. u must have seen something in obama to have voted for him. give the guy a chance. you're not going to agree 100% with anyone in the white house. stop jumping on hate-obama bandwagons!

    March 21, 2011 at 6:22 pm | Reply

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