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April 5th, 2011
05:00 PM ET

Should Moammar Gadhafi be allowed to remain in Libya?

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(PHOTO CREDIT: MAHMUD TURKIA/AFP/Getty Images)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

There's little chance U.S. military involvement in Libya will be considered a success if Moammar Gadhafi is not removed from power.

President Obama has called on Gadhafi to step down over and over again. So has the United Nations and the opposition forces fighting Gadhafi in Libya have as well; but that hasn't happened and it doesn't look like it's going to happen any time soon.

A government spokesman for Gadhafi's regime said yesterday that Libya is ready to reform its political system and even hold democratic elections, but that Gadhafi will not step aside. The spokesman said the Libyan people must decide whether their leader for the past 42 years, Gadhafi, should stay in power.

Gadhafi's second son, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, echoed all of this to the BBC in an interview today. He says sweeping changes are possible in Libya - But he scoffed at the idea of his family leaving the country or going into exile.

He told the BBC, "It's our country you want us to leave? To where? The Maldives? To the Caribbean? We are Libyans."

The Libyan government insists that the Gadhafi regime is not attacking civilians. Nobody believes that. And I don't think anyone is going to buy the "ready for reform" line either.

Here’s my question to you: Should Moammar Gadhafi be allowed to remain in Libya?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

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Filed under: Libya
March 24th, 2011
05:00 PM ET

Do you feel you have been told the truth about Libya?

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Libyan rebels prepare for battle against government forces. (PHOTO CREDIT: ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

In an interview with the Boston Globe in December 2007, then-Sen. Barack Obama said this on the campaign trail, "The president does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation."

He was talking about Iran at the time, but fast forward three-plus years, and some lawmakers are accusing him of doing just that in Libya now that Obama is president.

In separate remarks that same year, then-Sen. Joe Biden (and now Obama’s vice president) said he'd move to impeach a president that did such a thing. Don't you hate when those words come back to bite you?

There are a lot of unanswered questions swirling around about our involvement in Libya on the part of Congress and the American people:

  • Did the president have the authority to deploy U.S. military to Libya?
  • What is the U.S. mission there?
  • How quickly can and should we hand over control and to whom? (It's something the president, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates have talked a lot about.)
  • And maybe most importantly, what is the end game?

The Obama administration insists it has been responsive to the many questions about the Libyan mission, but no one on Capitol Hill seems to be happy with the president or clear on what's going on there.

Here’s my question to you: Do you feel you have been told the truth about Libya?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

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Filed under: Libya
March 23rd, 2011
05:00 PM ET

France wants committee to run war in Libya. Good idea?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Defense Secretary Robert Gates - who is refreshingly open and honest - said: "We haven't done something like this, kind of on the fly before."

He was talking about the coalition attacks on Moammar Gadhafi's forces in Libya, why the United States was still in control, why tensions are rising among members of the coalition, why there's no plan for any group or nation to take the lead. The allies, you see, aren't getting along so well. In fact, there are reports today that the coalition is falling apart.

France yesterday suggested a committee be formed - outside of NATO - to oversee the military operations. It would be a political steering committee and would include members of the Arab League. See if a committee is running the war, no one has to take responsibility if things go to hell and everyone can take credit if they go well.

The French were early backers of the no-fly zone and were the first nation to launch airstrikes against Libya on Saturday.

The Italians have accused the French of not originally backing a NATO-run operation to be in a better position for oil contracts when a new government is established in Libya.

It's not just the French causing problems…

Russia's defense minister yesterday called for a cease-fire in Libya.

Germany today pulled its naval ships out of NATO operations in the Mediterranean over a disagreement over the Libyan campaign's direction. It's not pretty.

Foreign ministers from Western coalition partners will meet in London Tuesday along with members of the Arab League and the African Union to see what can be done.

Here’s my question to you: France wants a committee to run the war in Libya. Is that a good idea?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: France • Libya
March 22nd, 2011
03:59 PM ET

Should Pres. Obama have consulted with Congress before U.S. military to Libya?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Quite a few members of Congress are not happy with President Obama over his decision to allow U.S. air attacks in Libya. They feel they weren't given any say in the whole matter…which they weren't. And the criticism of the president is coming in from everywhere.

Republican Congressman Ron Paul of Texas says the no-fly zone is unconstitutional. Liberal Democratic Congressman Dennis Kucinich from Ohio has brought up the idea of impeachment hearings for President Obama's actions. No surprise there... but it's not just the far right and the far left up in arms. Moderates like Democratic Senator and former Navy Secretary Jim Webb and Republican Senator Richard Lugar, the ranking Republican member of the Foreign Relations Committee. They aren't happy with the president either.

Yesterday the President sent an official letter to Congress asserting his authority to make the decision on Libya based on the Constitution and War Powers Resolution. The letter said he was acting in the "national security and foreign policy interests of the United States."

The president did hold a briefing for congressional party and committee leaders in the White House Situation Room on Friday before any attacks were launched. But many lawmakers say that wasn't enough.

Here’s my question to you: Should President Obama have consulted with Congress before sending the U.S. military against Libya?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST

March 21st, 2011
05:00 PM ET

Your understanding of U.S. role in Libya offensive?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The U.S. military has led the initial allied air attacks against Moammar Gadhafi's forces in Libya, which began this weekend. Something about it reminds me of the way the war in Iraq started eight years ago.

The U.S.S. Barry launches a Tomahawk missile.

The U.S.S. Barry launches a Tomahawk missile.

But President Barack Obama insisted at a news conference this afternoon that the U.S. will soon step aside and that the mission will then be controlled by NATO forces and other allies.

It was the first time the president has answered questions on the topic of Libya since allied airstrikes began Saturday.

Republicans have sharply criticized Obama and his administration for the way they've communicated about the U.S. military mission in Libya.

House Speaker John Boehner says he supports helping the people of Libya, but he also says:

"Before any further military commitments are made, the administration must do a better job of communicating to the American people and to Congress about our mission in Libya and how it will be achieved."

Sen. Richard Lugar, the ranking Republican member of the Foreign Relations Committee, echoed Boehner's concerns, telling CNN's John King he doesn't understand the mission either and believes there are no guidelines set for success.

It's not a partisan issue… so far. A group of liberal House Democrats held a conference call Saturday because they're pretty upset that Congress wasn't formally consulted before the U.S. and allies attacked Gadhafi's forces. They are concerned that involvement in the airstrikes could lead to a third war in the Middle East in which the U.S. is involved. U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, even raised the prospect of impeachment over the president's actions.

Here’s my question to you: What is your understanding of America's role in the Libya offensive?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Libya
March 14th, 2011
04:56 PM ET

Is it becoming too late for the rest of the world to help rebels in Libya?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in Paris today, meeting with other foreign ministers from the G8 to discuss Libya strategy. She's also meeting with Libyan rebel leaders, the first time the United States has made contact with Moammar Gadhafi's opposition since violence erupted last month.

A Libyan anti-government protester takes part in an anti-Gadhafi demonstration.

A Libyan anti-government protester takes part in an anti-Gadhafi demonstration.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in Paris today, meeting with other foreign ministers from the G8 to discuss Libya strategy. She's also meeting with Libyan rebel leaders, the first time the United States has made contact with Moammar Gadhafi's opposition since violence erupted last month.

But no course of action has been decided yet. Over the weekend, the Arab League called for a no-fly zone. France had done so last week. The White House has applauded the move. It was the topic of conversation at the United Nations today. Lots of talk, no action.

Meanwhile, Libya's civil war continues even as international attention to the rebels' cause has been diverted to the natural disaster in Japan. Various reports say the opposition forces are losing their grip on Benghazi, Libya’s second-largest city, and al Brega.

For the first time since the revolt began, the rebels did not allow reporters to accompany them out of fear news coverage could provide intelligence to government forces.

It's a sign of growing frustration on the part of the opposition. The rest of the world watches and talks and does nothing. Now Gadhafi's forces are gaining the upper hand.

Here’s my question to you: Is it becoming too late for the rest of the world to help the rebels in Libya?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Libya • Middle East
March 9th, 2011
06:00 PM ET

Stronger voice on Libya: Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama?

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(PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The United States is in a very tough spot when it comes to Libya, and President Obama has taken some heat for not being more vocal on the crisis.

The White House has said repeatedly it's weighing its options, and that nothing is off the table. But the president has said little more. And we've been "weighing" for a while now.

The president is walking a tightrope: If the U.S. acts unilaterally - no matter how noble the cause of helping those in Libya fighting for their freedom - we will be seen as interfering in yet another Muslim nation's business. That perception is what got us 9/11.

So, President Obama isn't saying much publicly. He's had strong words for Gadhafi, demanding he step down; but he's stopped short of calling for any other specifics. Gadhafi's still there.

In the meantime, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has emerged as the mouthpiece for the administration. She traveled to Geneva last week to meet with top diplomats and discuss military and humanitarian options.

Clinton told Sky News yesterday that the U.S. wants to see the international community support a no-fly zone. She also said it was important that the United Nations decide what to do about the conflict in Libya, not the United States.

Some of the president's top aides were scheduled to meet today to discuss the situation in Libya, including Secretary of State Clinton, Leon Panetta, the director of the CIA and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen. But the President of the United States, the Commander in Chief, was not scheduled to attend.

Here’s my question to you: When it comes to Libya, who has the stronger voice: Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST

March 8th, 2011
05:38 PM ET

When it comes to Libya, what's the right thing for the U.S. to do?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

When it comes to Libya, the United States is in a very tough spot. Not as tough a spot as the Libyan people are in by any means…but difficult nonetheless.

We are mostly hated in that part of the world. And rushing to the aid of the Libyan rebels trying to overthrow Gadhafi would be played up on the Arab street as the United States again interfering in a Muslim nation's internal affairs.

On the other hand, it's in our national DNA to want to come to the aid of people who are struggling to gain their freedom. Plus there is all that oil, of course, but that's a much more cynical view.

People are laying down their lives trying to get out from under the yoke of arguably one of the world's most brutal dictators. We have the military wherewithal to make their struggle a lot easier, but so far we haven't done that.

Here’s my question to you: When it comes to Libya, what’s the right thing for the U.S. to do?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Libya • Moammar Gadhafi
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