FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
The humanitarian crisis in Libya could quickly escalate into a full-blown catastrophe.
Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi has made it clear he will not be forced out of power. He continues to attack and kill his own people who dare to protest his dictatorship. It's estimated more than 1,000 people have been killed so far. The country has sunk into a civil war that has caused tens of thousands to flee to the Libyan-Tunisian border.
And it's getting worse by the day. So what's the United States, the world’s only superpower, to do?
After days of not saying much while Americans were evacuated, the White House has started to talk tough, saying all options are on the table with respect to Libya.
The U.S. has frozen $30 billion in Libyan assets. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has met with top diplomats to discuss possible next steps.
Today, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said he is positioning two naval warships in the Mediterranean near Libya. He said the focus is on humanitarian assistance and evacuations, and there has been no authorization for use of force.
In a piece for the UK Telegraph, foreign affairs analyst Nile Gardiner asks whether tyrants even fear the United States anymore. He writes, "Just a few years ago, the United States was genuinely feared on the world stage, and dictatorial regimes, strategic adversaries and state sponsors of terror trod carefully in the face of the world's most powerful nation. Now Washington appears weak, rudderless and frequently confused in its approach."
Here’s my question to you: Should the U.S. do something to protect Libyans from Gadhafi?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Marvin in Polo, Missouri:
No, they seem to be doing quite well on their own. If the leaders of the opposition ask publicly for our help we would then be justified in doing so, otherwise it would be construed as the Americans attacking another Muslim country.
Paulo in Oregon:
Enforcing a no-fly zone would be a good first step, arming the rebels an excellent second, and hanging the consequences a necessary third. Innocent people are being slaughtered while wise men ponder. If acting now is not who we are, then who are we?
Unfortunately, countries like France, China and Russia do not come forward during such times to take steps to protect innocent people from being killed by their own people. Yet, they will hide behind the U.S. and criticize us for whatever actions we take. The UN really does not have much credibility and effectiveness. We need to do the right thing rather than standby and watch the slaughter of innocent people.
Harold in Anchorage, Alaska:
Humanitarian aide, yes. Diplomatic pressure, of course, But no acts of war. We have plenty on our plate right now.
Ed in California:
Let the British do it. Gadhafi's their buddy. Didn't the British let out that "dying" terrorist, who flew off to a hero's welcome in Libya? Doesn't the British government get most of their oil from there? So let them deal with him.
Ron in Miami, Florida:
Jack, the United States should stay out of this, condemn the violence, and let the UN send food and medical aid. If the Libyans want freedom, they will need to shed their own blood to achieve it.
The U.S. government has enough to do protecting us from ourselves, which includes not getting into all the world's conflicts.