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.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2011/images/03/21/art.libya.strike.jpg caption="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?

Kim in Virginia:
The mission is to give aid and stop the "genocide" of people who want to remove a dictator of 42 years who uses military force to stay in power. The world can't sit by and watch one more war of attacks on innocent women and children.

Steve in New York:
Obama is so slowwwwwwww. If Obama acted two weeks ago, Gadhafi would have been circled by his people and probably been taken out by his people. The result now is where we were with Saddam in Iraq. No fly zone for the next five years, while Gadhafi will be killing his own people.

I just kind of figured it must have been some kind of a "wage two wars, get a third war free" promotion.

Loren in Chicago:
We get to spend the most money by using our expensive munitions to blast the command and control structure to hell, and the remaining countries get to practice their flying skills when it’s safe to do so. In other words, we bear the brunt of the expense, but no boots on the ground, so the President can say we aren't at war. Government by public relations campaign.

My understanding is that we will take control of Libya's oil production to help bring down the price of gas in the U.S. After that, we're building a "Disney: Middle East" theme park on top of Gadhafi's main compound.

Michael in Virginia:
We are there to clear the skies for England and France. Once the air defenses are obliterated, we are in support.

Bill in Wisconsin:
Change the name of the country Libya to Iraq. Change the year 2011 to 1992. Change the name Obama to Bush. The bottle might look different but the wine is still the same.

President Hillary Clinton has stated our position. She is doing a great job while her subordinates travel and play golf.

Filed under: Libya
soundoff (349 Responses)
  1. David Rand

    I think we need to quickly get all military out of all cities...except Tripoli. Put the fear of death into all military that if they are seen in a military vehcile outside of Tripoli, then they are a target. This way..they isolate Ghadaffi, bring freedom to all the other cities. Then, the UN moves in to setup elections. Tripoli becomes a deserted stand alone entity with no oil revenues and no other option except to get rid of Ghadaffi.

    March 21, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
  2. Rick McDaniel

    Not under the pretext he gave, of "drumming up business for America".

    Take the recent example from Mexico.....the end result....Mexican truckers can now haul to every part of the US.........precisely what the drug cartels wanted!

    Our benefit.......more of our citizens exposed to illegal drugs, on a daily basis.

    March 21, 2011 at 1:33 pm |
  3. Harold from Anchorage

    It looks like Obama and Clinton are doing a fine job in polishing the U.S. image in the international community. We mustn't be seen as Islamo-phobe crusaders, and at the same time we must support the creation of democracy where it has never been.

    March 21, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
  4. Rick McDaniel

    The role of the US, should have been to support the international effort......instead we have now been directly involved in acts of war, in spite of the intent to keep international fighters protected from anti-aircraft fire.

    We don't need another major mid east war.

    March 21, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
  5. John from Alabama

    Jack: The role or goal of the United States in Libya is: 1. To be apart of a coalition that protects the Libyans; 2. To stop the Libyan Regime from killing its own people; 3. To make sure no US Military Personnel are not on the ground; 4. To obey the UN Resolution when dealing with the Libyan Regime. I left off the name of the leader of libya, because it is hands off by the coalition of nations. To Bad!!

    March 21, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
  6. Barbara Leavitt

    That we are taking out their military might. Then stepping back and letting others take over. Which is what I hope we do.

    Barbara Leavitt
    Henderson Nevada

    March 21, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
  7. Marlene

    Although the media is down playing the US military role "We are the lead nation", directing everything from intelligence, to military targets and planes doing the bombing. Some in the media would have you believe that France or Britian are leading this movement. That's not true, the US spent over 1 million dollars this weekend to carry out this bombing mission. Marlene in Michigan

    March 21, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
  8. Phobus

    I am an active support of President Obama but his action in the Libyan theater is wrong. The united States always seem to pray on weaker nations with oil under pretexts. President Obama, like former President Bush is killing Arab. President Obama is killing Libyan and destroying their country in the name of human right when we all know it is to militarily overthrow the Libyan government. I do not like Gadhafi because he was instrumental in destroying Liberia and killing over 250 Liberian but going after him with superior military might is wrong. The U.S. could easily assassinate him instead. If president Obama is serious about stopping foreign leaders from massacring their own people, why his administration is not in the Ivory Coast, Bahrain, and Yemen? Why the United States is not enforcing the countless United Nations Resolutions against Israel for it long atrocities against the Palestinians? As an independent voter Obama lost my vote for any attempts on his part for the presidency in 2012.

    March 21, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
  9. Bizz, Quarryville Pennsylvania

    The way I understand it, we will be turning over the reins to NATO and taking a back seat in enforcing the no fly zone. I think that is a good idea. We are already involved in two wars and a national debt that threatens our way of life. We cannot leave ourselves be sucked into another war. There's only so much a country can do and we have reached our limit.

    March 21, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
  10. Tom Bulger, Canandaigua

    America has the most sophisticated detection, monitoring, and jamming equipment in the world. We will contribute that role and those services to the prevention of a Libyan massacre.

    March 21, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
  11. A Patel

    Most of our enemies have been our former friends. We claim to be big on human rights and freedom, and we step-in to help others (or over-throw a government) but only when such actions do not significantly hurt our oil supplies. If we treated all opressive governemtns the same, we would have attacked Iran, Saudi Arabia.... the list will seem never ending.... but we don't. Either our policies are short-sighted, or we are just greedy for oil. It seems like long as we can keep supplying the oil to our so called freedom loving citizens who have no morals and don't care for human life in a distant land just as long as there is oil for them to waste (yes, waste, that is what we do in the US).

    March 21, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
  12. Gary H. Boyd

    I haven't got a clue Jack and I seriously doubt anybody in Washington does either. On the other hand, it does provide our military with a great opportunity to try out some of our sophisticated weaponry.

    Harlow in Scottsdale, Arizona

    March 21, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
  13. Al

    As we ponder whether oil or civilian safety is the real motivation, it is a good time to remember the Lincoln Brigade and the gallant Americans who got personally involved in the Spanish Civil War.

    March 21, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
  14. Russ in PA

    My understanding of our role in Libya is that we have confirmed that we are not a country that follows the rule of law, particularly our own. That we will protect the special interests in securing our sources of oil, and that "doin' Right ain't got no end". Funny how we now follow the Captain Red Legs Rule of Law under Bush/Obama, ain't it?

    March 21, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
  15. Cheryl in Bluffton, SC

    My understanding is that the President declared "Gaddafi must go" far too quickly, then had to wait far too long for the international support he needed. I hope it's not too late for the rebels' sake. The upside is huge; the downside is unthinkable.

    March 21, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
  16. Bob Kobs

    Absolutely. The Use is there to provide its unique capabilities in support of uN Resolution 1973–to protect Libyan civilians from being massacred by their own govt. The USA is helping enforce international Law, after it was asked by the UN, the Arab League and the people of Libya. This is multilateralism at its best, as promised by Candidate Obama–now carried out by President Obama.

    Anyone who does not understand this has no business wasting public airwaves.

    March 21, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
  17. pat in michigan

    We provide the tomahawks, carriers, logisticsand funding. We take all the blame in the eyes of the arab world .Europe get's all the ultimate benefit.Does that sound about right to you Jack?
    Have you ever noticed how the Arab League or OPEC never want's to take care of these guys?Why is thatJack?

    March 21, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
  18. Bud Rupert

    No I don't and furthermore I think the President has been persuaded to do something his instincts told him not to.

    The problem with any decision politicans make is they are all tainted with the question: What does this mean for my re-elction? I know it's human nature to think in self promoting terms but I'd like to see a few decisons made based on what is the right thing to do without the cloud of "holding on to an office" swaying the decison.

    March 21, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
  19. Ken from PInon Hills, California

    Because there is oil under the ground in Libya. Oil makes thousands of products besides gasoline, plastics for instance. Our demand for oil is insatiable.
    President Carter warned us we would eventually have an energy crisis if we didn't conserve, drive slower, and make more efficient automobiles. The next President, Ronald Reagan, a friend of big business, said ridiculous, and went so for as to having the solar panels Carter had installed on the roof of White House torn down.

    March 21, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
  20. mitch

    Hey Jack ,,your a reasonable man,,tell Wolf that the tribe in Bengazi don't like the tribe in Tripoli,,never have and after watching regime change in egypt decided this was a good time to get rid of Kadafy
    Think of the countries involved with the Kadafy must go line,,Britian,France,Italy U.S. Canada,,All countries with week leaders seeking a stronger mandate from their people (hopefully) and are breaking Jimmy Carters rule No state sponsered terrorism. When you back one tribe against another, bomb Kadafy's compound and send out the general who sayes we are not allowed to do that and I won't comment further on it ,,with a big smile on his face ..sayes that it's true
    Thats why Kadafy said to the reporter "you don't understand this country or this war" because it's true. Obama said he's gotta go
    well when he goes you can take Cameron.Harper.Sarkozey, and the rest with him because they are all liars as well
    keep up the good work Jack

    March 21, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
  21. Phyllis G Williams

    What is your understanding of America's role in the Libya offensive?

    That in recognition that America is her brother's keeper she is uniting with other nations who think as herself to defend them and not going alone.

    March 21, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
  22. Loren, Chicago

    We get to spend the most money by using our expensive munitions to blast the command and control structure to hell, and the remaining countries get to practice their flying skills when its safe to do so. In other words, we bear the brunt of the expense, but no boots on the ground, so the President can say we aren't at war. Government by public relations campaign.

    March 21, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
  23. Steve, NY

    Obama is so slowwwwwwww. If Obama acted 2 weeks ago Gadaffi would have been circled by his people and probably been taken out by his people.
    The result now is where we were with Sadam in Iraq. No fly zone for the next 5 years, while Gadafi will be killing his own people.
    Basically we have another Iraq turning back 10 years ago.
    It shows that Obama is a rookie. I think Hillarry would have done a better job as President in this case. Vote for Hillarry or Romney in 2012.

    March 21, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
  24. TomInRochNY

    Our role is to not think we own the world and need to intervene to solve all the problems every nation has. We are not, nor should we be, the worlds' police force. If the UN, in cooperation with Arab nations in the region, wants to do something, we should be just a small part of that. We should not run the show and coerce anyone to do things our way. It isn't our country or even our continent. If we had a civil war would we want other nations to establish a no-fly zone and send in ground troops to seize the capitol? I might agree to let Canada and Mexico send in troops, but only if they brought beer, chips and salsa.

    March 21, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
  25. Conor in Chicago

    My understanding of our Libyan offensive is that Obama feels it's more important to fight for freedom in Libya than it is in Wisconsin, Ohio, and Michigan. He'd rather emobroil the United States in a tribal war in North Africa than face the fact that the real war is at home against Corporatism.

    March 21, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
  26. Kathie

    Simple–dictate to yet another country how they should govern, force our will upon them and spend billions to destroy a third country while ignoring business at home.

    March 21, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
  27. David from Herndon, VA

    Apparently we're preventing Qaddafi's forces from taking Benghazi and from killing civilians in general. No regime change or nation-building. Although if a missile takes out Qaddafi himself I don't think anybody will be too upset - his own son is licking his chops waiting to take control.

    March 21, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
  28. David Gerstenfeld

    We need to be part of a joint effort to give a dictator oppressed country a chance to chart their own course & gain some respect by not being in the lead. I do wonder why the media doesn't mention the abstentions in the security council from Russia & China.
    David, Las Vegas

    March 21, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
  29. bob z fr ,pa.

    we are the policeman of the world broke but china has a lot of money

    March 21, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
  30. ken, atlantic city, nj

    Our role in libya is to prevent ghadafi from defending his country against armed rebels who have decided to overthrow the libyian government by force. The u.s. and coalition planes can kill pro-ghadafi civilians but not anti-ghadafi armed rebels who call themselves civilians. This weekend u.s. antiwar protesters were arrested in DC for protesting against obama invading and bombing 4 countries: iraq, afghanistan, pakistan, and libya. Russia and China need to establish a no fly zone over the u.s. to protect anti-war protesters from being harassed and arrested throughout this so called democracy. If you protest in the u.s. you will be beaten with clubs, sprayed with military tear gas classified as a chemical weapon, kicked in the groin, and arrested by the police. Civil rights and anti war protesters in the 1960's were shot and killed by police and the national guard in this country. Protesters in this country need a u.n. resolution.

    March 21, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
  31. Gerry

    Even though this action was initiated by the French and British and approved by the U.N. Security Council our enemies will label this as a U.S. attempt to obtain Libya's oil. If the "No-Fly" mission is successful and the U.S. withdraws within a week the British and the French will take the heat. World opinion has already written off Gadhafi. If the rebels don't promptly suceed in removing the Gadhafi administration who will support the rebels in weapons and materials until they do? Who is providing weapons and ammunition now? More questions than answers.


    March 21, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
  32. Dee in New Paris Ohio

    At this point my understanding is what "they" tell us. That we are not going to be sending ground troops. That we are only going to be actively involved for just a short time.

    But what I really think is, if the rebels are successful in overthrowing Gadhafi, and if they establish a new government that is at all favorable toward the U.S., and if they, in return for military help to maintain the new government, offer us a sweet oil deal, well DUH!

    We will be there FOREVER, just as we are seemingly in for the long haul in so many other countries!

    In other words, at this point I take whatever "they" tell us with a grain of SAND, with a little oil dressing on the side!

    March 21, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
  33. RickFromDetroit

    Allow the capitalists to line the entire Mediterranean with yachts and mansions. I will be moving to European side of the Mediterranean in a few more years and the fewer missiles the better, and I imagine that a large number of Arabs have plans to return to the Middle East eventually.

    However, I think we are going overboard with our "Full Scale War" against a country that has a Military that is equivalent to our Boy Scouts, but when you attack a country like this, you know before you start that you are going to win.

    March 21, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
  34. Susan Frost

    As I see it, our objective is twofold: Make more money for the oil cartels and defense contractors, and help the President kiss Republican butt. Neither bodes well for the American people.

    Tuscaloosa, AL

    March 21, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
  35. Karen, Idaho

    It looks like we are sticking our noses into another Middle East problem. Maybe if President Obama was in the White House Press Room explaining it to the American people, we would have a better understanding as to why we are there at all.

    March 21, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
  36. Woody

    Hard to ever have perfect understanding of what's going on in today's world ...unless you are Fareed Zakaria!!! And I am convinced that our President is very well aware of how different things are and is doing whatever he can to ensure we will continue to be its leader by earning respect ...not demanding it!!

    Woody from Pittsburgh, PA

    March 21, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
  37. Steve, Clifton, VA

    My understanding of the U.S role in the Libya civil war is to provide protection for Libya's civilians and to provide cover for the opposition forces from air attacks from the Libyan government forces , and while it is not our primary goal , to ultimately facilitate the regime change that the world has long awaited.

    March 21, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
  38. Steve, Clifton, VA

    My understanding is that the U.S must do all that it can to preserve the oil supply to the U.S from the middle east to ensure the continued economic recovery of our oil dependent economy.

    March 21, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
  39. Joe Ft Walton Bch Fl

    The offensive in Libya in the beginning was to help the rebels get the upper hands in their fight against Gaddafi, now the situation is different. The rebels are not even closer than they were a week ago to win the fight, Gaddafi forces are advancing into Benghazi and the rebels will probably lose their ground defenses. Now the goal for the NATO forces is to take down Gaddafi and his sons, and the only way to do it is to send ground troops into Libya and finish the job.

    March 21, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
  40. Paul Austin, Texas

    Our role is to stop and ensure that agression is stoped. This is almost a first if not the first time we the U.S. are not pulling all the strings and footing the full bill on an action that sadly is needed. Maybe people can lay off the French for a while after all they helped us in our fight for independance.

    March 21, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
  41. Dale

    The United Nations and the coalition forces meaning France, United Kingdom, and the United States recognize a crazy mad man when they see and here one.

    And besides Gadhafi has been playing France the U.K. and the U.S. they have a bone to pick with him.

    Carlsbad New Mexico.

    March 21, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
  42. Adam Simi Valley, CA

    We are there as part of a larger coalition of UN forces to provide support. The question is "Why?". What's at stake for us. Obama is allowing his foreign policy to be dictated by the UN and other outside influences. His view is the US is an equal partner in global politics and believes in looking out for the collective good for the world. What he doesn't seem to grasp is the American people expect him to look out for what is in the best interest of America. And most of the world feels they would be better if if the US was weak or hamstrung. Libya shows a total lack of leadership and direction in our foreign policy. It's the only way to explain the lack of action on Iran or Egypt but military assistance for Libya. So sad.

    March 21, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
  43. Thomas, Chicago

    U have to support your alliesotherwise they won't support you. Who is supporting Ghadafi, the scum that support the terrorist that blew up a U S PAN AM PLANE IN THE 80'S and PROBABLY SUPPORTED THE lie ABOUT THE bomber dying which caused the courts to release him to a cheering bloody crowd of supporters!

    March 21, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
  44. Jim M in Lehighton,PA.

    My understanding is that the U.S. and others are protecting the revolutionary Libyans, by providing no fly zones over Libya. However, I think the ultimate objective is to boot out Gadhafi, maintain optimum flow of oil, and impose our tenet over them whether they like it or not.

    March 21, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
  45. Gregg

    Our role is to provide air and ground support to the rebels trying to overthrow this madman. The words "take out his command and control" is another way of saying "we are after you Gaddafi". As long as the allies control the skies, the rebels have a fighting chance.

    March 21, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
  46. BILL, WI

    Change the name of the country Libya to Irag. Change the year 2011 to 1992. Change the name Obama to Bush. The bottle might look different but the wine is still the same. Now what will anyone do in 2022 if Qadhafi is still in power and still murdering his people.

    March 21, 2011 at 4:05 pm |

    Tampa, Fl Easy one Jack, just look in your encyclopedia under Vietnam, N. Korea, Iraq (doesn't matter which) and you will have your answer. We go in, against the will of the American Taxpayer, offering just advise, along with a enough firepower to level the place, Then we "stay", rebuild, spend billions of dollars, and never leave. Oh, and we borrow all the money that our politicians spend on the whole thing.

    March 21, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
  48. Jack B in Chicago

    I see our role as the same as when Iraq invaded Kuwait. We are the head of an International posse-including some Arab states-who are going in to prevent inhumane acts. It is a role we have taken in the past, and, as the sole super power, one we must not shirk now.

    March 21, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
  49. Tina Tx

    No. I am a mushroom. I am kept in the dark & fed you know what. I think they are hoping to show a force in Libya hoping to knock him off but also to show the rest of the Arab world not to start at uprising cause this could happen to you. And Momar is like a rat they always scurry and hide when the heat comes on.

    March 21, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
  50. Kim Va

    The mission is to give aid and stop the "genocide" of people who want to remove a dictator of 42 years and uses military force to stay in power.

    The world can't sit by and watch one more war of attacks on innocent women and children. Bad enough they are taking away women's rights here if we let em.

    Don't bet on it.
    Long live the peoplea nd democracy of Libya.
    No more tyrants OPPRESSING families and citizens.

    March 21, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
  51. Dennis north Carolina

    the reason for us to be involved in action in libya is to protect the people from a slaughter by a mad man. the press or media seem to be a shield for the mad man. Why Jack???

    March 21, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
  52. Toni

    My understanding of this mess is that we are headed for a third war! Our military will never get to come home! Why was congress NOT consulted? Could we have done something else before we started throwing bombs? What is Mr. Nobe PEACE Prize's answer to that???

    March 21, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
  53. Phil in Los Alamitos, California

    America's role is to do the heavy lifting as always. All the talk of a 'coalition' is nonsense. Keep in mind that the whole point of this exercise is to keep Ghadhafi in power and to keep Saudi Arabia from turning over. The world economy needs to keep the oil flowing and cannot afford any potential disruption. This is about helping these countries put down the rebellions while harming as few citizens as possible in order to maintain what little stability exists.

    March 21, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
  54. Joe CE

    The US is working on shedding the image that we do whaterver we want and buffalo the world into accepting. This i mage has made us unpopular with friend anf foe alike. In Lybia we are stanging out of the limelight. Most of te air strikes have been conducted by others. It seems evident the the military effort is going beyond a no-fly zone and that substantil damage is being inflicted on Gadalfi's forces. This has been a good start and hopefully the initative will be successful. Then we find out what the opposiion is really about.

    March 21, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
  55. Kirk (Apple Valley, MN)

    Good question. Why are we doing anything? What difference will it make other than add even more wood to the Great Satan hatred held by just about every Muslim in the (at least) the Middle East for the US? We're damned if we do and damned if we don't so let's don't for a change. Let the rest of the world worry about things. I'm tired of it. First Afghanistan, which Bush screwed the pooch on when he decided to (second) invade Iraq. We've lost far too many American's for the Neo-con dream of "democracy" in the Middle East. Which, by the way, why is the GOP being so cautious? Where were they in 2003 and 2001?

    March 21, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
  56. Annie, Atlanta

    My understanding is we're at war, on at least a third front now (if you don't include Pakistan). The Military Industrial Complex must be joyous.

    However, the media can't even get the story right. I've read two versions: NATO approved it, and France started the initial attack, or the US attacked with the backing of their allies. I guess journalism in the US these days means just making stuff up and letting us guess what the truth is. Very sad. No wonder Americans are turning to the BBC, Al Jazeera, and der Spiegel for real news.

    March 21, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
  57. Nancy, Tennessee

    People on the left and right kept screaming do something to help the people of Libya. Even though it seems like we entered this commitment in the dark of night and it felt a little clandestine, we are stepping up to the plate with many allies. It's not like we could tell France and Great Britain to wait a minute while we get President Obama back from Brazil and Congress back from break to vote on this thing. We made the original committment when we took the matter to the U.N. No turning back now.

    March 21, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
  58. Michael in Albuquerque, NM

    Take the oil out of these wars and the dollar would fall flat in a week.
    This is about propping up the petro-dollar system so that our currency remains the reserve currency of the world. Without this action the dollar would be worthless to pay our debts, and America would slide into hyperinflation. I am not being snarky, it's just the sad state we are in.

    March 21, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
  59. Alex in Bremerton, WA

    Watching the news I am afraid we are much more deeply involved in this tribal civil war than we were originally told. I thought we were in a supporting role to the French (The FRENCH?!?) who were supposed to take the lead in establishing the NFZ. Now it looks like our role is to spend millions of dollars we don't have on fuel and munitions to piss off more Muslims in another open-ended conflict.

    March 21, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
  60. s in fl

    I believe that our role is to assist in and support the UN resolution for a no fly zone as part of an allied coalition. Not to lead an invasion or remove a regime, but to proceed as needed to ensure that human rights are not violated as the process unfolds. And every issue that invloves Obama is partisan, Jack. Give us a break.

    March 21, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
  61. james s lenon chuckey tn

    My understanding was that we would provide targetting information and AWAC guidance and Command/Control. Now we appear to be launching and dropping ordnance. The Arab League is now unhappy that we're providing what they asked for. Someone should have told them that bombast and duplicity are not parts of our arsenal.

    Stand our troops down and let the Arab League create and maintain a no fly zone. That will be the day.

    March 21, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
  62. Don Desaulniers (Belleville, Canada)

    My understanding is that the American mission is designed to use up as many rockets as possible in the shortest time in order to bolster the military industry back home.
    It must be the government's view that nothing says domestic economic recovery so powerfully and quickly as destroying America's supply of existing rockets now in Libya in order to make way for the next generation of military toys to roll off the assembly line.
    Meanwhile, in Florida, twenty percent of homes fester in vacancy, and education spending must be cut drastically in every State.
    Osama Bin Laden must be laughing in his cave. Libya certainly looks like another nail in America's fiscal coffin.

    March 21, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
  63. Rich McKinney, Texas

    Jack to be perfectly honest I have stopped trying to understand what politicians in Washington are doing or what roll America is playing in foreign policy. Libya is going to be another Iraq and we will be stuck there in one form or another for decades to come just like Iraq and now Afghanistan. More Americas will be killed for some other countries freedom and I am getting a little sick of that fact. America is broke and any money we spend on Libya has to be borrowed from some other country that we will never be able to pay back. America has become a debtors prison for our children their children and any offspring they may ever have.

    March 21, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
  64. george fredricksburg va

    My understanding of this war is we go in blow up and destroy the libyan army and get out. I also understand that we have now three wars in islamic nations where we have superior arms.My question to you jack is what happens when china or russia crackdown on their people for trying to change the govt?

    March 21, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
  65. Redbow/Brooklyn, NY

    Jack, I can hardly believe that the UAE, now after the resolution 1973 is passed with it's stated intent, question and even complain that the air strikes are excessive and that they didn't know that this would be involved! Are you kidding me! These supposedly intelligent people didn't know that you just can't put planes in the air without taking out the weapons that could shoot them down! Cmon! What are they smoking! Or, maybe it is ok to just begin flying over Libya and get shot down! And, as far as I've heard, everyone wants him to stop the killing & or step down. But, he's not doing either! Israeli PM Netanyahu called him, he's been friendly with them for years, didn't return the call. What do you do? Well, that's what the UN resolution was all about! And as much as it is not being said, him being made deceased is an option–since he wont leave or stop is destruction of innocent civilians.
    As for these some of these congressmen, they must be smoking the same stuff as the Arabs–oh we want him to leave but let's not do anything drastic while he slaughter's folks! Oh my word–to do or not to do or to backpedal!
    The bottom line, since the resolution has been passed: Do the no flyover thing, monitor, and let the people decide which way and what they want to do with Gadhafi.
    Oh and stop putting the blame on POTUS for all the world's ills!
    Thanks Jack,

    March 21, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
  66. Nurse Lisa in Shelton CT

    Not much, since their official story isn't yet out and there has been no bipartisan analysis explaining how it is either the greatest vs. worst move ever. For those worried about a lack of a stated plan – it is probably the same as GWBs – "we'll smoke 'em out!"

    March 21, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
  67. Jenny from Nanuet, NY

    Our role in Libya is to help the Libyan people by destroying Qaddafi's ability to continue killing his own people. We're enabling the people to get rid of Qaddafi themselves. There is NO comparison to Bush's invasion of Iraq based on lies. The Libyan people are THANKING the countries helping them, which includes the U.S. It's 180 degrees from what Bush did, so if this reminds you of Iraq, you don't have a very good memory.

    March 21, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
  68. Pete from Georgia

    My understanding is this :
    We will do the bulk of the military action, suffer the bulk of lost lives, and we will be paying for this new fiasco forever.
    Some things NEVER change.

    March 21, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
  69. Jane (Minnesota)

    My understanding is the US is part of a coalition of nations taking this action in accordance with UN resolution 1973. I don't think it's bad – I hope the dictator is driven out – that should be the objective – or it could become a long, drawn out action. Apparently everyone's forgotten Reagan's attack on Libya. The dictator was slaughtering his own people. How can anyone with a conscience allow this to happen?

    March 21, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
  70. Ryan Dughayli

    As an Arab American, i strongly oppose US involvement in Libya; i would like to see Qadafi leave more than anyone, but not through our direct involvement, Supporting the revolutionist with Qadafi's money that we have seized sounds like a great idea, Any military involvement does not have a success scope. There is no success for this mission, Qadafi will not leave until forced to, and that won't be accomplished by air strikes

    March 21, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
  71. David

    My understanding is that we will take control of Libya's oil production to help bring down the price of gas in the U.S. After that, we're building a "Disney – Middle East" theme park on top of Gadhafi's main compound.

    March 21, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  72. Rock in Springs

    Our role is to take a back seat and just help support our friends, France and England, do all the work...We support by suppling the major weapons to be used as well...Basically, we are, as usual, the major player but we don't have the political will power to admit it...We support the shock while others support the awe...

    March 21, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  73. Terry NJ

    We can't be everything to everyone. This is a legit revolution and we need to stay out of it. Let the Arab league intervene and mediate if necessary. Too many of our good men and women are dying in the mid east and for what??? Oil, thats what!! If Libya didn't have oil we could't care less about them

    March 21, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  74. Jenna

    What is your understanding of America's role in the Libya offensive?

    Ours is a support role. We are not in a leading role. We are not going to send ground troops and if Gadhafi and/or his fruitloop son end up dead, oh well. It is the will of the people. Too bad the Brits missed.

    Roseville CA

    March 21, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
  75. T. Masters

    The end result must be a benefit to some social program; otherwise, Obama wouldn't have us involved. T. Masters, Greenville, SC

    March 21, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
  76. Joe T

    Seems we still fail to learn from history – even very recent history. There's no vital national interest at stake in Libya so we should not attempt to pick a winner in a struggle internal to the people of Libya. Yes, Gaddafi is a creep, but are we so sure that the folks who take over will be our friends? Or will the rebels(Islamic radicals) turn their hate towards us as the Taliban did? Will we ever learn our lesson?

    March 21, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
  77. Patsy,Texas

    Jack, my understading of the US role in Libya is to join
    Countries, with the approval of the UN, the Arab League, and
    others to prevent genocide by Gadhafi of his own people.
    This is a temporary intervention, not particularly led by the US,
    since France sent airplanes first. The people being
    murdered begged for help, and now they are getting it.
    This is not declaration of war, and Kucinich is running scared
    for his next election, and Boehner, and others just want
    to criticize. First they say he should do this, then he waited too
    long, now why didn't he dicuss it with every John, Eric, and
    Dennis so they could waste time touting their personal
    importance. Impeach them for not doing their jobs. What a

    March 21, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
  78. Terry

    There wasn't much understanding prior to the attacks beginning. After military action began it was to hault Libya from taking over the rebels strong holds and to save lifes. It looks like we have done that. But, what's next. Will there be a standoff? Is there another plan in the works? I don't feel very comfortable with this leadership, or the lack of.......

    March 21, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
  79. rker321

    My understanding is, that we under a UN resolution and would try to stop Gadhafi from killing civilians.
    US., France, Britain, and other nations would help in doing so. Once that is achieved, we would patrol the area, and impose the no fly zone, until we can be sure that the indiscriminate killing of civilians could not be accomplished.
    And that is all that we are required to do.

    March 21, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
  80. paul


    I don't think anyone really knows what is going on. It seems clear that the French rushed through the no-fly zone resolution to stop Benghazi from being wiped off the map and save the revolution. With that now done it doesn't seem that anyone has much of an idea about what will happen next. War always puts civilians in danger, no matter which side attacks. Will the coalition also strike the rebels if they commit atrocities? are they just after Gadhafi? Or do they just want to create a balance that will force the various sides to the negotiating table? Too many gray areas and no clear objectives. I suspect this will be a long one.

    March 21, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
  81. Joe T

    before I forget, I thought the Executive Branch could only go to war with the express permission of the Legislative Branch?(Congress) When was Congress consulted and when did the vote granting the President the authority to go to war take place?

    March 21, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
  82. Jim

    My take is that the stability in Libya is gone. We need to help protect the flow of oil to Europe.

    March 21, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
  83. Adnan

    Same as it has been for many decades; De-stabilize a Muslim country, protect Israel, take one dictator down to install another.

    March 21, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
  84. Mark in Houston

    This is ridiculous. I've listened to what the President has said about the US mission in Libya...and I understood exactly what he was saying.

    Maybe those who don't want to understand whats being said need to start listening more carefully and stop inventing their own versions of what is going on based on some insane need to create alarm.

    And as far as political critics are concerned; if Obama were Republican the Congress would be praising his every move, talking about his courageous action toward saving our shores from terrorists or some other worn out lie..
    Maybe he needs to land on a carrier somewhere and declare...
    Mission Accomplished

    March 21, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
  85. Ran Mitra

    President Obama is in a no-win situation here. He was being heavily criticized for doing nothing and permitting the slaughter of civilians. Now that he has intervened, he is being criticized for starting the 3rd war in an Arab country. As long as it is a measured response within the bounds of the UN resolution, and the US gets out fairly quickly, I believe he will have pursued the best course.

    Moorestown, NJ

    March 21, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
  86. Cesar

    From my point of view, the role of the US in Libya is to prevent more civilian casualties as well as prevent Gadhaffi's regime from using military equipment to kill anti government protesters; that was the consensus of the United Nations and should be respected. The decision of the US along with other Europeans nations of dismantling Gadhaffi’s arsenal would allow anti-government opponents to continue focusing their efforts in implementing a more democratic government in Libya.

    Dallas, TX

    March 21, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
  87. Dana

    My understanding is we wanted to quickly halt the military to prevent further harm to the citizens of Libya. By doing this, we can enable them to hold their ground and continue the liberation of their country without much outside help. The U.S. specifically delivered the brunt of the initial attacks on military targets to pave the way for the rest of the coalition which will handle the situation once control is handed over shortly. If this is indeed what happens, I'm in full support.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
  88. Remo, from beautiful downtown Pflugerville Texas

    Why Libya? There is so much genocide going on in Africa, why are we stopping it in Libya? Or are we just interested in oil and not humanity?

    March 21, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
  89. William

    I have mixed emotions about this although Gadhafi is an absolute mad man bent on destroying his opposition, but at the same time Washington is saying nothing about the Saudi crackdown in Bahrain and other territories where they are killing innocent protesters. Looks like Washington has different standards for different countries depending on our friendship and alliances.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
  90. Ken Pickeral

    My and many of americans understanding is simply three prioritys of this Libya Offensive.
    1. Protect the oil feilds from being destroyed by Gadhafi

    2. Protect the people of Libya from being murdered by their leader.

    3. Finish former President Ronald Reagans offensive against Gadhafi by bombing his residence in hopes he is their at the time counting his millions

    Next question Jack?

    Ken Pickeral

    Mahwah NJ

    March 21, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
  91. judy

    We were very informed about the reason for Iraq war; but if I'm not mistaken, the information given was misleading ..We cant solve every countrys problems, even really bad ones. I hope the U.S. will get the heck out of what we have no business being in, but at the same time, the pots are calling the kettle black...

    March 21, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
  92. Joe Daly

    This is what we signed up for after world war ll, being world police. We as Americans have the solem duty of protecting the weak throughout the world. The day we stop protecting the weak is the day we are weak ourselves.

    Joe Daly........Willmar, MN

    March 21, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
  93. Doyle Thomas

    I am amazed that so few people heard Obama, on television last saturday tell the American people that America was a part a colition that would establish [with others] a no fly zone over Libya.
    And, there would be NO American ground troops involved.
    This was after much criticism that we didn't act sooner. I for one am glad that other nations are also involved
    Our missle strikes seem to be necessary for the safety on pilots supporting the no-fly mandate

    March 21, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
  94. shipman

    Yeah...too bad we couldn't get George Tenet to give us a high five "Slam Dunk" assessment before we went in....would that keep Lugar and Boehner happy ?

    Anyway you slice it, we are getting involved we where have no business getting involved....the last few days have seen the attempts of a cover up by the administration in saying that Ghadafi is capable of terrorism so we must act. What about the gunning down of unarmed women in Cote'de Ivoire last week or the gunning down of protesters in Bahrain...

    The fact is that whether you are DEM or a REPUB....both parties are leading us down a path to disaster and there is apparently no way out for the average citizen who wants them to focus on America's issues and not the issues of everyone else.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
  95. Paul Willson

    Unless Gadaffi is deposed what is the point of this operation ?
    So either he is eliminated or this is a waste of effort

    March 21, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
  96. Stacey

    Our govenrment says we are to provide support for the other countries involved after the initial strikes aginst Libya. We are there to hopefully protect the Lybian People. I f we are not there to get rid of Gaddafi, what are we there for. We say we are there to protect the people. If the people are to be truely protected Gaddafi needs to go.

    Stacey, Mayville ND

    March 21, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
  97. frank carter

    Our mission in Libya is a purely humanitarian purpose and some how to remove the leader, now if by any chance a tomahawk hits him on the head that will acceptable.
    Once war starts it can go either way, but in this case it will be over before we know it, Libya is not Iraq sir! we have people on the ground that have Moammar Gadhafi's address it's just a matter of time Sir!

    March 21, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
  98. Rick

    Congress needs to get their collective heads out of their rear ends and stop questioning every move, or lack thereof, made by the President. So far what I've seen from Obama appears to be thoughtful, deliberate, and well-prepared action. To hear it from members of Congress, either the action has been too hasty or not hasty enough. I'm getting very tired of every member of Congress seeming to think their way is the only way.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
  99. James

    Here's my concern. How much is actually known about the rebels our military forces are now protecting? I agree the we shouldn't ever stand by and let dictators slaughter their own people; yet we do it all the time when those regimes are considered our allies or friendly to the West. Why, for example, are we doing nothing to stop the killing of protesters in Bahrain? Is it because the regime is a U.S. ally and because of oil and other financial interests? How do we pick and choose where we will intervene in the brutal massacres of people by their own leaders, and where we will stand on the sidelines and shake our heads? But getting back to Libya, specifically what worries me is who and what will emerge once Gaddafi is gone. We armed, aided, abetted, and actually created the Taliban in Afghanistan, believing that doing so was a way to thwart the Soviet Union. And look what we got. The rebels we're now supporting in Libya could well turn out to be radical fundamentalist Islamists dedicated to establishing a Taliban-style Islamic state in Libya. Does anyone think such a state is going to be pro-Western or democratic?

    March 21, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
  100. Sandy Napel

    So who else thinks US military action in Libya is insane? I don't dispute that Gadhafi is a ruthless dictator and is "killing his people." But does that make it okay for us to kill Libyans? Should the Russians have intervened when the Ohio National guard killed students at Kent State 1970? Want to punish the ruler? Stop buying what he sells.......We wouldn't need what he sells if we spent 1/10 the money we spend on offensive weapons on research into making alternative forms of energy more efficient. I ask our leaders to stop displaying the definition of insanity, i.e., doing the same things over and over again and thinking it will have a different outcome... How many of these "wars" do we have to get involved in before we figure it out? When the Libyans want and are ready for democracy they need to make it happen themselves. Until then, we should embody the "prime directive," i.e., do not interfere in the evolution of others. To do that we have to absolutely not need anything from those whose behaviors we abhor. Note my statements here are regarding the internal affairs of sovereign nations. If they strike outside their borders at us our our friends, we must strike back hard. But no externally pressured regime change. That is for internal evo- or revo-lution. Not our business.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
  101. Ed from Madison

    Seems to me that we are the most qualified to take out Libya's air defenses before other countries send their planes on patrol in relative safety. Remember 'Shock & Awe'? We're pretty good at that.
    But then we really do need to back up & let everyone else do their part. We went it alone in Iraq, one of the most bone-headed decisions in modern times. I don't really care if the President doesn't inform the mealy-mouthed members of Congress (both parties) beforehand. They would just whine and complain and jockey for political advantage no matter what he did. As it is, the UN waited so long to approve this that Gadhafi was able to turn the whole situation in his favor.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
  102. Ralph Spyer

    YES to spend money we do not have, Tomahawk Cruise Missile cost 569,000 each 118 the first day and 4 more yesterday, that 122 so far 69,418,000 dollars in missile alone. Raython makes these missiles they are the same company that help the U.S. Navy shoot down a Iranian passenger plane killing all on board, women and children. Then we pay off Iran they pay Libya to take down one of ours. This country has problems

    March 21, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
  103. Renee Peoria,Ill

    Sorry Jack, but I don't see any similarity to Iraq at all. Iraq didn't ask us or anyone else to interfere and the administration of the time lied to (or at least deliberately mislead) the American people about why we needed to be there. The Lybians, on the other hand, have practically been begging the rest of the world to intervene. They're dying at the hands of a half-mad dictator and need help. If anybody should have been impeached it should have been the president who illegally started the war in Iraq. We didn't start the conflict in Lybia; the U.N. simply responded to the cry for help from the Lybian people. Not the same alt all.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
  104. Alex

    My understanding is this is a repeat of what happened when Clinton ordered US forces to join NATO in bombing Yugoslavia – a dictator is clinging to power by going after his own people, and that's when the UN steps in.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
  105. Gigi Oregon

    As I listened this weekend to CNN it was my understanding that... this effort was with the UN backing . Since when do we the people interfere with the heads of state ,NATO and the UN to question their procedures. Does that make us thorns, in our own countries effort to help a country whose people are dying by the whim of a dictator.
    My understanding is we have the big guns and the missiles, another has the ground forces, while others will pick up the bill...

    And who are the Republicans to speak evil when their president went to war in the wrong country.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
  106. Nick

    It's interesting how Obama campaigned saying that he would start out his presidency with an immediate withdrawal of troops, and now we've got more military involvement in more countries than we had under previous administrations. Aside from that, the fact that the president is taking military action without consulting Congress or clearly communicating the situation to the American people is unacceptable. This indicates his perception of the presidency as a dictatorial position rather than that of the chief executive.
    -Nick / Tulsa, OK

    March 21, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
  107. Steve

    Even though I have been staunchly opposed to our actions in Iraq and Afghanistan, I greatly support action that stops a madman from slaughtering his own people with the help of foreign mercenaries. A repeat of the genocide in Srebrenica and Rwanda would be a tragedy.
    Santa Cruz, Ca

    March 21, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
  108. James Cross (Kentucky)

    This is what is happening in Libya according to the United States.

    A week ago – Obama is not doing anything, hiding under the desk, supporting his Muslim brothers etc – Whine whine whine

    Two days ago – Obama bombed Libya – how dare he, How arrogant etc Whine whine whine

    Yesterday – Obama was too late in attacking Libya (John McCain) Whine whine whine

    Today – How dare Obama attack Libya – He should have got congressional approval Whine whine whine

    March 21, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
  109. Ian from MN

    My understanding is that it is similar to France's role in our American Revolution. Help level the playing field so that the outcome of the revolution is determined more by what the majority of people in the country want than by who has the most tanks and gun ships.

    Unlike Iraq the Libyan people have shown that they don't want their leader and are willing to fight for themselves to outser him. We need only give them the level tactical playing field to do so.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
  110. Maggy in PA

    The mission is to stop Gadaffi from killing his own people. We are enforcing UN resolution 1973. If Gadaffi goes down in the process, that is all for the good.
    I have been paying attention closely to this Jack. I listen to the President, the Generals, and Sarkozy as well as Cameron. I go on line and read CREDIBLE news sources. I do NOT listen to pundits or politicos from either party. Their 'agenda" seldom has anything to do with passing on truth or wisdom.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
  111. Glenn

    The President was reluctant to involve the US in another military engagement, but was faced with the reality that Benghazi was about to fall and Libya would be left with a ruthless dictator who would continue to cause untold and continuing death and destruction upon his own people. I believe the limited engagement that the President has signed off on is in the best interests of the Libyan people while also beginning to restore the hope and faith that people of the world once held in the United States of America.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
  112. Alex Snyder

    Isn't this the way it is suppose to be. When the UN undertook this mission, the French, the Arab countries, other countries of Africa and southern Europe should be at the forefront. For too long, when somebody says UN action, it is the USA that is in the forefront, back front, sidefront, with token display from others. This is what George Bush should have done in Afghanistan

    Youngstown, Ohio

    March 21, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
  113. richard a. winkler

    The President can't start a war without the approval of Congress unless there is an immediate threat to the US. Obama graduated from Harvard Law and taught Constitutional law and he knows this.

    I don't understand what he is trying to do.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
  114. djns

    Gaddafi is long overdue to be removed from power. It is unfortunate that the strike in 1986 missed. Hopefully we can complete that mission and honor Fernando L. Ribas-Dominicci and Paul F. Lorence for their sacrifice.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
  115. jojomonkey


    As someone that was born Muslim I've heard your rhetoric before and its typical. Libya is messed up BECAUSE the Muslims in that country have done a poor job.

    King Abdullah, the only man w/ the keys to the Kaba, invites Westerners to attack another Muslim country (Iran), keeps women back in the dark ages (the 'reforms' are a joke), and denies his fellow people democratic institutions. That's an Arab problem – like the entire Arab world.

    Stop blaming America for all the Muslim worlds problems.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
  116. Mark in BC

    Hey maybe we can give them our Mulism anti-American leader and get rid of Gadafi at the same time. We'll straighten our country out and theirs at the same time. A win-win situation.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  117. Jerry

    We began our 3rd war over the weekend, like it or not...our play book, we started it. What is confusing about that? We're in it now!

    March 21, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  118. Jon Kennedy


    I understand why we are involved with Libya....we are doing what America has both verbally and through action always done....we are defending those that can't defend themselves. We are not in Libya to fight the battle for the rebels, but are there to defend the interests of those caught in the middle. Pres. Obama has been a humanitarian from the very beginning and it is no surprise to me that he has gotten us involved here. I am glad to see that the plan is for us to step aside and let others lead the rest of this operation because everyone that is rushing in now left us with Iraq and Afghanistan on our own for the most part. I think that it is time for the world to be more involved with the task of "policing the world" that has tragically fallen on American shoulders for years. Also, I think that getting out of the way and letting other countries lead the charge will potentially help remove the stigma that we are only involved in places over oil. Regardless......the message has not been communicated well to the American people. We may not have lost any men in assisting with this 'No Fly Zone,' but as a country that is running low on money it is important to remember that tomahawk missiles, fuel for naval vessels, and aircraft sorties are expensive.

    Libya had better have been worth it.

    Jon Kennedy,
    Nashville, TN

    March 21, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  119. Buzz

    My understanding is that the Libya offensive is a joint operation approved by the Arab League and the UN with the purpose of keeping Moammar Gadhafi's forces from massacring those citizens who had opposed his long totalitarian rule. Gadhafi's troops were marching across the country, and he had decreed that he would search out and kill all his opponents. President Obama has made it clear that the U.S.'s role is to be limited and that France and England have taken the lead in fulfilling the mission. The verbal attacks on President Obama for either being too slow to support the opposition or too fast to do so without complete consultation demonstrate how difficult it is in the current poisoned political atmosphere to map out a middle way. Whatever decision the President makes now is roundly criticized by partisans all around.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  120. Chethan Prabhu

    Jack – It is pretty straightforward. The Europeans wanted the US to lead as usual so that they could go in as the peacemakers and enjoy the spoils of war..The Arab League wanted the US to go in so that they could have their bogeyman for the hungry masses..The Russians and Chinese obviously also wanted the US to go in so that they could extend their hands of friendship to these regimes. President Obama played it perfectly and forced everyone to show their hand. Now the Europeans are having to put their money where their mouth is, the Russians and Chinese had to vote for the UN resolution or face the backlash from the Arab streets. All Obama has agreed to do is help the allies by using the unique military capabilities of the US.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  121. Karl in Mich

    My take is we have the critical equipment to do the initial phase and then turn it over to NATO or whoever and be in a supporting role, as Bob Gates has said. As for the republicans in Congress, they need to just sit down and shut up like they did when "W" was starting wars we didn't need. As for impeachment. What does Monica Lewinsky have to do with Libya?

    March 21, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  122. CommonSense

    Well, Mark, and anyone else for that matter, we don't need to be involved in any more "police actions". I also understand what's being "said", but there are times you need to step back and analyze the entire situation. It is definitely tragic that a tyrant is killing civilians, but that doesn't mean that the U.S. needs to jump in to help out. France was all gung-ho about getting in there, so let them do it. This is one time that we need to ride the bench. There are plenty of other nations who are more than willing to set up a pupet government in Libya. Oh and one other thing, since the Arab League was all for enforcing a no fly zone, why aren't Arab League jets doing the attacking? And on top of that, we have demonstrations in the U.S. over unions, how long before that turns really ugly?

    March 21, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  123. Michael Armstrong Sr. Tx.

    Theres two understandings president Obamas and the United Nations which over rules which will Gadhafi go free because the United Nations says no .

    March 21, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  124. Brian

    Wait a second!? Weren't the republicans the ones crying for Obama to do something sooner? And now their upset!? Typical if you ask me.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  125. jojomonkey

    This war was never America's problem. If Arabs want democracy they have to fight for it – plain and simple.

    When America does nothing – it gets blamed for being evil and helping Israel. Now America is helping, spending $, and I can assure you there will be no benefit in the long run.

    The fact that the Arab League was reconsidering its position after the bombing began was not a surprise – and shows why leaving the Arab world to fend for itself is probably better for America.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  126. Dave Indiana

    On Libya...we need to stop trying to Micro Manage the events in Libya.
    The President in Libya knew exactly what was going to happen in is country and why.
    He had all the time to prevent anything that would effect his citizens.
    Their blood is on his hands, not anyone Else's.
    In knowing this, Micro Managing this, is only a Method in which only falsely accuses others for the blame of blood being spilled, & done to others. It wasn't the cause of others who caused the actions. It wasn't them who insisted or caused it.
    So, let's put the blame where it is deserved, not on others!
    They were given their choice!

    March 21, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  127. Brad - Lancaster, Ky

    I understand and approve of the No-fly zone. We cant sit back and let a mad man kill his own people because they want human rights. Obama did a great job of waiting for and securing a coalition of many nations. I only wonder why he didn't have to ask congress for authorization like Bush did before Iraq.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  128. Troy Hawkins

    The same as it is in every other conflict to act as the international communities dog and meet their needs and go home. When we want to cut funding for housing for the disabled but we have money to spend on this nonsense well we have our priorities wrong. If France and England want to enforce a no fly zone that is fine but let them spend the money on it. The U.S. should do NOTHING besides put our stamp of approval on it we need to take care of America first!

    March 21, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  129. Harland R. Hoffman

    i can't figure out what our role is in the world period..if we are so supportive of the downtrodden and oppressed, why aren't we launching ait strikes on the Ivory Coast? oh wait, no oil..

    March 21, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  130. Jane

    I believe most of the firepower, the ships are American. We are told the Brits have one ship there. There appears to be a pretense that America isn't leading it, perhaps to protect this President from responsibility. He seems very interested in distancing himself. Americans are not happy about that!

    March 21, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  131. Dominic Mazzoccoli

    I am not concerned about a so called well defined mission in Libya. I am glad that we are finally taking action to stop this madman. I just hope it is not too late. As far as I am concerned the first missile strike should have targeted Gadhafi.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  132. Jim Campbell, St. Paul, MN

    The military action is designed to stop aggression against innocent civilians. After that, it will be up to the people of Libya to decide its leadership. The many sanctions imposed already should speed that process. More sanctions will likely be forthcoming. I just don't understand the fuss (snit) that some express over this action. If we had to wait for Congress to act, we'd likely go through months of hearings and a filibuster. In this instance, the Commander in Chief had to act quickly.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  133. Trey Davis

    ‎1. What's the strategic objective? 2. Who's our ally in Libya? 3. Do we KNOW who the rebels are? 4. Why was Congress not consulted? 5. What was the direct threat to the U.S.? Not a single answer from the vacationing 0bama.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  134. Roger from Albion PA

    When George W invaded Iraq liberals called it an oil war. I wonder if calling Libya an "oil war" is going to depend on who you voted for.
    Roger from Albion PA

    March 21, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  135. Matt Mientka

    The president's use of military force in Libya is wise and just. Hundreds of armed, bad men burned to death today while en route to Benghazi with the intent of killing innocent women, children and men. The president is right to experiment with tectonic military and diplomatic forces to mitigate civilian losses in war zones around the world.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  136. Andrew

    It was my understanding that our current mission in Libya was to stop Gaddafi from killing his own people. I heard that this would be accomplished with C-130s dropping ponies, unicorns, rainbows and all manner of things nice upon the good Colonel's forces as well as those of the Opposition; sure that would stop all of the fighting.

    As to why we are seemingly leading NATO and Arab states in dropping bombs and firing missiles, I don't know. I do hope the President will clarify that for us.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  137. H

    Our role in this conflict is the acting force of the United Nations. The United Nations does not have a formal military, so countries with ably militaries have to support their decisions for the good of the world.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  138. Joe

    We accomplished another no fly zone mission very well and will pass command to the coalition.

    You should know this fact jack so lets stick with the facts on this mission to stop another dictator slaughtering his people.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  139. Toby T

    Its amazing, first Obama's critics claim he is not doing enough in Libya and that he is making America seem weak. Now that the United States is part of this coalition and is actively making strikes in Libya people still are not happy. Obama can never win with some people.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  140. Fred


    As I see it, our mission is to level the playing field in terms of attacks by aircraft and/or helicopters against the anti-Gaddafi forces.

    Surfside Beach, SC

    March 21, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  141. curly

    My understanding is we're over there taking the power away from one of the worst guys in the world. Unlike most of our loser politicians, the current President understands we need to keep a low profile. Otherwise we won't be able to get on an airplane without some character lighting his underpants on fire or stuffing bombs in his shoes.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  142. Dave Indiana

    On Libya...we need to stop trying to Micro Manage the events in Libya.
    The President in Libya knew exactly what was going to happen in his country and why.
    He had all the time to prevent anything that would effect his citizens.
    Their blood is on his hands, not anyone Else's.
    In knowing this, Micro Managing this, is only a Method in which only falsely accuses others for the blame of blood being spilled, & done to others. It wasn't the cause of others who caused the actions. It wasn't them who insisted or caused it.
    So, let's put the blame where it is deserved, not on others!
    They were given their choice!

    March 21, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  143. Trey Davis

    Tomahawk cruise missile is likely to prove a key weapon in the allied assault on Libyan military targets.

    Unit cost, $US 569,000.

    $71.6 million for 126 of them launched by the US so far.
    Just a few teacher salaries.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  144. Calvin Kimbugwe

    For many years, the USA has been waiting for this opportunity to finally take Ghadaffi out as they did with Saddam. Ghadaffi has bullied the USA for a very long time. If you wanna bully America, America will revenge. It's unfortunate that, we didn't have a Republican president make this happen quicker than it did. Why bother with the likes of Zimbabwe or Ivory Coast?

    Calvin K, Washington D.C

    March 21, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  145. Jim

    Let's see. Saddam Hussien never killed an American citizen and we sent several hundred thousand troops, bombed his country into oblivion and set him up to be hung but we aren't going after a man who was behind a plane bombing that killed Americans. We don't have money for a WIC program to feed underpriviledged children but we have billions for a 'no fly zone". And you want people to understand what is happening. How is that possible.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  146. Woody from Lake Havasu, AZ

    Jack, Lybia's so-called leader was killing his own people. The U.N. made their decision for a no fly zone. It was the right thing to do. They could not do it without the aid of the U.S. As far as Congress, they cannot even come up with a budget. Who cares what Congress thinks. At least I don't.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  147. Ernie

    All I know is that at $1.4M per cruise missile we just blew up a lot cash we can ill afford to spend. Considering that Italy imports 60% of their oil from Libya, and is just across the Mediterranean from them, why didn't THEY lead the offensive?

    March 21, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  148. Deborah

    Our job? Drop a few bombs, hopefully take out a crazed weasel of a dictator and then come home. Let the rest of the countries do the heavy lifting for a change. But we went in there to prevent a slaughter. Just that simple. Good job for Pres Obama. Good Job for Our Military Heroes. Good on ya to the Libyan people. We've cleared the way, now go kick Gadhafi's ass.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  149. Dave VanDewark Jr.

    I believe that their isnt much of a choice when it comes to something decided by the UN we are apart of the United Nations and need to stand by them should we not and begin to loose their support in the aprarently troubled times to come.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  150. Wendy

    Jack: I think it's clear the goal in Libya is to protect civilians. If the president had gone to the U.S. Congress before military involvement, more civilians would have been killed. It took the international community way to long to step in. I applaud the president for not delaying assistance any longer. He is not required to consult the Congress ahead of time, he has 60 days to seek Congressional approval under the War Powers Act of 1973. Congress needs to get over it and I'm sure the president will make his case to them when he returns from an important international trip.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  151. Patric

    Jack, we all know why we are in Libya. To get rid of a brutal dictator. Few weeks ago the same people were calling the President weak and hesitating to give a presidential directive, now ... they don't know why we are in Libya. Coalition not just the US is involed, even the French started air strike before we did.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  152. connie davis

    Jack, it means this maniac in charge of Libya has already shot down a plane with Americans on it.....he wiggled his way back into our good graces, and now he's on the loose again....I'm with Obama....Gadhafi's gotta go.....I see the United States in his cross hairs.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  153. David

    Why is it that we always seem to find the billions to fight wars and enforce no fly zones in far off places but cannot come up with $600M to build the fence on our southern border which is a bigger threat than Libya.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  154. Art

    Put simply US participation in Libya is just an extension of our goal of world dominance. By now we all should know that it is really not about the people that get shot at, just that the people doing the shooting think like we think.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  155. Bubbashirmp2

    Its for the Oil, just like Bush, invasion of Iraq. We don;t care about civilian dead, and never had or the stuff like Weapons of Mass Destruction, Same stuff here, just trying to help the civilians. Where are my Leftist, my Gobbels, my Goring and the rest of their crowd going wild about the Oil...Because the are all lying idiots dragging this nation down. Hey Jack, where is you whine about the oil????

    March 21, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  156. Michael Companik

    My understanding is that we are there to protect civilians.

    But how does it play out?

    Step one: Paralyze Gadhafi's forces to the greatest extent possible.

    Step two: Secure the safety of civilians by patroling areas that are vulnerable to attacks by Gadhafi's forces so that forces loyal to his regime are unable to strike at will or without significant resistance by equally or better armed forces.

    Step three: It isn't really a step at all. It's an outcome. The chaos of battle spawns unintended consequences and we become more entrenched in the situation than we earlier envisioned in steps one and two.

    Step four: Now the nasty stuff kicks in as profiteers lobby for a continuos monitoring and "always on" presence in the country.

    Just sayin'.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  157. victor

    US role in Libiya? Far from home, a carbon copy of Iraq and Afghanistan, increase of Anti-American sentiments, a futile effort to control the world. Acts like this will win no respect or allies. Lifesaver is a cheap candy that rots your teeth. It has nothing to do with protection of innocent civilians armed to the teeth, called rebels. In addition, indiscriminate use of missiles and other military capabilities can be percived as a peace-saving acts only by hopeless imbeciles with disarmed analytical capacities of their brains.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  158. Mary in VA

    The role is a humanitarian action. The Gaddafi regime has violated several international laws that protect civilians. They still continue to do so. There was urgency for action or there would have been a genocide. If there was no action than what is the purpose of the UN. I thought one of the roles is to protect the civilians of the world.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  159. calaurore9

    I hope it's a Bill Clinton-esque get in and out quick mission and the less said the better since obvious goal is regime change. Without sending in thousands of troops for decades. Note the "I hope" part.

    Carol in Northampton, MA

    March 21, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  160. Brandon Chase

    The President has shown at every turn of the Egypt and now Libya crises that his supposedly superlative understanding of foreign relations was feined; that he cannot provide the leadership that Hillary does and that the world would perhaps (unbelievably) even prefer the straightforward and predictable approach of Bush to this rambling detached approach.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  161. Bob G.

    My Understanding:

    It was time to lead and Obama lead. You don't stand by silently and do nothing while a people is killed off by their so called "leader". What is the old saying, "people get the government they deserve (earn)". Seems to me the Liberians are trying to earn the government they deserve. Just need a helping hand. We got it from the French during the revolutionary war. Time to give back.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  162. Donna West

    It's pretty simple, Jack. Read the UN Resolution. We are part of a coalition of NATO and Arab Nations to protect the Libyan people who are protesting against the dictator, Gaddafi. Additionally, on its own merit, the Obama Administration has decided that Gaddafi must go. What's so hard to understand?

    It's not a war, it is a humanitarian effort in protecting innocent people who asked for our help. We are currently leading the effort because 2)NATO asked us to and b) we were in the region and have the means. Others needed time to step up and step in.

    I'd like to ask the confused congressional members how they feel this effort differs from Bosnia or Grenada. I find their 'confusion' to be political and offensive. Obama is after all our Commander in Chief. Makes me wonder if they'd be this confused if Bush had calls these shots.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  163. Donald

    Firstly, I'm a Canadian relying on CNN to get the latest on Lybia. If that should mean anything, the world is relying on the US to get the news on foreign issues. I think the republicans need to get their heads out of their rears and start realizing the impact the US is having in the world. People are singing praise in Lybia and around the world. Military action is a method of reaction. If you see innocent deaths likely to happen, you react. Obama has been nothing but transparent on the topic. He has been vocal on his hesitance and his eagerness to pull out A.S.A.P.

    You don't ask NATO to step in to run to the grocery store. If anything, Obama needs praise for his ability to put aside his own wishes for the better of the world, not threatened to be impeached and removed from office.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  164. J. Francis

    I think it was very clear from the press conference earlier that the objective is to protect Libyan civilians from random killing and senseless massacre, not to help the opposition. However, the question is ...if the opposition continues to press forward will we then attack them? I don't like being the world's police force, but I like being the people who stand on the sideline and watch the bullies beat up the weak even more.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  165. Brad - Lancaster, Ky

    I understand and approve of the No-fly zone and missile strikes on military targets. We cant sit back and let a mad man kill his own people because they want human rights. Obama did a great job of waiting for and securing a coalition of many nations. I only wonder why he didn't have to ask congress for authorization like Bush did before Iraq.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  166. Mary Kay

    The message is clear....As part of UN declaration 1973 and at the request of the Arab League, this is a humanitarian mission to overthrow a regime that is killing its own people. The world watching another Rwanda or Bosnia is not an option. It is easy to be a Monday morning quarterback and the Arab League's distancing themselves afterwards should not be a surprise. To politicize this is wrong (but also expected). It is the right move and I trust will come to a swift ending.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  167. John


    President Obama appears to be scripted from the same cloth as former President Bush. Under the auspices of "human rights" or "humanitarian" intervention the US and and its allies are enforcing a UN no-fly zone. I can't help but see the shadow of Big Oil companies peeking out from behind the curtain, and the manipulating the puppet strings. If you can believe it, this military intervention in Libya was sold even less to the American people than the Iraq War in 2003. The 2012 elections can't come soon enough.

    Philadelphia, PA

    March 21, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  168. Toni

    I think that the whole idea of us being involved is crazy, the Arabs are using us and then will turn on us as they always have. We have more than enough problems here and cannot even control the 2 wars we're already committed to. If our country goes bankrupt who will bail us out.
    Stay out of foreign affairs and re-build our country.


    Ashland, OR

    March 21, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  169. AB

    My understanding of the Libya No Fly Zone Offensive is very clear to me as President Obama publicly made the case for the institution of this operation–the purpose for the No Fly Zone is to save the lives of Libyian civilians and to prevent genocide, the destablization of neighboring countries in the North African and Southern European region where a humanitarian crisis could ensue. I do not understand the hysteria on the part of members of Congress about not being consulted. The President has the legal authority to initiate military action without consulting Congress. However, the President did consult with some Congressional members of both political parties prior to initating any military action. I applaud President Obama for being cautious, prudent and willing to consult with members of Congress, his cabinet prior to taking any action.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  170. Ryan

    I can understand the role just fine. I wish it went a few steps farther and actually allowed us to go in there and throw Gaddhafi out rather than try to evict him from afar. We need to march on Tripoli now so we don't need to do it again later.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  171. CF Hodges

    I thought it was a "No fly Zone" operation, now I am hearing that we are attacking ground forces......and his palace, guess he has AA guns in the front yard. An now the Arab Nations are not supporting combat operation? Why dont they just call it for what it is...WAR.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  172. KR in Western MA

    I can't tell what the administration has decided. They're being too evasive.

    If they want to hold their cards "close to the chest" to keep Gadhafi guessing, then that's OK as long as they at least tell Congress (in secret, if necessary) what they're thinking. But it doesn't appear that they've done that. We hear the results from Boehner and others.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  173. Danielle Mason

    When did we become the policing force of the world? And how is the situation in Libya so desperate that it requires such drastic action? Is it any more dire than the situation in Japan, where we could be spending our funding toward positive humanitarian action? I think the point is, the American public DOESN'T understand our offensive in Libya.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  174. Boston

    I would just like to remind Congress that if the French had not assisted us with a 1700's version of a "no fly zone", with a shipping blockade against the British, there would'nt be an America. It is profoundly hypocritical for our congress to be against the actions of peoples who are striving for ideals that we have lauded for two centuries. This goes for both sides of the house. I am deeply ashamed of those who reap the benefits of our freedom then condemn the very methods that made it possible.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  175. Stu Manville

    Our part is to use some of our unique capabilities (bombers, missiles,satellites,etc) to stop and destroy the Libyan capability to harm civilians. Beyond that Obama has said Gadaffi must step down. I guess by magic?

    March 21, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  176. Robert

    I think we are just stopping a blood bath like he says and giving the rebels a fighting chance. If we don't do it we look a lot worse than if we do do it. Some just want to slam the president over anything and care more about that than the country.
    We need to get rid of Quadafi, but can't come right out and say that. If we leave him there he will just cause terrorist attacks and with us recruiting, training, and funding so many terrorists right here at home we don't need to be also worrying about him.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  177. Steve in Manchester, WA

    The political rhetoric in the US and Europe sounds an awful lot like the Arab League: yes, we want intervention, then NO, we don't, once the intervention starts. Which is it? Yet another Rwanda or does the US (there is nobody else) actually do something about it?

    March 21, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  178. Debbie

    I have been listening for the last 3 weeks the people of Libya asking for help did we do anything no. Now that United Security Counsel made a decision I am glad that we are helping them. If anyone listens to what is being said you see people in Libya happy that the world is helping. No one should have to be scared to go outside and have the same rights we do. What is the Senates problem I understand what is going on . Did they want to wait until he killed everyone there first and then say oh we should have done something. If the politions can't even agree over things that need to be done here what makes them think that they could have said anyhting that would have changer the outcome. I AM VERY PROUD OF PRESIDENT OBAMA FOR STANDING UP TO A COUNTRY THAT IS DOING GENICIDE TO HIS OWN PEOPLE.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  179. Charles StLouis

    I'll tell you what our involvement is in Lybia is Jack. Find a new place to drop our bombs. After all we make them, we must use them. We need to keep our weapon factories rolling and save jobs. Genius. We can no longer drop them in Iraq and we are droping less and less in Afghanistan.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  180. Danielle Mason

    When did we become the policing force of the world? And how is the situation in Libya so desperate that it requires such drastic action? Is it any more dire than the situation in Japan, where we could be spending our funding toward positive humanitarian action? I think the point is, the American public DOESN'T understand our offensive in Libya.

    SUNY Canton, NY

    March 21, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  181. Reginald Levi Walker

    America must understand that those who will not hear the messengers of peace will be made to hear the messengers of war. As followers of the Gospel of Peace that was preached by the MAN OF PEACE, Jesus, the Christ, let us strive to be the instruments of peace instead of the apparatus of destruction. – Preacher

    March 21, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  182. Pamela Harvey

    Dear Mr. Cafferty:

    The missile attacks on Lybia were:

    1. Iniated and agreed upon by the United Nations Security Council;

    2. The United States a

    2. The air strikes were aimed at military weapon's sites in Lybia - not on Kadafi or innocent civilians;

    I do believe we should not AND DID NOT ACT

    March 21, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  183. Jeff Slayton

    I totally support President Obama. Where were these republicans when President Bush went to war without Congress's permission? Silent!! At least Obama had the UN behind him and the support of the Arab League!

    March 21, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  184. mike in boyce,va

    Hi Jack,
    I was against any intervention, BUT now the attacks against Gadhaffi have been somewhat partial. I'm wondering why Obama went to Brazil and then ordered the attacks? Is it that there is a way to try to appease the American public since that France and Britain are involved? Or is it a ruse to gain trust from the American people in lieu of the problems here in the US?

    March 21, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  185. Mary Freeman

    My understanding of the US role is one of participation only. The Congress is as usual way off target. They were informed, just a might forgetful as usual. Tell Congress to read UN mandate 1973, it spells it all out and only idiots could not understand it. They have to live under a rock not to know the US position. They are like a bunch of bratty kids, always complaining about something.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  186. Patricia

    I understand the Presidents comments to mean that in a few days/weeks the US will withdraw military involvement in Libya and leave it to it's allies. If so then the US have started the war and then backing out and leaving it to European countries to possibily get their military killed a kind of " we've started now you finish ". Thanks America.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  187. noreen

    It's time you ppl started listening to your President and stop trying to go against him. He was very clear from the beginning.He said you will not be on the ground unlike what Bush did . Bush took it upon himself. Maybe ppl should read 1973. When it is a U.N involvement of all countries, the United States is always there. President Obama is very clear if you only listen and further more the U.N does not have to answer to the American congress, this in not just a U.S. war like the one the republications created.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  188. Vince Hugh

    The whole objective in Libya is a gamble that the 'rebels' will replace Gaddafi with a pro-western government that will be less of a threat to USA interests. This help preserve the oil we get from that region and is further protection for Israel. Humanatarian needs etc is just an excuse to protect or oil/Israel interest. Everything else is just to try and keep the media from attacking us as they did Bush for Iraq. Vince in Atlanta

    March 21, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  189. NBP

    President Obama has ABSOLUTELY no choice but to participate in the Libyan Offensive, not to mention a UN resolution. The genocide of oppressed civilians who are fighting for freedom, as far as I'm concerned, is the most significant and justifiable reason for a US offensive I've ever seen. We advocate the spread of democracy in the middle east, how could we not be involved!?

    March 21, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  190. Gary

    The U.S. role in Libya is to take out the Libyan air defenses and prevent Libyan military aircraft and tanks from massacring civilians. Anyone who actually wants a madman to kill civilians with smiling mercenaries equiped with military hardware is entitled to their opinion but is not someone I care to debate. I generally avoid talking to heartless idiots and cowards.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  191. Lovey Beth

    Prevention of genocide is the reason we are involved in this action. It is a just action. Think about what could have been prevented in Rwanda or go all the back to 1939 and think about the millions of lives that, perhaps, could have been saved.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  192. Frank

    America's role in Libya is what America's role has always been in recent years. It is to be the whipping boy for all the countries in the United Nations Assembly when only the United States will take a stand, wrong or right, against the outrageous actions of states against fellow human beings. It's present and future roles are to be cencured by the Arab League for doing what is necessary against the thugs that the league cannot admit they need the US to do for their good. It will also be Obama's role, in Libya, to take the hit from the hypocrites of both parties,in Washington, wherein Obama can be blamed for every action they won't take. Again it will be shown: No Good Deed Goes Unpunished!

    March 21, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  193. Kathy Hurd

    My understanding is that 1) people who demonstrated peacefully for regime change were attacked by their fearless leader 2) these demonstators began to fight in defense 3) a coaliton of nations moved (perhaps too slowly) to provide a no fly zone 4) the US was one of those nations 5) at this point, the battle is once again a fair one, and the Libyan people hope to remove Moamar G from power, but it's up to them 6) as usual, our wonderful representatives are reacting in every nuclear way possible, grandstanding among those reactions. Where's the wisdom?

    March 21, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  194. Jared from Canada

    America's role is to protect oil....as usual. Anyone who can't see through this farce of "protecting civilians" and "spreading democracy" must be stupid enough to believe that we found WMDs in Iraq. Can't wait to see which new tyrant will replace Ghadafi...of course, this new tyrant will be NATO-approved!!! Great job, America! Thanks for once again meddling in the affairs of a sovereign nation.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  195. Ray

    I'm confused about the cease fire. Seems it only goes one way. Seems the Rebels can attack and kill, but they are not being bombed? 'Humanitarian bombing'? Kind of ironic, huh? We should NOT be involved in their civil war.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  196. K in NYC

    My understanding is that the US is providing a very vital role in warfare that most countries in the UN are unable to provide, and that is command and control of the skies. They are doing this while allowing other nations to provide ground support when the time is right. It is as it should be, this strategy makes sense, because of our economic position does not allow us to fight another full scale war.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  197. J. Francis

    EDIT: I think it was very clear from the press conference earlier that the objective is to protect Libyan civilians from random killing and senseless massacre, not to help the opposition. However, the question is ...if the opposition continues to press forward will we then attack them? I don't like being the world's police force, but I like being the people who stand on the sideline and watch the bullies beat up the weak even less.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  198. Ardie B

    Jack, US foreign policy is getting hilarious. We certainly can't blame Obama for his floundering. It was all started by his predecessor of showing America's muscle everywhere. While bar fights are ok when needed, you can't simply go join a bar-fight because some drunks are having a go at each other. This is what it looks like. America wants to throw the bar bully Gaddafi out dead or alive. But listen to the silly stories they are making to mask the objective. Forget Bush, call a spade a spade!

    @Huntsville, Texas

    March 21, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  199. gloria

    Our role is to support the UN Resolution for a "NO Flight Zone" over Libya, in order to stop Ghadafi's forces from killing other Libyans. It's interesting... the president was at first criticized for not acting quickly enough, and now he's being criticized for acting too quickly..Poor man, he's damned if he does, and damned it he doesn't.!!

    March 21, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  200. chris

    my understanding is that our role in this is to simply to prevent a madman from killing his own civilians. i wonder if the people criticizing the president would sing the same tune if their families were in the areas in danger of being slaughtered.

    we are in a time of war, we are acting under authorization of the u.n. and have support from many nations on a mission that saves countless lives. congress needs to suck it up and get over the feeling of being left out.

    this is the time to support our armed forces and our president, not to bicker amongst ouselves.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  201. Linda Williams

    Jack, I believe that the U.S. role in the Libya offensive is exactly as President Obama describe and as laid out in U.N Resolution 1973. Come on! I wish you folks at CNN will make up your minds– you can't have it both way. Last week, it was said that President Obama was slow getting involved, slow taking action, he needed to move, now that he has, there is more rubbish.
    Where were you when Bush took us to war? Did Bush consult?

    March 21, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  202. Antonio in Phoenix

    He's dirthering AND rushing to judgement. He's ignoring Congress AND not being a bold, Executive Branch leader. He's launching a Christian Crusade AND protecting his cherished Arab/Islamic brothers. He's fighting Israel's war AND opening the door for an Jew-hating, Islamic Republic.

    Obama-Haters, did I miss anything?

    March 21, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  203. Ivan from Manhattan

    I think the President was clear that the US military action is strictly to support the UN Resolution, which is narrower than what Obama's says his desire is with respect to Qaddafi's tenure - i.e., that it ends now. That there is bipartisan questioning of the Administration's position on Libya speaks more to the desire of Congress to carry out US military and diplomatic policy from Capitol Hill, than concern over what we're doing there. Personally, I like the separation of powers concept. . .

    March 21, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  204. Linda in Charleston, SC

    Well Jack, it's very difficult to understand what is going on. How you can bomb a country without going to war? How the leader of that country needs to step down but we are not going to harm him? Who makes these rules when the UN and the USA are NOT even thinking the same on what is going on. Endgame unclear frazzles my mind as there certainly should be an endgame policy. Rules being made up as you go along, looks like American citizens are paying for more military ventures.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  205. Barbara Teixeira - Las Vegas, NV

    My understanding is that we were going to be in a support role. Now we are bombing sites? Then the President says we will step back from a leading role in a matter of days? I have heard so may conflicting stories, I am thoroughly confused. What I am not confused about though, is that our President got us into this without consulting Congress. I find that very upsetting. While I believe that we should join forces with other nations to assist the Libyan people, I do not think the President should have made that decision on his own and dragged us into a leading role. He is the President, not an dictator. If he can do this without consulting Congress, what will he decide to do in the future without consulting them. I find that very frightening.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  206. Nancy NY

    I don't understand our role in Libya. We shouldn't be there at all. The people in that region say we are Infidels. Why are there no Arabic people who want to protect innocent people from mass murder? I am all for helping people in danger, but their people should want to help themselves with us.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  207. Brian Wickremasinghe-Woodland Hills

    For once (probably for the best) we are in a support role, rather than bearing the brunt. In this position, we can offer the coalition our military expertise which surpasses the rest of the coalition put together. As far as Obama is concerned, there will be the group of people who will criticize him, no matter what he does. The impromptu targets taken will result in a an “Accidental” “Regime Change”.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  208. Michael, Chapel Hill

    1. US will pay with resources & people.
    2. Eurpoeans may stand in the sidelines.
    3. Liberals will cry foul (it is a war about Oil).
    4. US hater's cry will be heard loud and clear.
    5. Republicans may call it Obama's war.
    6. Al Queida may muster, more support in Libya.
    7. Few, may understand that there is country name Libya.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  209. John Cardone


    Anyone who claims they don't know what our mission is, probably isn't listening, I think the President has made it perfectly clear and made sure it was not a unilateral effort.

    As for all the cry babies who claim they don't know what's going on, that's just politics as usual it always coming from the same people.

    Rochester NY

    March 21, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  210. Yanusha

    I do not understand America's role in the Libya's offensive. However, when the Sri Lankan government massacred more 40,000 innocent civilians, America did not step in at all. The events occurring in Libya are a result in the want for oil, not as an action to better the people.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  211. Robert

    These are the same members of congress that were complaing that the president was too slow in reacting to the Libyan problem? The same mebers of congress who are not in DC at this time? Another vacation for our (respected?) leaders? As has been stated before, our role as well as our allies is to protect the Libyan peoples from Ghadafi's genocide of his own peoples. He is a despot who has shown his disregard for his own people by even using them as a shield against the bombing of his assets. The U.N. was correct in its wording of resolution 1973. As for congress, stay at home. The american people are fed up with their antics in the name of politics.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  212. AB

    My understanding of the Libya No Fly Zone Offensive is very clear to me as President Obama publicly made the case for the institution of this operation–the purpose for the No Fly Zone is to save the lives of Libyian civilians and to prevent genocide, the destablization of neighboring countries in the North African and Southern European region where a humanitarian crisis could ensue. This would be a limited operation that the U.S play a nonleading roll. No U.S. ground forces would be deployed. do not understand the hysteria on the part of members of Congress about not being consulted. The President has the legal authority to initiate military action without consulting Congress. However, the President did consult with some Congressional members of both political parties prior to initating any military action. I applaud President Obama for being cautious, prudent and willing to consult with members of Congress, his cabinet prior to taking any action.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  213. Netia

    My understanding of the US role is as follows: In support of the U.N. Resolution 1973, the United States is offering its military services temporarily to the 'coalition' in order to protect Libyan citizens from government abuses at the hands of Gaddafi as stated in the resolution. The Libyan people should have the ability to make the choice on whether or not they want a Gaddafi government. Gaddafi's military has prevented them from having this option. That is the purpose of the mission, to allow citizens to exercise their human rights to decide their government. The U.S. policy, however, is in regard to the dictator itself because simply you cannot call a mission a success without solving the problem. Gaddafi is the problem. Planes and guns did not fire themselves upon the Libyan people, Gaddafi did. In order to make sure that such a crisis does not happen again, Gaddafi will have to be removed from power. This can be done by allowing the Libyan people to hunt him down and decide his fate (believe me, they deserve at least this much). This can also be done by economic sanctions, international arrest warrants, account freezes, etc. and does not require military intervention. This isn't the U.S. vs. Gaddafi, it is the world saying we have had enough and together we are enacting Resolution 1973. America is just a team player, not a leader.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  214. Carol from South Plainfield, NJ

    I would like to tell those Congressmen to get over themselves. The United States is assisting in the preservation of life for those countless Libyans that Ghadhafi has no compunction about annihilating. We are assisting others from the UN in creating a no-fly zone and stopping the Libyan military and mercenaries from destroying innocent lives. I don't believe we will put a single American military foot on the ground, I think we are doing the right thing with the no-fly.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  215. Richard Evans

    The initial reason for the no fly zone is to stop any Libyan offensive against their citizens. Now we hear that we may want "regime change" and the complete ouster of Gadhafi. Right now, we do need more clarification...yesterday Obama said "No ground troops" but if we really want regime change, can we avoid it? Why is it in our best interest to go into ANOTHER war while we have two others currently ongoing? The biggest problem Obama faces now, is the same one that Bush faced in Iraq...what does "winning" look like? An address to the American people is needed, clarify to the citizens and to congress what we are doing.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  216. Dr. Robert Price

    I blieve our role in libya is soften up the Gaddafi military machine enough so that the rebel forces are able to take over the government.
    Gaddafi will likely be executed in the process,Whether that happens as a casualty of the US assault, or those of our allies, or capture by the Libyan people and subsequent trial is largely irrelevant. Freedom for Libya is the bbjective and Gadaffi the person has no price on his head for America any more.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  217. David Thomas

    My understanding of America's role in Libya is what I believe the President wants it to be: subject to his personal interpretation of the UN resolution.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  218. Tom Birmingham

    John Boehner and I'm sure others in congress are butthurt because they were left in the dark. I commend Obama in his decision to disable Muammar Gaddafi. This also shows the rest of the world such as Iran and North Korea what could happen if they don't keep in line. It's about time we fought a war using our high tech capabilities.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  219. Sandra Tomhave

    My understanding of our involvement in Libya is to be part of an international gang trying to hijack Mr. Kadaffy and get him out of power under the guise of "helping the people". To be sure, this is an oversimplification and may be offensive to some, but isn't that what we are really doing? The biggest trouble I see at that (1) Obama is hijacking the Constitutional provisions of our government by going over Congress' heads and unilaterally making his own decision to enter this war–and it IS a war. When you bomb a foreign territory, it is WAR! His lack of knowledge of how the real world work and his inexperience in governing is coming home to roost on those who thought that hope-y, change-y thing was going to happen under his leadership. I am with those who would impeach this man for sprouting into a dictator himself. I am a WWII daughter of 73 y/o so have been around the political block a few times.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  220. Claire from Ontario

    It's pretty simple Jack,

    Gadhafi vowed to eradicate all men, women and children not loyal to him.

    The only way to protect the Libyan people is to eradicate Gadhafi.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  221. Thom Richer

    Humanitarian, I pray. However, that is probably wishful thinking. Either way, it is not going to achieve anything for its people or the U.S. if we and the supportive allies play more politics the likes of Iraq and Afghanistan. Gadhafi is the problem of Libya. He must be ousted or killed before escalation occurs. We cannot proceed halfheartedly or without the open resolve of ridding the world of Gadhafi...and son. He is a narcissistic sociopath that can neither be tolerated or trusted. To not make him a target is to betray any valid purpose or intent to justify our being there. Our presence, along with others, in Libya, must be first and foremost to rid its people of Gadhafi. Obama and the Congress must tell the world this and do it swiftly and precisely.

    Thom Richer
    Negaunee, MI

    March 21, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  222. Jeff from Florida

    Where have the republicans been hiding Jack? I'm certain that they all know that the US's role and stratagy in Libya is precicely the same as it is in Iraq and Afghanistan. Maybe someday they will tell the American people what that is.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  223. Dicky

    It's pretty clear to me that the US & Canada have joined other nations who agreed to enforce the security council ruling. The difference is that your not really attacking another country, you're wearing your world police hat. We didn't get much consultation here in Canada either. And these enforcements can go on for years. Often with the US footing a bulk of the bill.


    March 21, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  224. Felix Giordano

    It is dis-ingeniousness for Republicans to criticize the US involvement in Libya when they rushed us off to war in Iraq with no road-map of what we were doing there or how to get out. That was a systematic takeover of the country. In addition, this is not Iraqi deja vu either. This action is more akin to NATO's past involvement in Serbia's repression and genocide of its own citizens.

    Felix Giordano
    Ashford, CT

    March 21, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  225. yuri pelham

    We should have let it play out with no US intervention. We need to demonstrate that important world problems can be solved without us in a leadership role. The Arab states should be able to handle it, and if not alone then with European help. We are overextended as it is. No one believes the limp explanation re human rights. Since when have we been concerned with human rights? Not in Dafur, not the Congo, not the Ivory Coast, not Syria, and certaionly not Zimbabwe, where people were better off when it was Rhodesia. No we should have sat it out. Now we must ready ourselves for Libyan terrorist retaliation.
    Ask James Baker, ask Zbig. Ask Colin,"I got us into Iraq because Bush ordered me" Powell. Now that he is independent he can speak his mind.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  226. Bonnie

    Jack, I'm proud of President Obama's decisiveness. Has it been that long ago that we watched while innocent people were being killed for no good reason? We need to help these people before more blood is shed. Seems to me that too many of us are only concerned about ourselves these days. Those complaining will never be satisfied so lets do the decent thing.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  227. Danilo Gurovich

    Probably the best allegory would be our involvement in the Balkans in the 1990s. We were there to protect a group of people from being attacked and wiped out. Most of the action was in the air, with a wide ranging coalition. We lost 1 soldier during that campaign - to an accident. The President says we'll soon take a back seat. Difference between him and the last President is that I believe that's what will happen. No expectation of "flowers on the tanks here."

    Not like Iraq - where it was a war of opportunity with a coalition consisting of Britain, humanitarian aid from other major countries, and combat troops from every third-world country in eastern Europe. We've lost thousands of soldiers there.

    Republicans have demanded action for the last week, and now they're skirts are all blown up because he did something? Seems like being informed by Congress was no big deal when "their man" was in the White House.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  228. ronin45

    We created a war of attrition between two groups, we sell arms to both sides, they will kill each other for years, and we make sure neither side wins, we steal their oil. Win… win situation for the elites. A classical scenario, written and orchestrated by CIA

    March 21, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  229. Sharon Jackson

    Mr Boehner, others need to make up their minds! First the President wasn't acting quick enough, now he's doing what he can with minimum involvement and you want to impeach him? He is not the first president to help out in these situations. Should he let all these men, women and kids get slaughtered because you feel the way you do? I hope you don't ever get in a situation where you need help, of any kind, and nobodys there for you. If you have questions about the Rebels, go to Libya, find out for yourselves if you are really that concerned. Congress spoke with the President and knew what he was doing. They've had a month, heard what was being considered and NOW wants to act concerned that it's the wrong thing to do!!!! No wonder the government can't get anything done. They're too busy trying to find fault in what someone is doing. Namely the President.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  230. K in NYC

    My understanding is that the US is providing a very vital role in warfare that most countries in the UN are unable to provide, and that is command and control of the skies in order to effectively enforce the no fly zone, we are doing what we do best in that respect. They are doing this while allowing other nations to provide ground support when the time is right. It is as it should be, this strategy makes sense, because our economic position does not allow us to fight another full scale war at this time.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  231. Mike Gibbs

    Like the other presidents before, he did not learn from their misstakes, yes America likes being bitten by the same dog twice, whatever happened with the old saying "once bitten twice shy?" You are not a fool if you do something foolish, only if the folly of it escapes you.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  232. Theodore R. Wade Jr.

    I don't see the confusion that you and the Republicans seem to be having with "understanding". After weeks of UN negotiations and dialog, the mission is nothing more and nothing less than to remove Moammar Gadhafi to prevent continued genocide of civilians. After 8 years of the “Great Decider” and falsified documentation of WMD, without a single question from Republicans, it strikes me a ludicrous to even ask the question. This is reasonably straight forward and simple.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  233. Brian L

    I fully understand and approve Pres Obama's decision. As the Pres mentioned, the only reason they took the lead was because of the technologies the US possess. The INTL community cannot just stand by. Also the rebels asked for this as the Arab League. Of course the Arab League is in a bit of a twine, because some have problems in their country.

    Brian L

    March 21, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  234. Jim

    If the peoplein Wisconsin went to the streets with guns, tanks and planes what would our government officials do. Jjust how would we tolerate Libya, France and Great Britian getting involved in our internal affairs.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  235. Kenny

    As far as I'm concerned, our goals in Libya are about as vague as our goals in Vietnam were. We have been electing these morons for years who will put our troops in harms way without a practical reason. We need to put an end to it now.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  236. Douglas Laurell

    Jack, most of us can read and comprehend simple english, but U.N. resolutions are seldom simple. Take all necessary action to protect civilian casualties seems a worthless statement when it's armed civilians that are raising a rebellion.

    In the end, I can't see where the U.S. or the U.N. has the moral or legal authority to determine who should rule in Libya. I also fail to see how our bombing air defense sites in Libya meets the U.N. criteria unless Libyan forces are using them to shoot at the protesters. (Which there have no reports of as yet). This seems nothing more than a method to replace one leader the U.S. doesn't like with someone that may be more pliable to U.S. interests. (i.e. selling us their oil!)

    March 21, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  237. Bob Higgs

    The people of Lybia want the coalitions help in destroying the Charlie Sheen of Lybia. Gadahfy is insane, out of control and appears to be on drugs himself.
    The innocent people are being killed and terrorized because they want the freedom that we all want. The freedom to speak and live without the fear of death.
    Stay until the job is done. Do not get out until!!!!!!

    March 21, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  238. Jacob, OH

    From my understanding we are offering Air and Naval support to a group of people that attempted a predominantly peaceful uprising, were met with aggression, and then responded in kind. I don't think we should commit large ground forces, but we do need to demonstrate that if you do not listen to the peaceful protest of your people and you meet them with militant aggression, we will support them and attempt to level the playing field for them.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  239. ....Chaney..... La.

    My understanding of our involvement is to provide a little cover so the Libyan people can form some sort of representative government.......and get rid of yet another madman who treats his people with utter disdain........I would venture to say that if President Obama was a republican, they would be falling all over themselves, trying to out gush each other on the merits of such action.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  240. Ozzy

    US role is to partition Libya. One half will be Gaddafi's and the other will be the rebels' who we will have saved, and be in good relations with. The rebel half will control all the oil in Libya, and they will have to pay us back for our help – in cheap oil – and buy lots of weapons from us, UK, and France to protect themsleves from the Gaddafi side.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  241. Patti

    My understanding of our part in the UN 1973 is as follows:

    #1..We have the necessary missals needed to take out the radar and other items that would cause problems for the pilots and we do not want to share that information with other nations.
    #2..The President said that we are there doing what we can to help the coalition forces and that within days we will no longer be leading the fight.

    I think the congress, both Dems & Republicans should not be second guessing the President or questioning our roll in the battle to enforce UN 1973, but rather listen to his Press conferences and let what he says sink in rather than go around trying to make themselves look better.. We know it is an election year, but we only have one President at a time.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  242. Tolerated

    President Obama has been very clear to the American people about our role in Libya. He has my trust in our limited participation in protecting the Libyan people. The Republican focus is to lie and criticize everything the current administration does. You have to live under a rock not to have heard President Obama's explanation of our involvement.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  243. Alexander Stone

    There is no "Mission", we're just leveling the playing field, at the people of Libya's request. Hopefully it doesn't turn into a mission...

    In this case we're just the helpful birds in the sky, keeping a watchful eye on our friends of freedom. But be careful, there is unrest in the nest at home...

    Wasaga Beach, Canada

    March 21, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  244. Anthony

    I think, with the other conflicts in the Middle East and Afghanistan, our forces might be spread too thin. However, Gadhafi should be dealt with. We may have to take on a more supervisory role in relationship to the forces of all the other countries. At least until our other problems are sorted out. Otherwise we may end up unprotected at home. I kind of like that we try to resolve conflicts and promote peace but we do have limits.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  245. Greenwich Goblin

    What is my understanding of America's role in the Libya offensive? To get rid of Col. Gonedaffy and his ilk, once and for all.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  246. Bubbashirmp2

    wow, that was some awful typing by me, but, you get the jist. The left only whines when it is a Republican fighting some injustice. When it is Obama, why, he is the "ONE" and, who can question his moral authority to decide right from wrong.

    Where is the declaration of war or at least a congressional review? Does the constitution allow for the use of force without at least an intent of congress? Does the President have the authority to take orders from the United Nations? Does he only act on their authority? If the security council told him to invade Lichenstein, whould be bomb in 24 hours?

    I guess it was Shrillary whining in his ear that he could no longer take and said, Shrill, go ahead, I can't take it, I am out of hee. Use the army as you wish. This ain't no Bosnia, Shrill. You have no end game. Just kicked the hornet nest.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  247. Pearlie Strother-adams

    My understanding is that we are there to protect the people, not to kill Gaddafi and his sons. This is a civil war and we need to be fair. This is not new to this region of the world. We cannot control the world. It is interesting that there is little knowledge about who the opposition is. It appears a good number of Libyans love their leader and are willing to stand up for him. I pray that the U.S. will not engage in a war that will cause the deaths of thousands of innocents. Obama promised to be different. He needs to remember this.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  248. Patti

    He starts a third war and goes off on vacation. He should be in the war room with the military brass from the Pentagon monitoring this war. But as expected the President is off on vacation like he was when the oil rig blew up in the Gulf. I don't know if it's bad timing on his part or stupidy. I think it's the latter. Here is my question...We have only four days to be involved in this war, and we are not going to kill Gadhafi even thought he is spewing he will retailiate on anyone involved in this war. Then what the heck are we doing there???????

    March 21, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  249. Steven Davis

    Yes I totally understand want the mission is. This mission is to protect the the civilians so they can over throw their regime.

    It is funny how we don't talk about how good the President is doing in this crisis by not rushing in like Iraq. John McCain and Joe Lieberman, said he was moving too slow and others are saying he is going to fast, it is a lose lose for the President.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  250. Glenn Scott

    This whole Libya things smacks of colonialism. Think about it. France, the United States, and Britian. Where are the Arab states? What about Qatar's four planes? Come on folks. I want one politican to truthfully explain how come not one Arab nation is involved in this affair. I am deeply disappointed in President Obama. Is he afraid someone will call him chicken?

    March 21, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  251. Ruben B. Gomez

    The US Involvement is led by the UN's Involvement. This simply is protecting the Libyan civilian's who are being slaughtered by its dictator. Remember, the US is acting at the behest of the Arab League, the Libyan Council and the Libyan people.

    This involvement, thanks to the Obama Administration's has been focused on a limited involvement resulting by creating a "no-fly zone". The President has been very clear that no US troops will be sent to Libya.

    I don't understand all of the fuss being generated in Washington. We have heard of the repeated claims that "this is too little to late", and now we are hearing claims that there is no end to our involvement. Why don't we just give the no fly zone a chance to be completed, rather than constantly being critical.

    Give the President a break!

    March 21, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  252. Boshra Mohamed

    It is very simple, they are part of the UN, the UNs role is to fight for humanitarian causes which Libya obviously has an issue with at the moment.

    A mass genocide has been taking place, and so far people have been doing Squat. This should have been handled a month ago!

    Now over 12 000 people have allegedly been killed. The real question is,why have we waited for another Hitler to rise to power?

    March 21, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  253. Rick from Los Angeles

    Jack it's simple,

    We are basically the can opener for the world.

    This is not our fight but we were dragged into it by our close allies. Essentially our role is to evicerate any offensive capabilites the Loyalist have using our multi-billion dollar equipment, then step aside and let our allies take the credit when Kadaffi falls.

    Correct me if I am wrong but 124 Cruie missles launched the 1st night. 122 from US assets, 2 from British assets, none from French. I don't know but if you are going to push for war the least you can do is commit more to it.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  254. Vesper

    Pres. Obama knows exactly what he is doing. The U.S. needs to stay out of the mix as much as possible right now when it comes to Libya. If we get too involved with the matters of a revolution of another country we can too easily be blamed for all their problems. We all know Gadhafi isn't mentally stable. Obama's actions are going to put him in the position to help the people of Libya claim checkmate on Gadhafi and finally see the freedom every human being deserves.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  255. mark

    President Obama is not a kind of president who shout about everything in the open air. He has a better understanding of the world than his fellow congress men and women. These people need to ask Obama how he gets the Arab League support while all Arab countries themselves are in the same kind of trouble. But always what ever the president does, criticism will stay there forever that is the beauty of Washington.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  256. LordPet

    We opened the door to let everyone in so that France and Britain etc. can do the heavy lifting while we do air to air refueling and jamming of Khadafy's communications etc. Pretty smart strategy.

    What would people be saying if, after world wide demand for action, we stood by and watched as Khadafy massacred the opposition? What message would that send to the leaders of other Arab countries that are experiencing a revolt? Damned if you do, damned if you don't, I suppose. I'd rather be on the side that stands up against Khadafy than sits on the side.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  257. Dave from Toronto

    I understand that Gadhafi is a genocidal maniac, and America is protecting the Libyan people from genocide.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  258. Abby Smith

    It is a sad day when the 2 year olds we have in public office would rather see a blood bath in Libya than have their ego's bruised. In accordance with the UN mandate, we are there to protect the citizens of Libya from a mentally imbalanced leader who would rather see dead citizens rather than anyone who might oppose him. If at the conclusion of the UN mandate, Gadhafi is still the Libyan leader, then the US will take non military actions to try and remove him. If that does not work, I have no doubt Obama will then go to the children in Congress to develop a specifically US response. This is not need right now this minute, we are not at that point yet.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  259. Eric Ostrander

    Hey Jack,

    What's to understand? Qaddafi was using heavy artillery to bomb the Libyan equivalent of the Million Man march! It doesn't surprise me that the GOP is crying foul. I supported the UNSC resolution long before there was one. If Qaddafi was to remain in power, don't you think he would return to terrorism and violent political oppression. We need that like a hole in the head. The president has the constitutional authority to do so. Everyone of his critics would have done the same thing, and if they didn't, they wouldn't deserve the job in the first place. When will people stop the partisanship, and recognize our president as doing, at the very least, a decent job; I'd go as far as to say, President Obama is doing a great job! He doesn't deserve the constant animosity he's receiving from the right, and the ill-conceived, dubious political opposition coming from the left.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  260. morris hill

    Is there nothing the Pres. can say or do that you can understand. After four days of speeches and press conferences, how is it you still don't understand nothing. You did not see the people of Lybia protesting after the changes in Egypt. If the Pres. does nothing he should have acted, then when he acted, it was too slow, now that he has acted he should not have acted.
    People respect the press because you are supposed to be educated and experienced, but all you do is confuse the ignorant masses. Where were the voices of dissent going into Iraq and Afghanistan.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  261. Bernie of Lowell, MA

    Generating a sudden demand for Tomahawk missiles;- corporate welfare for the military-industrial complex..

    March 21, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  262. Nick

    The role is very clear, protect civilians. Its been emphasized that there will be no US boots on the soil and that the transition of power will be passed. The fact the president has not made an official statement until today and still its a little unclear to some people is irrelevant since the average american thinks we're already engaged in a 3rd war and hasn't been paying attention. The news keep on asking and speculating what the role of the US military will be if the rebels become offensive, and the role will be to continue to protect civilians. I'm not sure how many times it needs to said and regurgitated. Also with the comparison to the Iraq no fly zone, I feel this is drastically different.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  263. Paige

    I understand what is going on in Libya from watching CNN. CNN has done a remarkable job at telling the entire story by interviewing the military leaders, the courageous reporters that are witnessing and in the midst of this event, and the innocent civilians that are suffering from their EVIL leader. Obama is trying something new. We will see if it works. I feel sorry for our leader. Damned if they do and damned if they don't. Where is our national pride? It's embarassing.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  264. Christine - Boston

    What we have here is Failure to Listen. Wanting Gadhafi to step down ("out") does not directly translate to war. And yet McCain was fully prepared to rock 'n roll early on. I have had no problem understanding what our President's mission is all about. It is definitely rooted in diplomacy backed by the military in concert with the United Nations as warranted (no-fly zone) – not a unilateral measure. All this frenzy about what is the US going to do to get Gadhafi out. This is how we have gotten into trouble in the past. The US is not the ruler of the world – not its police force. And as far as the Congress claiming they were not adequately consulted; the US did not declare WAR. Let's revisit Reagan & Libya. Lastly, does any reasonable person think the US is going to lay all the cards on the table – not so much.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  265. Jordan W

    US role is very clear – No-fly zone to allow the people of Libya to assert their well – and provide humanitarian relief.
    Patience people, patience – we are only in day 3. Those who do not understand simply are posturing for elections, to have a spot in the news, and to be different. If one needs to be different at the expense of our national security, one need to examine their priorities. If Libya leader remains in power, the future will be bleak as he will certainly feel invincible and launched a renewed set of threats.
    We understand, trust the American People understand.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  266. Jerri Bird

    President Obama has made very clear statements regarding the US role in the Libyan situation. We are acting with UN approval and joining a team response from both Europe and the Arab League to protect civilians who were being slaughtered. The international community took too long to act, but finally is coming to the rescue of Libyans. We should support this action.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  267. James R

    Libya wasn't going to go back to the way it was before some of their people revolted, so we went to the UN, got some tenative backing to intervene, and are now leveling the playing field for the Libyan resistence.

    Perhaps more of their military leaders will defect to the resistence like they did in Yemen. They'd only risk doing so if they had a better chance of winning. That wasn't going to happen against Qaddafi's formerly superior forces.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  268. Fred

    To me the role of US is to sacrifice again to help the kind of the people who are so forgetful and soon chant against USA and burn the flag! Having said that I still support the president's decision specially knowing this fact that the mad man would level the opposition cities to ground as soon as he gets there and by opposition I refer to very ordinary people who demand nothing but a sliver of the freedom that is so basic to us we don't even appreciate. Coming from Middle East myself, I can very well relate to them.
    And for those who say US should step away and let the opposition take over on their own I refer them to the happy and grateful reactions of the people of Benghazi who were hopelessly waiting for Qaddafi forces to conquer the city and introduce them to their dark destiny. Why do some of us say we shouldn't have stopped the genocide when the direct help is what the poor people themselves demand?

    March 21, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  269. Roger Tompkins

    Our role could not be more obvious nor, for that matter, more clearly explained by the President. We are involved in a United Nations effort to protect civilians who are extremely vulnerable but who have nonetheless joined together to rid themselves of a long time dictator. If they could vote they would do this differently, but they can't vote. This uprising is the only means available to them. We are acting in a supportive role to the UN effort. We have capabilities in the region which are not duplicated by anyone else and we would shamefully remiss were we not to make them available.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  270. Priscilla

    He has proved once again that his policies don't defer from Pres. Bush's
    We have no business in the Libyan civil war. I don't think we have the moral authority to judge anybod. How about regime change right here at home. I voted for Obama now I can not wait for him to go.

    Butler, NJ

    March 21, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  271. Pat Herrera

    I understand the role of the US, Allies, and the 22 Arab Nations is to protect "those Lybians" who are under attack from Kadafi.

    To all the critic's who are COMFORTABLY and cowardly sitting and complaining, I can only say to them "Action speaks louder than words"

    I applaud our President's actions and involvement to protect the rights of the people of Lybia to get rid of Kadafi and choose their own Government.


    March 21, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  272. Dale Redington

    WARS!! what is to understand. now we are in 3. japan's nuclear reactors are trashed. We can't get straight answers anywhere. People are asked to give and give...Countries promised to help haiti and renigged on their promise. But we are asked to give. US ranked 22 in the corruption index (canada was 6th). we are paying more taxes so the government can go to war. What about my job? What about my health? How about a living wage for me? How about Fracking? The laws are made and the loopholes are found! The US needs to take care of the US? How many years since we heard of an honest politician? Never you say? Then maybe it needs to be fixed. WAR, like I care. I want to know what is in my water, food and air. And whether I am going to die tomorrow because of some stupid company's greed.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  273. MR ABOU

    I am just amazed about how selective is America in chosen which country to attack in this Middle East and North African Crisis. For God sake, Iran did the same to its People, Bahrain, Yemen, you name them. But it seems that we select the weaker and who we don't like. What if Saudi Arabia or France does the same?

    March 21, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  274. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    America can't continue to say we stand with those who are fighting for freedom and democracy and when they ask for our help we do nothing. I think this mission is putting Iran on notice.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  275. Rob

    President Obama did the right thing, with what we knew and what time there was to act. If he had waited for the congress to get their act together, the city of Benghazi would have been leveled already. This was a no-brainer, with the backing from countries all around the globe!

    March 21, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  276. Jacqueline Mongeot

    I am under the impression that USA did not initiate the attack on Lybia. I heard President Sarkosy on Saturday; he sent France's planes, the first to attack Lybian military vehicles on that day. Most of the United nations members are involved including America. I felt that President Obama had reluctantly agreed to participate on a humanitarian principle, stating that no American troops would be on the Lybian soil. This said, I personally disagree with these attacks. I doubt the rest of the Arab countries approve them. Who knows how they are goint to react. This is grave and regrettable.
    Jacqueline, San Diego

    March 21, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  277. David Nova Scotia

    Nothing in politics happens by accident. All the preamble was a cover to allow the USA to put their exact plan in place and all is going according to that plan. Libya will be seen as a International assisted effort by the White House and Libya will have a new leader and it will not be Gadhafi and the new one will sing praises for the support from the America who will in turn thank the coalition.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  278. Srikant Varma

    The US and allied role in Libya is to provide stability to the world markets. The Tsunami in Japan and the impending nuclear issue there is already affecting the markets and the worldwide recovery. If the oil prices are allowed to increase over speculation, the US economic recovery will come to a halt and this cannot be allowed.

    Oh! one other thing, we do care about the libyan people being slaughtered and want that to stop too.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  279. LordPet

    Where are all the "death to America" chants that come out of the Middle East whenever we do anything? For once, the Arab street is happy with us. Whatever the leaders of the Arab countries say is immaterial, as they are all in trouble internally. It's funny watching these repressive regimes support the rebellion.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  280. Chris Weaver

    First of all this is nothing like Iraq. 1- George bush took us into a war based upon lies of weapons of mass disctuction. 2- 1973 says we are there to protect the civilian population. Cadafi has used his military, his police, and his spies to attack civilians. Getting rid of Cadafi, and protecting civilians, is one in the same. If Cadafi stays in power then the population of Libya suffers, he must go.
    The President did inform the congress that if the UN resolution passed that there would be swift action, as it should be. 2- We did not lead the attack against Cadafi, the French did. 3- The military operates under the control of the commander in chief. Not the congress.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  281. Frankie

    President Obama acted too slowly up until he acted too fast? Give him a break here. I personally do not find it hard to understand that the airways above Libya are being controlled so that the Libyan people do not have get killed wholesale. Talking heads are making this far too complicated.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  282. Spring Valley, MN

    It's very simple. Our role is to inforce resolution 1973. To allow the Libian people a level planning field to determine their own future. They want their dictaor out and a new government in. The president also said it is "US policy" that Gadafi must go! Is that really a surprise for anyone?? With all he has done, does anyone really think he should stay? The Libian people will be able to accomplish this with the resolution being sucessful. But please, it has only been two days why are we talking end game... it just started! Do we really think the President or Military leaders should come on programs to outline exactly what they intend to do?? Let them do the job you elected them to do and just report what HAS happened... don't speculate or make the news.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  283. Joseph

    I believe the United States role in the Libya offensive is what Barack Obama says, "protect the Innocent people of Libya". How are we doing it? By air force and and Navy, what ever they can do there going to do it along with the other countries involved with "Operation Odyssey Dawn" organized by the U.N. It is good that the U.S is involved, we look to help seek the peace and democracy in the countries that want it. We have already helped in 6 other Arab countries, why not go on if they let us? Which is what the oppositional force is wanting, but not just with the U.S but the U.N. As for taking out Moammar Gadhafi, we shouldnt because its not apart of "Operation Odyssey Dawn", we should let the people of Libya decide that them selves.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  284. David

    The US is holding up oil prices at the expense of Libya. The oil supplies are being supported by speculators that are supported by the government, with the event in Japan, oil price were in the processes of retreating into the 80 dollar range. Buy attacking Libya, they are supporting the prices of oil. Libya is an African country, not the middle east countr, the African congress did not support this intervention. The Arab countries and European countries will make gains if they can take the libyan oil off the market and Europe will benifit if they can gain control and sell the oil from Libya. Same as they did in Iraq, all these military actions cost the taxpayer in higher oil prices and more debt!

    Cincinnati, OH

    March 21, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  285. joe duey

    This may not be about politics but it is about politics. Following the U.N. resolution on Libya puts Pres. Obama in the usual unenvable "damned if you do and damed if you don't" situation. Those not in the decision-making situation can take pot shots. Later they can say nothing if things go right or "see, I told you" if a perception arises that the situation has gone awry. In my way of thinking one supports the decisions of those you asked for a decision in the first place, i.e., the UN and Pres. Obama. No one gets guarantees.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  286. desmadre

    Libya is an European problem. Nothing to do with the USA. If there were problems in Mexico or Cuba, would the world expect Europe to come and do something about it? It is ridiculous. Are we the policemen of the world? Can we afford it? If the UN is so impotent, get rid of it ASAP!

    March 21, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  287. Matt McClamrock

    My understanding is that we have the largest military in the world and we love to show it off. I also understand that the president is less interested in civil rights for Americans and much more interested in civil rights of citizens of another nation. There must be a billionaire in the U.S. getting rich from manufacturing bombs.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  288. dee

    Jack it is just simply a stupide moved from the Obama administration it seem like we havn't learned from Iraq or we just don't learn. Let the french deal with it. Dee from New Mexico

    March 21, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  289. mikel

    What is the nature of the Arab League's opposition to Khadaffi and why are we so willing to jump through their hoop? Surely there are no great supporters of democracy to be found in the league, and in truth we have seemed more interested in exporting McKinley era capitalism to the 3rd World than in exporting democracy, which as we can all attest can be troublesome. Farrakhan's comments the other day raised at least one interesting point: What is the nature of the unrest and whose interests does it serve?

    March 21, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  290. Jon

    I am a staunch conservative and I'm as eager to help the cause of freedom and liberty as anyone. However, I'm also a hearty cynic and firmly believe in the law of unintended consequences, which always seems to bite the USA in the butt.

    We may not like the guy or his policies, but the fact remains, Gadhafi is the sitting ruler of a sovereign state. The UN, with our full cooperation, has set the precedent of assisting an armed mob rebelling against their own government. While I tentatively support these unknown rebels in this case, are nations now to be punished for attempting to defeat armed civilian protesters attempting to overthrow their government? What happens when this occurs in a nation we DON'T despise? How can we protest something we have already supported? What if it's one of our allies? God forbid, what if it's us?

    March 21, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  291. Stephen

    I am confused as to why everyone is 'confused', – do you people not listen to your own reports??? Do you not listen to President Obama's speeches, which you carry – he has outlined & explained it all thoroughly a 'number' of times now? If you can't understand it, perhaps you should all play them over & over again until you do.
    As far as properly informing the Congress, – he did that too, remember the meeting at the White House??? What did Congress expect – that he should refer it to 'them' to decide, by striking a few 'bi-partisan committees', to discuss it until after the next election??? Get Real! They can't even decide on 'last year's budget'.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  292. Jerry Vinter

    My understanding is that we are going to break the back of Libyan military by bombing their convoys and destroying their CnC capabilities. After that, the Europeans take over the patrolling of Libyan airspace, denying Gadaffi any chance to regroup. In the meantime, we release the frozen $30 billion in Libyan assets and let the rebels buy European/American weaponry to take Gadaffi out on their own. The end game is Gadaffi and his sons either dead or in autocrat central in Saudi Arabia, a fractious but inward looking Libyan government in power and oil supply resumed.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  293. Yosef - Atlanta

    The height of hypocrisy in the West is Libya. No point in stating the obvious (oil) but it sure would be nice if there was a little equity and transparency with regards to the West's policies on the continent of Africa. Anyone remember Ivory Coast, Gabon, Djibouti...is there interest in helping the good people of these countries achieve the same goals that the Egyptians, Tunisians, and Libyans have?

    March 21, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  294. Pamela Harvey

    March 21st, 2011 5:24 pm ET
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    Dear Mr. Cafferty:

    The missile attacks on Lybia were:

    1. Iniated and agreed upon by the United Nations Security Council;

    2. The United States did not act alone. Obama acted as part of a united coalition of allies including Arab nations, England, France, etc.

    3. The air strikes were aimed at military weapon's sites in Lybia – not on Kadafi or innocent civilians;

    I do believe the United States should not conduct a war by itself!!
    I feel strongly that participation in a United Nations "peace-keeping" response to the subversive indiscriminate violence against innocent civilians and protesters MUST BE ADDRESSED.

    Leave Your Comment

    March 21, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  295. brooker in san diego

    Seems pretty clear to me. Freeze assets, get a coalition together, sanction the hell of of Libya, diminish Gadahfi's ability to get the upper hand, and let the opposition rise up while also providing humanitarian aid. Do people not listen at all?? I really don't understand the confusion. The President has been very clear on his position from the start.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  296. Gus from CA

    Our strategic role is clear and obvious. To stop the mass killing of civilians. I believe the part about not wanting to remove Kadafi is for press releases. Of course it is to remove Kadafi. Beyond that wise men do not go. First because paraphrasing Eisenhower, Plans do not survive the first day. After that is is dictated by facts on the ground. So Obama cannot box himself in by declaring we will do such and such exactly. Even if he could, he should not. It is wise not to telegraph your punches and leave the enemy guessing. My guess is the Republican noise machine knows all this and are just trying to stay relevant.

    I also expected and have seen that NO FLY means NO HEAVY ARMS. We will destroy all tanks, heavy artillery, etc, in the field. We will destroy all means of antiaircraft. We will destroy Command and Control infrastructure. And I suspect we are doing more than a share of Cyber War as well to screw up his planning and control. All these things must be included if you are to convince Kadafi that the jig is up.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  297. Kenny from Ohio

    We cannot afford, no matter the reason, to fire off over 100 Tomahawk missles all in the name of liberty. Although I am siding with the rebels, they have to do this on their own. Our military might has been stretched to the limit and is reaching its breaking point. We need to put an end to these mindless politicians in washington who want to flex our muscles at any sign of trouble. I say at this point that for every single bullet we fire in Libya, the politicians in Washington should take one dollar off of their pay and stop making us pay for something that we had absolutely no say in.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  298. Lewis

    U.S. or U.N. should not take the action such as bombing any nation without provocation. The socalled opposition in Libya were never protesting peacefully and how do you deal with armed rebels who went on , attacking, burning and destroying police and army headquarters. They are no more considered harmless civilians when they are armed and destructive. I am not in anyway condoning any tyranic ruler but you should make any bad situation worse for your own selfish interest. The money US is wasting in this offensive action could be used to house millions of homeless Americans. Obama should remember his promise of constructive dialogue with people that we disagree with.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  299. Brad - Lancaster, Ky

    I understand and approve of the No-fly zone and missile attacks on military targets. We cant sit back and let a mad man kill his own people because they want human rights. Obama did a great job of waiting for and securing a coalition of many nations. And it is brilliant to hand over command to a coalition commander so as not to seem as the US attacking alone another muslin nation. I only wonder why he didn't have to ask congress for authorization like Bush did before Iraq.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  300. Bill

    My understanding is that France and the UK have been itching for an opportunity to try out their Eurofighter in a live fire training mission. I feel Obama was pressured into this. There is no real goal here, only doing "something" for the sake of training. Quite an expensive fireworks show- each of those 120+ tomahawks cost 3.5 mil.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
  301. Dan in New Jersey

    We went in Libya for the same reason we should've gone into Sudan long ago. Isn't it interesting that America is only obsessed with overthrowing dictators in countries that are rich in oil?

    March 21, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
  302. floss from Philly

    Jack this is a civil war, we should let them work out their own problems, who do we think we are, we are not responsible for the world, leave them alone, we should work on diplomacy with the leaders of other countries after they decide who they should be. Japan needs our help, I don't want my tax dollars going to another Arab country, when they hate us. They want our help tell them to pay us back in oil.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
  303. Conor in Chicago

    The more I watch this play out the more I think Obama is simply trying to prevent the Europeans from making matters worse. The Europeans have made it clear in certain circles that they are terrified of a massive refugee crisis engulfing Europe in general and France in particular. Add to that the fact that Sarkozy made a fool of himself during the Tunisia/Egypt affairs and is looking for a way to recover from that and it was almost assured that France and other like-minded European countries were going to act whether the US cared to or not. It’s important to remind ourselves that North Africans in Europe are like Latinos in America: A powerful minority.

    Seeing as how Gadhfi would see an attack from Europe as an attack from America anyways Obama likely concluded that the lesser of two evils was to make sure this silliness played out as best it could. And for that to happen you needed 112 Tomahawk missiles, among other things.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  304. Greg

    Much like Hans Solo (coalition forces) clearing the way for a young Luke Skywalker (Libyan "rebels") to take the shot that would end the death star, the United States (along with Coalition forces) are in Libya to protect those Libyans who wish to live a free and peaceable existence by ensuring that they be allowed to begin a new Libya void of tyranny.

    If they so desire, it will be the people of Libya which will remove Moammar Gadhafi, not the United States or Coalition forces. We will be there only as an empowering body.

    I don't care for Obama's politics, but I do think this has a very good chance to succeed. It keeps our presence and internal meddling to a minimum (troops and $ - diplomacy didn't stand a chance), and allows the people to rise up and form a government (that hopefully resembles our Republic) while protecting them physically all the while they move forward towards that endeavor.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  305. Strom

    The United States and its allies will not commit ground forces to the operation in Libya. The United States seeks to support the rebels and isolate Gadaffi's support base into a small corridor around Tripoltania. From there, Gadaffi will be unable to fly in any more mercenaries, and will be cut off from his supplies. From there, Gadaffi and his support base will collapse, and the people of Libya will change the government. We will not appoint a leader. That part is up to the people of Libya.

    Strom in Charleston, South Carolina

    March 21, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
  306. Terry

    My understanding is to go in, take out the weapons that could be used to kill the civilians and let the other UN partners take over. But, lets face it. It doesn't matter what Obama says, does, doesn't say, doesn't do, Republicans will highly criticize his every move. This guy can't breathe without someone taking a stand on how appalled they are by that behavior. Democrats are not much better. Non-stop smear campaigns. Don't these politicians know they are so obvious it's sickening? Lets get rid of them all and start over again.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
  307. Doug Steele, Champaign, IL

    Our goal is simple, to protect civilians from being killed by their leader whom our President says “must go” and who we are not authorized to remove. We will succeed in not removing this leader by means of a No-Fly-Zone, which will effectively reduce the leader’s ground assets by actively targeting objects that don’t fly. To avoid unilateral condemnation of our actions by the Arab world, we will be led in absentia by one of them, so that the others may criticize us for the actions they have authorized. We will know we have successfully achieved our goal, when the leader we have not removed periodically makes statements verifying that he is still in power, that his armored vehicles are no longer capable of flying, and that he has the support of his neighboring nations, who, by the way, unanimously condemn the abominable actions we have taken on our own.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
  308. Hayat Libya

    It's not just the NFZ , I guess we were also hoping for a no-drive-zone. The tanks before Zintan and Misrata are destroying the cities, making holes into the civilian buildings, kiling on sight anyone attempting to get out then, with hundreds of snipers on each roof of each house taken from its families. You must continue to help us as long as our new legit authorities ask you to (which btwm every country out there needs to recognize ASAP), please, if only to redeem yourselves from the dark shadow of the happenings in Iraq still hauting you as you come to help us with the accord of the Arab league and the permission of the UN. I have lost so many of my family in Zawia and still do not know what's become of the rest of the family as I cannot contact them yet. There is enough hell with the thousands of armed mercenaries killing about 400 per day everywhere for the past month. Please don't make this anymore difficult on the Libyan people, it's bad enough they had to ask for this help, beg for it for a month, long enough for 13 000 of the bravest, youngest to be gone. If the Libyans thinks their allies have crossed a line, they will say it. So far we're naively trusting the world, but also sending our message of hope for peace with a voice that cannot leave anyone indifferent. Gaddafi has to go, worry not about hitting him by accident, we won't feel too bad about it. And please arm the freedom fighters, they need to come save the West side of the country turned into a giant prison with executions and tortured and rape being practiced on a regular bases in this blocade.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
  309. Mo

    Jack, I'm confused too. What the president calls "the U.S. policy on Lybia" is somewhat different from the UN resolution. The last thing this country needs is another war. These so-called coalition forces are in it for now and we all know it's gonna end up being an American war. My advise, don't do it Mr. President. And honestly, these guys in Lybia totally deviated from the model used by their fellow Middle Easterns in Tunisian and Egypt. Those were peaceful movements and this one in Lybia is anything but peaceful. They started this war and now they want us to go fight it for them. They should have copied Egypt and maybe we wouldn't have gotten to this point.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
  310. Kevin in Albuquerque

    Well once again we're sticking our nose in where it does not belong, the same things are going on in Yemen, Bahrain and Syria, are we going to do same thing is those countries ? And the reason congress was"nt told of this is because it was not an announcement of war. that is the only time they need to be notified. And as far as impeachment, HA HA HA, I can only laugh at that threat, by the time they pull that off Obama's term will be done and we will have another knucklehead in office to deal with.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
  311. Sander Schimmelpenninck

    I think the US (1) is limiting the ability of a hated dictator to kill his opponents "like rats, house tot house, room to room," (2) has widespread support, even from the Arab League, (3) has no plans to invade Libya. Whatever any US president does will be bitterly opposed by some groups. In this case I think the incumbent is doing the right thing. With Benghazi about to fall, he had to act quickly. At least Obama does not seem to have lied, as Bush the Younger did to start a war.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
  312. lou

    We're committed with the French and Britain, with the ok by the Arab League to fulfill the UN resolution of bringing a halt to Ghadaffi's upcoming slaughter of his people. The guy went on international TV and told the world he would show his own people 'no mercy.' Are we supposed to pretend that didn't happen?

    March 21, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
  313. Nelson Rodriguez

    Our purpose is to help the Libyian people further their aim toward democracy. Without our military actions against Gadhafi's army, it will never happen. However, this will not mean that once Gadhafi is gone everyone will become law abiding citizens and vote freely. It took the United States over 400 years to achieve the democratic reforms we cherish today. Libiya has a very long, long way to go . . .

    March 21, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
  314. Jorge

    There is NO strategy for the attack on Libya. Gaddafi has gas and vast military resources at his disposal, more than 75,000 troops, planes, rockets, tanks, etc. He will not leave Libya without trying to destroy everything and kill everyone that opposes him. The coalition forces are shooting at targets when they don't know what they are aiming at because they lack the intelligence, ask Admiral Mullen. The U.S. has spent hundreds of millions of US Dollars already to waive the sword, without any goal or real commitment that we have agreed to in consensus. Gaddafi has forced Pres. Obama's hand to act prematurely and without a clear strategy, and the President, unfortunately, has made irrational decisions for appearances sake.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
  315. Gerry


    Here's the deal. I'm a military member, our job is to help uphold the ideals of free nations and prevent crimes against humanity; that is if we are acting with the UN and NATO forces.

    I volunteered for service and went to Afghanistan and Iraq with the intent on helping bring down a terrorist network that helped kill thousands of our civilians. Their crimes against humanity itself was enough to make me fight. Oil, land, and power had nothing to do with why I went. Maybe for other people but not me.

    If Libya's military is killing civilians let me in first. I will gladly go first. It's the type of person I am. To me, we're going because atrocities are being committed. It needs to stop, and it needs to stop right now. God Bless the USA.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
  316. Jack


    My understanding of our role in Libya is two-fold.

    With the ground swell of middle-eastern youth taking to the streets in protest over lack of basic freedoms, they saw what was achieved in Egypt as possible for their own countries. Fortunately in Egypt, Mubarak didn't turn his military on his own people and their revolution succeeded.

    Unlike Egypt, Gadhafi is hell bent on holding power and killing anyone who protests against him. His recent successes in quashing the demonstrations and rebels was nearing completion. Without the U.N. (our) intervention, it would give license to all the long-term rulers to do the same to their people. Therefore, Obama's and our allies aim is to send a message to the rest of the Arab world, that we will intercede on behalf of democracy.

    In the eyes of those middle eastern youth and in the U.S., the President had waited too (a necessary step to get the UN to go along) long to support the Libyan rebellion. This was putting political pressure on him by Republicans and members of his own party. The decision to intervene or not, was weighed, and now the President is firmly focused on the outcome. He pictures pictures a future Libya without Gadhafi just as George Bush saw a future Iraq with Saddam Hussein. The die is cast. Finally, this also sends a big message to Hugo Chavez in Venezuela.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
  317. Kevin Durant

    Protect the Lybian civilians. Make sure the Gaddafi regime retreats. Uphold a ceasefire. (opposition & regime) I have just found by CNN that U.S. policy is for Gaddafi to go. Thats what I understand.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
  318. Scott Reed

    My understanding is that a lot of people agree that Gadhafi is a loose cannon in a country that controls vital resources. His attempts to put down Libya's uprising against him have given these many nations an excuse, albeit thinly veiled, to remove him from power while claiming to be only there to protect the citizens of Libya.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
  319. Lewis (Nova Scotia, Canada)

    U.S. or U.N. should not take the action such as bombing any nation without provocation. The socalled opposition in Libya were never protesting peacefully and how do you deal with armed rebels who went on , attacking, burning and destroying police and army headquarters. They are no more considered harmless civilians when they are armed and destructive. I am not in anyway condoning any tyranic ruler but we should not make any bad situation worse for our own selfish interest. The money US is wasting in this offensive action could be used to house millions of homeless Americans. Obama should remember his promise of constructive dialogue with people that we disagree with.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
  320. Dave Coover

    I would hope we are interested in preventing the Libyan people that are speaking up from being killed...which is sort of what has been proposed. The old saying "if you can't do something smart, at least do something that's right" or as my dad says..."do something!!"

    March 21, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
  321. Ann

    Our role stop the killing of innocent civilians, use the resources the other nations didn't have. Now we level the playing field, allow the rest of nations pick up the job.

    As to the Congress & Speaker saying they don't understand ... Our President speaks very clear, distinct ENGLISH. He, President Obama was cautious, prudent and willing to consult with members of Congress, his cabinet prior to taking any action. He Listen, then ACTED.

    Not like the rest(Palin, Rep.) who want to strike, shoot and then wonder now what.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
  322. James Beckett

    Jack, political and economic opportunism never seems to cease, anywhere.
    When one considers the plurality of brutal regimes the US has both partnered with and propped up, it was incumbent upon the US to not act unilaterally in the Libyan case. I fully support your efforts there. They are just, they were pleaded for by the people you are helping and clearly they were needed.
    My question is how is it possible when there are such gains to be made in the hearts and minds of people the world over, that some in your Congress have the need to shout down the good work done in the name of the suppressed. Those politicians are sheer opportunists and should be seen as such. They have nothing to add to the mix except division.
    It is high time that one nation on this planet started to act like its' forefathers wanted it to, that is to truly act in the name democracy and the inevitable freedom that results from it. Acting on behalf of people who can clearly judge the true nature of any intervention is the most important criteria in determining 'national strategic interest'.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
  323. Deborah DeVane Sterling, VA

    Our job? Drop a few bombs, hopefully take out a crazed weasel of a dictator and then come home. Let the rest of the countries do the heavy lifting for a change. But we went in there to prevent a slaughter. Just that simple. Good job for Pres Obama. Good Job for Our Military Heroes. Good on ya to the Libyan people. We've cleared the way, now go kick Gadhafi's butt.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
  324. Ron

    My understanding of America's role in Libya is what ever works for us. There is no clear messages from Wasington or from UN. And where is press confrence of France leader's. We were told before the strike that France is the leading coalition froce. I understand that we are being lied again by our GOVT. and media is very good job of not doing its job(remember Iraq war). Free pass to Mr. Bush's policy towards Iraq.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
  325. Warren Schlesinger

    Hillary Clinton and Bob Gates are not potted plants. The US is trying to stop Gadhafi fom reasserting control over the country and is trying to provide breathing space for the rebels so that they can regroup and gain control over the whole country. The US would like to not have this seen as a US operation in the same Iraq and Afghanistan are. This makes sense unless you are a Republican politician looking to score political point.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:52 pm |

    My understanding is that the US government is messaging that these strikes are meant to protect innocents from military action by Gadhafi. However, my understanding is also that our government has no concrete plan as to an suitable ending... nor do they really know who the rebels are that they are assisting. I also understand that there is little agreement with these actions amongst the real countries that should be helping Lybia: Libya's neighbors.

    Are these rebels really the people we want having an upper hand in Libya?

    No one seems to be asking this question.


    March 21, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
  327. Robert H. Smith

    The U.S. and its allies are trying to prevent Gaddafi from overwhelming and killing off the Libyan opposition. It's a worthwhile operation. Immediate action was necessary. Kucinich is an idiot who shouldn't even be in Congress. Lugar knows good and well what this is about - stopping a massacre - but he's being difficult. If we had waited on Lugar to satisfy his qualms, we'd be listening to the screams of Gaddafi's victims in Benghazi.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
  328. Amal

    Please support our president and stand united againist this terrorist the Queddafi and his family. CNN stop all the analysis and sending messages to the butcher of Libya that we are not united on this we are united the american are , we are the leaders of the world , lets get rid of him once of all.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
  329. Hugh

    Our role is to help the rebels in a civil war in Libya. The 2% of the worlds oil that Libya produces is not the reason we are there. What I really don't understand is why the Arab League of Nations requested NATO to set up a No Fly zone! The 22 members of the Arab League spends $50.2 Billion a year on their military. They have F-14s, F-15s. F-16s, and F-18s with the best air to air missiles that money can buy. Why do they ask NATO to step in and then complain about the resulting actions?

    March 21, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
  330. vin

    First it was Iraq oil. We killed hundreds of thousands and razed the country. All lies were tolded.
    Brits and France wants to control Libya oil.
    To save the people of Libya is a lie and we are a party to it.
    UN is always high jacked by first world countries for their sinful activities.
    Shame on us all.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
  331. Chris Weaver

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    First of all this is nothing like Iraq. 1- George bush took us into a war based upon lies of weapons of mass disctuction. 2- 1973 says we are there to protect the civilian population. Gaddafi has used his military, his police, and his spies to attack civilians. Getting rid of Gaddafi, and protecting civilians, is one in the same. If Gaddafi stays in power then the population of Libya suffers, he must go.
    The President did inform the congress that if the UN resolution passed that there would be swift action, as it should be. 2- We did not lead the attack against Gaddafi, the French did. 3- The military operates under the control of the commander in chief. Not the congress.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
  332. Nurul Aman

    This is the right time for the US and its allies to support the people of North Africa and the Middle Eastern countries for gaining their freedom to choose their future for economic prosperity and education for all men and women. This is our time to help the people in that region to eliminate the rule of feudalism and dictatorship from the whole region. These centuries old suppression of the people in the name of religion is not helping those people to see the lights of their lives with science and technology. It is the responsibility of the West to help them get out of the darkness of brutality and tyranny of their dictatorship so that they can build their better future. They must learn the value of democracy and freedom with good education and science such as Israel to make the country prosperous and strong. They must learn from their neighbor Israel how to build a great nation starting from zero.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
  333. danny in Toronto

    I believe the United States' power and supiorority was called out, and tested by an ignorent old man. I've watched it unfold, and cant help but notice that its mostly about ego's. That old man's ego,"he called on nuclear bombs", and Hillary Clintons ego," having to defend the United States supiorority". I know the United States wants to stop the killing of the libian citizens, but it does seem selective considering the turmoil all over the region. Hello, Bahrain..

    March 21, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
  334. James Wilson

    Our role in LIbya is to soak up some of those excess tax dollars that might otherwise go to something frivolous, like education or helping the elderly pay for their heating bills.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
  335. u2good2go

    Dover, DE.. This is another sad decision on the part of the American government. If we have personal issues with Gadhafi, we should handle it in a different manner instead of support rebels as a way of retaliation. Here are the problems: 1. The mission is not defined. What is the definition of victory for this mission or when will it end. 2. We do not have any direct connection with the rebel group.
    I thought we should have learned enough lessons from Iraq, Afghanistan, and other wars, and learn to better approach issues such as this.
    If Russia or China (who are not part of the coalition) decides to support Gadhafi, where are we headed? Another oil trouble?

    March 21, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
  336. Gabriel

    What we understand and what the coalition forces understand are two different things. In addition, each member of the coalition forces' military have a different objective all together, but one they will not share with other members of the same coalition.

    There is no doubt that every person that has been around since the 70's understands that Colonel Gaddafi is one of the most saddistic dictators in the history of the modern world. So, we would like this man's dictatorship to end. However, Libya is a sovereign nation, and like many other nations that have suffered through the pain, blood shed, or all the other nasty aspects of civil war, Libya has to endure it themselves.

    Now, the nations of the world can assist our Libyan brothers, just as France assisted the United States, to fight those that oppress them. One thing is for sure: Blood will be spilled, and in some cases, Libyans will raise arms against their Libyan brothers. This because there are supporters of Gaddafi, and of course there are those who oppose him. But the notion that this will be resoved without the shedding of human blood, unfortunately is incorrect.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
  337. Vanansio Samson

    France has influenced the US into this war and now we are stack with another deficit. We did that in Iraq, Afghanistan, and now Libya. What next? Yemen, Qatar, or even Syria. The amount the US is spending in this wars should be use to solve problems of mortgage melt down or pay off some mortgages held by jobless Americans as a goodwill.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
  338. Brian

    I believe Pres. Obama wanted nothing to do with this No-Fly business, but he and his European friends realized that it was going to be IMPOSSIBLE without the help of the United States of America. Sure the French made a show by sending a few aircraft over Libya and the Brits fired off a few missiles, but the only nation that has the ability to put the whole package together is the USA. This is perhaps more important than the situation in Libya at this moment. It literally means that Europe is so combat ineffective they can’t police anything beyond their own borders. Obama had no choice but to back up his European allies and their oil supply, no matter whether Libya has anything to do with direct US interest. Otherwise, Europe would have been exposed as the empty shell militaries they are…

    March 21, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
  339. Donnie H.

    The President made it clear. Clear to anyone besides the Right who turn a deaf ear and closed mind when it comes to anything the President does. Just as with health care reform the President could have explained it for a year and they would still be saying they don't understand it. It was made clear that we are merely there to implement a no fly zone and protect the citizens from attacks by the military. No ground troops just help taking out air defenses and providing logistical support. Translated for the Right "We're going to blow up airports and radar and help our allies (friends) plan further action. Only the right could be in the dark. Maybe Gov. Walker shouldn't cut education. It appears the Right is in desperate need of an education from someone other than Fox...

    March 21, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
  340. Bani watum

    Is there any difference between what Europe did to Asian and African countries in the 19th century and what the US and Europe is doing in the 21st century to Libya, Iraq, and other countaries of Asia and Africa? Goals are same but the methods are more deadly. Exactly same shameless colonialism and imperialism. No change at all!

    March 21, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
  341. Hayat Libya

    The wold needs to be rid of Gaddafi, I am affraid that at this point, all the coalition forces have done is give us hope and help out a little. We really expected a lot more, a lot more quickly. Too many people are still dying in Misrata, Zintan notably today. Tripoli, Zawia and all cities in the West are trapped by Pro-Gaddafi forces, they are going through the worst of things. Of course, we know the world helping us today is probably not parading its armies without any interests expected. But if anything, just the fact they might help erase some of their sins in Iraq makes this worth believing in. Naive, perhaps, it takes a lot of that to uphold principles of freedom and justice at the cost of thousands of lives.
    Let the Libyans choose, they've hard earned the right. It's their risk to take, it's their people to save. Help them ANYWAY you can, arm them, send them humanitarian aids of all kind, they are in dire need of support, whatever you think you're doing to help, it's STILL NOT ENOUGH.

    March 21, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
  342. Chelle

    Americans are funny and sad all at the same time. You whine "we're not the world police" – and now that the UN is leading you whine " why is the UN telling us what to do". The US role in Libya is quite clearly laid out, by President Obama, by S of S Clinton, by Resolution 1973. The leaders of Congress were in the "loop". Was the President supposed to phone each individual member and get their opinion? I thought the Republicans thought he was dithering and moving too slow?

    March 21, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
  343. Matt Reardon

    If the only way of stopping libyan troops, by order of Gaddafi, from continuously trying to eliminate any human resistance to his policies is to take out command and control elements, then this should be supported. Now, since the command is coming directly from the top of the "command and control" elements, I don't understand why media, and others, do not understand that, yes, while Gaddafi is not a target, he may just "have to go".

    March 21, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
  344. Keio Ogawa

    Normally a pacifist, I am in complete support of UN (and US) actions. I have been watching CNN a lot due to recent events, and thanks to CNN, feel clear enough. My understanding of US's role is exactly what Pres. Obama stated today in Chile, that the military actions by the UN (including the US) are humanitarian, to protect Libyan civilians, and that US policy (separate from the military action) wants Gadhafi gone, and the US has already done much (non-military) in that direction.

    Maybe if Speaker John Boehner watched CNN he would know more about what's happening. Seriously though, the UN action in Libya is already late, IMO, and getting 'permission' from Congress would have taken so long to have killed any hope the Libyan peasants had, not to mention their lives.

    If members of Congress are simply complaining about being 'properly' INFORMED, then they are disrespecting the president, and undermining his authority in front of the world doing so publicly. Some folks have no manners.

    If they want to object to the US's involvement with the UN resolution to take action in Libya, they should pipe down about communication etiquette, and go through the proper channels to object to helping the Libyan people. It's not just Obama that made these decisions. Did he break any rules? If not, they are just haters.

    March 21, 2011 at 6:00 pm |
  345. George

    You have got to be kidding me. The lead republicans were the first spoiling for this fight telling Obama he's too slow to act.
    Well Obama set this intervention up through NATO correctly and by definition that process is slow but it is legal.
    The mission stated by the President is clear as a bell unless you don’t want to look or listen. No boots on the ground protect the opposition currently under fire and suppress the Gaddafi forces with airstrikes, make a window for the NATO forces and hand off the progress to NATO command to continue watch until the snake stops moving.
    We are trying to squeeze Gaddafi forces and sources until he cannot move or breath. The Libyan people that are called the opposition need to step up and remove him not us...
    The Libyan people have to when this battle and they are the only ones that no friend from foe.
    Clearly President Obama did not want this fight. The only thing I need from Obama is the exit strategy not how long it’s going to take to get Gaddafi.
    Oh congress they can’t even make a budget. Republicans, Independents and Democrats are useless. Aren’t they supposed to be making JOBS!!!!!!!!! for the citizens of the United States?
    At least Obama is trying to stimulate trade in South America so our companies can sell more products to them and that means we can hire more people to make those products.

    March 21, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
  346. Martha

    My understanding of America's role is that we're at war. A fighter jet, troops, or support sent, that is our own, which is sent across a border of another nation in order to aid and abet killing someone else, is why many people consider it war. "Supporting" killing, is just as bad as killing in my opinion.

    Cherry picking when you want to call it "support" or when you call it "a nation at war" is ridiculous. Let's make it perfectly clear, if an innocent child or women can accidentally be killed by something on the ground OR by something raining down on them from the sky. We, in the civilized world, call this war no matter how you fluff it up.

    This was an internal civil matter that should have been left to the Libyans in my opinion. It's not that I'm unsympathetic. I say this only because there's no clear guidelines being followed as we tromp around the middle east going from country to country.

    March 21, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
  347. Kevin

    As I understand it, our role is to support the no-fly zone mission by the U.N. However, I think most people didn't expect the no-fly zone to mean dropping bombs left and right.
    My issue is why do we get involved with a humanitarian mission to protect the people of Libya, but have not gotten militarily involved in Congo or Sudan where much more people were being killed? I know this wasn't our initiative, but a U.N. But is it safe to say the U.N. cares less about African nations?

    March 21, 2011 at 6:02 pm |
  348. Sam

    The US bombs yet another country.. The US needs to stay OUT of Libya

    March 21, 2011 at 6:57 pm |
  349. Bob East

    CNN has reported that UN forces- that would include US aircraft- did the riads on Libya.
    Why is this so har dto understand? Or did CNN give us the wrong information?
    Further- why is anyone confused by this? The 24/7 news people of both parties have been reporting what will be done, by whom and how it should be done for over a week.
    Before 24 hours news cycles you got this information in 15 minutes from Walter Conrkite, or Huntley /Brinkley and understood it just fine.

    March 21, 2011 at 7:01 pm |