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Obama May Arm Libyan Rebels

In an interview with NBC’s Brian Williams, President Obama tonight indicated he is considering arming the Libyan rebels.

“Our primary military goal is to protect civilian populations and to set up the no-fly zone,” he said, but “we’re not taking anything off the table at this point.”

“One of the questions that we want to answer is do we start getting to a stage where Gadhafi’s forces are sufficiently degraded where it may not be necessary to arm opposition groups,” he said.

Asked whether the U.S. could take that step, Obama said: “I’m not ruling it out, but I’m not ruling it in. We’re still making an assessment partly about what Gadhafi’s forces are going to be doing.”

The idea has spawned fierce debate in Washington. Here’s the video.

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11 Responses to Obama May Arm Libyan Rebels

  1. I just get a sinking feeling in my gut when I think about this.
    Apparently Khalifa Hifter, the Robert E. Lee of this rag-tag band, used to be on our payroll. Still, once these things get out of the bag and rolling in a combat environment accountability of war material goes to shit. We should exercise great caution and restrict any support to food, medical supplies and equipment. No weapons.
    In the meatime, we should immediately determine a demarcation line and bomb the crap out of anything that moves west of it.

  2. If your going to do it,do it and get it over with,dont give them false hopes..We can end this in a week or in months..Grow a pair n take a chance…What choice is there

  3. Oh, boy, that would be just great. We could give them some GM pickups to replace their 15yr old Toyotas, some automatic weapons so that they could continue to shoot into the air, boxes of explosive materials with the “bombs for dummies” manual included, scrounge up some WWII jeeps and tanks from the US surplus yard and some K-rations to satisfy their munchie attacks. Yep. Good idea.
    Nah, we should give them some of our million-dollar tanks that take 6months of training to operate, bulletproof(?) vests, night vision goggles, high impact sniper rifles with the mollycoated armor piercing bullets and let them go at it. Nah, that’s not a good idea either.
    Well, that just leaves the US Marines to do the job and by golly, they’re already on their way.

  4. No, please keep the weapons. This is a ruthless clan-war. I don´t think any side care about civilians. When we are in this mess the overriding goal must be to keep the country from developing into an islamistic nation. Khadaffi, with all his faults, was no Ahmadinejad. What is the least evil, a now vengeful Khadaffi still in power, maybe in a split Libya, or these rebels with their dubious connections claiming a victory in this oil-rich country ? Is it possible for the west to “tame” them ?

  5. Based on what I’ve seen of the so called ‘rebels’ they seem to struggle with even basic weaponry. The sophisticated weaponry that will be needed will require accompanying training in all aspects of it’s deployment and accurate use.

    The questions then will become; who will supply them?, what will they be?, who will train the users?, and, in the end, who will account for all aspects of the weapons use and retention?

    If the answer is “well, we’re working on that” , i would suggest talk of this is premature.