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Obama Changes Libya Mission to Ousting Qaddafi

President Obama is formally adding the removal of Muammar Qaddafi to the Libya war, declaring that NATO bombing will not end until Qaddafi is gone.

In an op-ed piece published today in the International Herald Tribune, Le Figaro, and the Times of London, Obama, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, and British Prime Minister David Cameron write what was obvious to others when the “kinetic military exercise” began – that the Libyan people will never be safe as long as Qaddafi walks the streets of Tripoli.

So long as Qaddafi is in power, NATO must maintain its operations so that civilians remain protected and the pressure on the regime builds. Then a genuine transition from dictatorship to an inclusive constitutional process can really begin, led by a new generation of leaders. In order for that transition to succeed, Qaddafi must go and go for good.

The mission now also includes nation building, the trio of leaders suggest.

The United Nations and its members should help the Libyan people as they rebuild where Qaddafi has destroyed — to repair homes and hospitals, to restore basic utilities, and to assist Libyans as they develop the institutions to underpin a prosperous and open society.

Nothing serious is done by the United Nations, of course, without substantial input and leadership from the United States.

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7 Responses to Obama Changes Libya Mission to Ousting Qaddafi

  1. Keith,

    I have to disagree with your analysis. After reading the complete article, it sounds as if they’re saying that Qaddafi must go, but that there will not actually be action to remove him. They write that it would be really great if he steps down, but state specifically that the “unprecedented* international legal mandate” only authorizes them to protect citizens and not to remove Qaddafi. The article is as spineless and useless as one of the UN’s strongly worded letters.

    *Note – This statement that they have an “unprecedented international legal mandate” is false. OIF had just as much of an “international legal mandate” and, in fact, had a broader coalition.

    • I don’t know, William, I thought this statement was dispositive – “so long as Qaddafi is in power, NATO must maintain its operations so that civilians remain protected and the pressure on the regime builds.” But the whole operation has been marked by ambiguity about goals. I had to pluck out the headline for them, and I agree it’s confusing – and typical – that they don’t start with what they are really trying to say.

      • I can see how you could interpret it that way. However, this little caveat in the final paragraph was most telling to me: “Britain, France and the United States will not rest until the United Nations Security Council resolutions have been implemented and the Libyan people can choose their own future.” Once Qaddafi has killed off his opponents and no longer needs to use violence, then he will stop using violence and the UNSCR is fulfilled. Mission accomplished…so to speak.

  2. Our planes are still dropping bombs. We are killing people. If the people we kill support Kaddafi, then we are killing Libyans who have made a choice of their leadership. Who are we to tell the people of Libya that their choice to support Kaddafi is wrong and they will die at our hands for not choosing to oust their leader.
    There are millions of Americans who wish to oust MrO from the Presidency. These people don’t want to abide by the laws and regulations that MrO supports and has signed into law. They believe that their leaders are ignoring certain laws and conducting illegal wars.
    The masses are suffering from unemployment, rapid inflation, homelessness and want MrO to stop killing people in other countries.
    So what’s different here.