Lawmakers Push President Obama to Be Tougher on Libya
Joby Warrick and Scott Wilson of the Washington Post are reporting that congressional leaders prodded the Obama administration on Sunday for a more aggressive U.S. response to Libya's increasingly brutal attacks on opposition groups -- calling for a no-fly zone and other military measures -- but White House officials cautioned against being drawn into a potentially protracted and costly military campaign.
Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.), chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, for the first time raised the possibility of bombing military airfields in Libya to deny the use of runways to Muammar Qaddafi's air force. Two of the Senate's top Republicans, Mitch McConnell (Ky.) and John McCain (Ariz.), also spoke in favor of U.S. military involvement to keep Libyan warplanes grounded.
"We can't risk allowing Qaddafi to massacre people from the air," McCain, the ranking Republican on the Armed Services Committee, said on ABC's This Week With Christiane Amanpour.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates has cautioned against military involvement, which is being supported by White House Chief of Staff William M. Daley, who cited the difficulty of enforcing a no-fly zone over Libya, a vast country armed with modern, Russian-supplied anti-aircraft defenses.
Congress needs to get in sync with the reality of the situation and stop scapegoating President Obama. One of the harsh realities in entering a war on false information is that your resources are spoken for and limited. Another harsh reality is that the U.S. cannot go in there with guns blazing and yet again have no plan for the fallout or aftermath. It's not rocket science -- it's common sense. Congress can continue spewing rhetoric, and we'll pay attention to what the defense secretary has to say.
Read more at the Washington Post.
In other news: Haiti Celebrates First Carnival Since Earthquake.