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Lieberman and Rubio on Libya Debate: Get Over It and Move On Lieberman and Rubio on Libya Debate: Get Over It and Move On

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Defense / libya

Lieberman and Rubio on Libya Debate: Get Over It and Move On

photo of Olga Belogolova
June 23, 2011

As the House continues to challenge the administration on the U.S. engagement in Libya, Sens. Joe Lieberman, ID-Conn., and Marco Rubio, R-Fla., say it’s time to accept reality and move on to ending Muammar el-Qaddafi’s regime.

“The deepening confrontation between the White House and Congress over Libya is both counterproductive and unnecessary,” the two write in a Wall Street Journal op-ed Thursday, saying that we are engaged whether we like it or not now.

House members have been criticizing the U.S. involvement in Libya for weeks now, going so far as filing a lawsuit against President Obama as well as threatening to defund the operation due to their concerns over the lack of congressional approval under the War Powers Act.

 

But Lieberman and Rubio argue that Congress is wasting time with such actions and that the priority should be taking down Qaddafi.

“To guarantee the mission's success, it is vital that the U.S. officially recognize the Transitional National Council, provide additional resources to support the council, and intensify strike operations to target the [Qaddafi] regime,” they write.

A disengagement, they argue, would “inflict irreparable damage on the NATO alliance,” potentially leaving room for Qaddafi’s regime to triumph and emerge “even more dangerous and determined to seek his revenge through terrorism against the countries in NATO and the Arab League that tried and failed to overthrow him.”

Though they say they "share the frustration" over the Obama administration's lack of explanation of U.S objectives in Libya, the two say that the constructive thing to do would be to back the efforts and give the White House time and space to answer those questions.

In that vein, the two senators call for Congress to pass a resolution sponsored by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. aimed at supporting American involvement in Libya for a year.

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