- Israel hits symbols of Hamas rule; scores killed
- Mississippi abortion law can’t be enforced
- Teacher who survived Sandy Hook has book deal
- Jury awards Jesse Ventura $1.8M in case vs. ‘American Sniper’ author Chris Kyle
- Middle Eastern firm’s deal to manage U.S. cargo port raises security concerns
- Bob McDonnell’s defense: Lonely wife developed ‘crush’ on CEO
- Chinese hackers stole ‘huge quantities’ of sensitive data on Israel’s Iron Dome
- House Republicans unveil bill to speed deportations of border children
- Californians protest middle school for hiring white man to teach cultural studies
- Killer’s sentencing overturned because mother couldn’t find seat in courtroom
Obama to Gadhafi: Stop or face military action
Question of the Day
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama demanded Friday that Moammar Gadhafi halt all military attacks on civilians and said that if the Libyan leader did not stand down the United States would join other nations in launching military action against him.
But the president also stressed the United States “is not going to deploy ground troops into Libya.”
In a brief appearance at the White House, Obama said Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton would travel to Paris on Saturday to join allies in discussing next steps in Libya, where Gadhafi has pressed a brutal crackdown against rebels trying to end his 42-year reign.
Stressing that the United States was acting in concert with European allies and Arab nations, the president said, “Our goal is focused, our cause is just and our coalition is strong.”
Obama’s remarks came less than 24 hours after the United Nations Security Council voted to authorize military action — including a “no-fly zone” over Libya — to prevent the killing of civilians by Gadhafi’s forces.
The president spoke with congressional leaders before his public statement, but an official said no request was made for formal congressional action.
Obama drew quick support from House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, a longtime critic of the war in Iraq.
“I commend the president for his leadership and prudence on how our nation will proceed in regards to Libya and work in concert with European and Arab allies to address the crisis,” she said in a written statement.
At the White House, Obama said there should be no doubt about Gadhafi’s intentions “because he has made them clear. Just yesterday, speaking of the city of Benghazi, a city of roughly 700,000, he threatened ‘we will have no mercy and no pity.’ No mercy on his own citizens.”
The president has been criticized by some U.S. lawmakers and others for not moving more forcefully while Gadhafi has regrouped in recent days and taken the offensive against the rebels. Obama said the United States and other nations have imposed sanctions on Libya, frozen assets of the leader and delivered humanitarian supplies to bordering countries to help ease the plight of thousands fleeing the fighting.
He did not specify what responsibilities would fall to the United States if military action is carried out against Gadhafi, but officials have said previously that American forces would help enforce a no-fly zone to prevent the Libyan leader from using his air force to bomb civilians.
The president made no reference to a Libya’s declaration of an immediate cease-fire on Friday — a statement that a rebel spokesman said was fiction.
Instead, Obama listed a series of demands for Gadhafi, including the halting of all attacks against civilians, a stop to military action against Benghazi and other cities and permission for humanitarian supplies to reach the civilian population of the country.
TWT Video Picks
- Boehner rules out impeachment: 'Scam started by Democrats'
- Obama thanks Muslims for 'building the very fabric of our nation'
- Federal judge grants 90-day stay in D.C. gun case
- Inside the Beltway: Immigration rage festers on all sides
- Obama's brother wears Hamas scarf bearing anti-Israel slogans in photo
- D.C. seeks to stay judge's order allowing gun owners to carry in public
- Smugglers, rainstorm combine to poke holes in border fence
- Hillary Clinton: Forget Obama, George W. Bush made her 'proud to be an American'
- Obama: 'Not a new Cold War,' but new Russia sanctions announced
- Hillary Clinton: I was indeed 'dead broke,' but shouldn't have said so
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world