|00:00:00||McCAIN: I THANK YOU, MR.|
|00:00:02||PRESIDENT. I'M AWARE THAT MOST OF MY COLLEAGUES ARE TAKE THE FLOOR TODAY TO SPEAK ABOUT THE POTENTIAL SHUTDOWN OF OUR GOVERNMENT AND VERY APPROPRIATELY SO AND I AM OPPOSED STRONGLY TO A A GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN -- TO A GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN.|
|00:00:17||I WANT TO NOTE ITS ADVERSE EFFECTS ON OUR MEN AND WOMEN IN UNIFORM.|
|00:00:22||I JOIN MY COLLEAGUES IN COSPONSORING OUR ENDURING PAY FOR MILITARY ACT IN 2011.|
|00:00:27||THE LASS THING OUR FIGHTING MEN AND WOMEN -- THE LAST THING OUR FIGHTING MEN AND WOMEN NEED AND THEIR FAMILIES IS HOW TO MAKE ENDS MEET WHILE THEIR TAKING UP ARMS.|
|00:00:38||I WANT TO TALK ABOUT THE DETERIORATING SITUATION IN LIBYA WOULD COULD HAVE MORE PROFOUND EFFECTS THAN THE CRISIS THAT WE ARE IN.|
|00:00:47||IT'S A VERY SERIOUS, VERY DETERIORATING SITUATION AND ONE WHICH IS FRAUGHT WITH SEVERE IMPLICATIONS FOR AMERICA'S NATIONAL SECURITY INTERESTS.|
|00:00:57||I REMAIN A STRONG SUPPORTER OF THE PRESIDENT'S DECISION TO TAKE MILITARY ACTION IN LIBYA.|
|00:01:03||IT AVERTED WHAT WAS AN IMMINENT SLAUGHTER IN BENGHAZI AND HAS GIVEN US A CHANCE TO ACHIEVE THE GOAL OF U.|
|00:01:12||S. POLICY AS STATED CORRECTLY BY THE PRESIDENT TO FORCE QADHAFI TO LEAVE POWER.|
|00:01:18||I'M GRATEFUL WE HAVE CAPABLE FRIENDS, OUR ARAB PARTNERS, NATO ALLIES MAKING CRITICAL CONTRIBUTIONS, BUT THAT IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR THE UNITED STATES LEADERSHIP.|
|00:01:28||AND RIGHT NOW THAT'S THE MAIN MISSING AGREEMENT IN OUR COALITION'S EFFORTS IN LIBYA.|
|00:01:34||THE WILLINGNESS OF THE ADMINISTRATION TO TAKE DECISIVE ACTIONS TOGETHER WITH OUR PARTNERS SO THAT WE CAN ACCOMPLISH OUR GOAL AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE RATHER THAN LOOK TO OUR ALLIES TO DO IT ALL THEMSELVES WHICH I FEAR THE EVIDENCE IS MOUNTING THAT THEY CANNOT DO.|
|00:01:53||SO THE ADMINISTRATION HAS CHOSEN TO STOP FLYING STRIKE MISSIONINGS AGAINST QADHAFI'S FORCES EVEN THOUGH THEY CONTINUE TO THREATEN LIBYAN CIVILIANS AND EVEN THOUGH OUR NATO ALLIES CAN'T MEET THE UNIQUE CAPABILITIES IN THIS REGARD.|
|00:02:10||THE ADMINISTRATION HAS DECLARED FORCING QADHAFI FROM POWER IS A GOAL OF U.|
|00:02:16||S. POLICY. BUT OUR MILITARY MISSION IS NOT WORKING TOWARD THAT GOAL BY ACTIVELY SEEKING TO DEGRADE QADHAFI'S FORCES THEREBY INCREASING THE PRESSURE ON HIM TO LEAVE POWER AT A TIME WHEN QADHAFI'S FORCES ARE ADAPTING TO NATO'S TACTICS AND CAPABILITIES AND CONCEALING THEMSELVES IN POPULATED CIVILIAN AREAS, THE ADMINISTRATION HAS GROUNDED OUR MOST EFFECTIVE AIRCRAFT, THE A-10 AND AC-130, WHICH ARE THE ONLY PLANES -- THE OWN PLANES THAT ARE CAPABLE OF CONDUCTING THE KINDS OF PRECISE AIR-TO-GROUND OPERATIONS NOW REQUIRED TO PROTECT CIVILIANS UNDER THE CURRENT 6S.|
|00:02:59||QADHAFI'S FORCES ARE NOW REGAINING MOMENTUM ON THE GROUND.|
|00:03:02||WE CANNOT SUCCEED WITH HALF-MEASURES.|
|00:03:05||RIGHT NOW OUR ACTIONS ARE NOT ADDING UP TO A STRATEGY THAT APPEARS CAPABLE OF ACHIEVING OUR GOALS.|
|00:03:10||TO THE CONTRARY, WE SEEM TO BE FAILING TO PREVENT THE SITUATION ON THE GROUND IN LIBYA FROM SLIDING INTO A STALEMATE.|
|00:03:20||JUST YESTERDAY GENERAL CARTER HAMM, WHO LED OPERATION ODYSSEY DAWN IN LIBYA, TOLD THE ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE THAT A STALEMATE IN LIBYA WHERE QADHAFI REMAINS IN POWER TO POSE AN EVEN GREATER THREAT TO THE WORLD AND THE LIBYAN WORLD IS NOT IN AMERICA'S INTEREST OR IN ANYONE'S INTEREST.|
|00:03:39||BUT IN THE SAME HEARING YESTERDAY GENERAL HAMM ALSO CONCEDED THAT THE SITUATION ON THE GROUND IN LIBYA IS -- QUOTE -- "MORE LIKELY OF BECOMING A STALEMATE NOW THAN WHEN THIS INTERVENTION BEGAN.|
|00:03:52||" I'M AFRAID I AGREE WITH THE GENERAL, AND I'D LIKE TO HIGHLIGHT SOME OF THE IN US THAT MY COLLEAGUES MAY HAVE MISSED.|
|00:04:01||YESTERDAY THERE WAS AN AIRSTRIKE THAT UNFORTUNATELY -- "WASHINGTON POST," "NATO'S CREDIBILITY TAKES A HIT IN LIBYA.|
|00:04:14||FORCES LOYAL TO LIBYAN LEADER MOAMMAR QADHAFI WENT BACK ON THE OFFENSIVE AS QUESTIONS CONTINUED TO MOUNT ABOUT THE CREDIBILITY AND EFFECTIVENESS OF NATO'S NO-FLY ZONE AND CAMPAIGN AIRSTRIKES.|
|00:04:26||A SENIOR U.|
|00:04:27||S. GENERAL DESCRIBED THE SITUATION IN LIBYA AS A STALEMATE WHILE TURKEY SAID IT WAS TALKING TO BETH SIDES, WORKING ON A ROAD MAP FOR A CEASE-FIRE.|
|00:04:36||IN THE MEANTIME, QADHAFI IS SEEKING WHATEVER MILITARY ADVANTAGE HE CAN GET AND PROBING FOR GAPS IN NATO'S RESOME OF THE THE DAY ALSO IGNITED NEW CONFUSION AND OUTRAGE AMONG THE REBELS IN ADIBIYA AFTER KILLING PEOPLE, INCLUDING TWO DOCTORS.|
|00:04:55||REBELS FIRST ACCUSED NEIGH TO OF TARGETING THEM BUT BY THURSDAY NIGHT IT WAS STILL INCLEAR.|
|00:05:03||IF NATO HA TACKED THEIR TANKS, IT WAS A MISTAKE AND IF QADHAFI'S AIRPLANES HAD BEEN ATHROWED STRIKE THEM, IT WAS AN EVEN BIGGER MISTAKE.|
|00:05:12||THE CURRENT AIR WAR IS ESPECIALLY SENSITIVE TO THE CRITICISM THAT CAME FROM THE LEADER OF THE LIBYAN OPPOSITION FORCE, GENERAL BE A YOU DON'T FAHDA LUNAS.|
|00:05:24||HE SAID, "NATO BLESSES US EVERY NOW AND THEN WITH A BOMBARDMENT HERE AND THERE AND IS LETTING THE PEOPLE OF MISERATA DIE EVERY DAY.|
|00:05:36||" SO WE RELIEVED A HUMANITARIAN -- LET'S GET THIS STRAIGHT, MY FRIENDS.|
|00:05:41||WE RELIEVED A HUMANITARIAN DISASTER IN BENGHAZI AND NOW TWOS OF EITHER INEPTITUDE OR LACK OF RESOLVE OR LACK OF CAPABILITY OR ALL OF THE ABOVE, WE ARE NOW WATCHING A MASSACRE, CERTAINLY HUMAN SUFFERING OF ENORMOUS PROPORTIONS, IN MISERATA.|
|00:06:04||ANOTHER ARTICLE FROM "THE GUARDIAN.|
|00:06:06||" "NATO STRIKE LACKING STRIKE AIR CRAFT FOR LIBYAN CAMPAIGN.|
|00:06:11||" "NEW YORK TIMES" EDITORIAL INTERESTINGLY, "THE NEW YORK TIMES" SAYS, AND I QUOTE, "THERE IS A MUCH BETTER OPTION.|
|00:06:19||THE AMERICAN A-10 AND A130-C AIRCRAFT.|
|00:06:27||PRESIDENT OBAMA SHOULD AUTHORIZE THESE PLANES TO FLY AGAIN UNDER NATO COMMAND.|
|00:06:30||UNLIKE THE HIGH-FLYING SUPERSONIC FRENCH AND BRITISH JETS NOW CARRYING THE MAIN BURDEN OF THE AIR WAR, THESE AMERICAN PLANES CAN FLY SLOW ENOUGH AND LOW ENOUGH TO LET THEM SEE AND TARGET COLONEL QADHAFI'S WEAPONS WITHOUT UNDULY ENDANGERING NEARBY POPULATIONS.|
|00:06:49||" THE FACTS ARE STUBBORN THINGS.|
|00:06:50||THE FACT IS THAT NOW THE SITUATION IS DETERIORATING.|
|00:06:55||SUFFERING GOES ON, AND AMERICA AND OUR ALLIES APPEAR TO BE SHOWING THAT WE ARE INCAPABLE OR UNWILLING TO ADDRESS A THIRD-RATE MILITARY POWER RULED BY A MAN WHO HAS THE BLOOD OF 190 AMERICANS ON HIS HANDS, WHO HAS BEEN INVOLVED IN TERRORIST ACTIVITIES THROUGHOUT THE WORLD, WHO WHEN OUTSIDE OF BENGHAZI SAID, 'WE WILL GO HOUSE TO HOUSE AND KILL EVERY ONE OF YOU.|
|00:07:30||' AND THE SITUATION IS DETERIORATING INTO STALEMATE.|
|00:07:33||FIRST WE NEED TO GET U.|
|00:07:35||S. ARMED FORCES, ESPECIALLY OUR A-10'S AND AC-130'S BACK INTO THE BUSINESS OF FLYING STRIKE MISSIONS AGAINST QADHAFI'S FORCES, NOT JUST TO PROTECT CIVILIANS BUT TO WORK TOWARD THE GOALT OF OUR ACTUAL POLICY WHICH IS TO IMPOSE ENOUGH PRESSURE ON THE REGIME TO COMPEL QADHAFI AND HIS FAMILY TO LEAVE POWER.|
|00:07:56||SECOND, THE UNITED STATES SHOULD WORK WITH OUR FRIENDS AND ALLIES TO HELP THE OPPOSITION GOVERNMENT IN BEN GAS DISIRKS THE TRANSNATIONAL COUNCIL TO GAIN ACCESS TO SOME OF THE TENS OF BILLIONS OF DOLLARS WORTH OF FUNDS THAT HAVE BEEN FROZEN FROM THE QADHAFI REGIME.|
|00:08:12||THIRD, WE NEED TO HELP THE OPPOSITION TO QADHAFI COMMUNICATE MORE EFFECTIVELY WHILE SHUTTING DOWN QADHAFI'S ABILITY TO BROADCAST HIS PROP BEGAN DAVMENT HE HAS CUT OFF LAND LINES, MOBILE NETWORKS AND THE INTERNET.|
|00:08:28||WE HAVE BOTH HUMANITARIAN AND STRATEGIC INTERESTS IN RESTORING THE ABILITY OF PEOPLE IN LIBERATED PARTS MUCH LIBYA TO COMMUNICATE WITH EACH OTHER AND THE REST OF THE WORLD.|
|00:08:38||WE SHOULD TAKE STEPS TO GET QADHAFI'S SATELLITE, TELEVISION AND RADIOBROADCASTS OFF THE AIR.|
|00:08:45||U.S. DIPLOMACY IS URGENTLY NEEDED TO GET THOSE COUNTRIES THAT HAVE SAT LIE PROVIDERS BROADCASTING QADHAFI'S PROPAGANDA TO DROP THOSE COMMUNICATIONS IMMEDIATELY.|
|00:08:55||FOURTH, THE UNITED STATES SHOULD FOLLOW FRANCE, QATAR, AND ITALY IN RECOGNIZING THE OPPOSITION GOVERNMENT, A TRANSITIONAL NATIONAL COUNCIL AS THE SOLE LEGITIMATE GOVERNMENT OF LIBYA.|
|00:09:08||YOU KNOW, I HEAR AGAIN AND AGAIN, WE DON'T KNOW WHO THESE PEOPLE ARE.|
|00:09:12||WELL, I'LL TELL YOU WHO THEY ARE.|
|00:09:14||THEY ARE PEOPLE WHO ROSE UP AGAINST AN OPPRESSIVE AND BRUTAL DICTATOR AND TO ASSERT THEIR RIGHTS FOR FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY.|
|00:09:21||THAT'S WHO THEY ARE.|
|00:09:22||AND ANY ALLEGATION THAT THEY'RE DOMINATED BY AL QAEDA IS PATENTLY FALSE.|
|00:09:26||WE DIDN'T KNOW WHO WAS GOING TO COME OFF HITLER BUT WE WANTED HIM GONE.|
|00:09:32||SO THIS CONTINUOUS STREAM THAT THERE'S -- SOMEHOW THIS IS AL QAEDA.|
|00:09:37||IT IS NOT AL QAEDA.|
|00:09:38||IT'S PEOPLE WHO WANT FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY.|
|00:09:42||THEY ROSE UP PEACEFULLY, AS THE TUNISIANS DID AND EGYPTIANS DID.|
|00:09:48||THERE'S OTHERS ACROSS THE MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA ARE NOW DOING FOR ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY AND JUSTICE.|
|00:09:55||THAT'S WHY THIS REGIONAL AWAKENING WHICH SOME ARE CALLING THE ARAB SPRING, RATHER THAN HELPING AL QAEDA IS IN FACT THE GREATEST REPUDIATION OF AL QAEDA THAT THE WORLD HAS EVER SEEN.|
|00:10:07||FIFTH, WE NEED TO FACILITATE THE PROVISION OF WEAPONS TO THE LIBYAN OPPOSITION.|
|00:10:11||AS WE WILL AS COMMAND AND CONTROL TECHNOLOGY, TRAINING BATTLEFIELD INTELLIGENCE AND OTHER CAPABILITIES THAT CAN STRENGTHEN THEIR ABILITY TO INCREASE THE PRESSURE ON QADHAFI TO LEAVE POWER.|
|00:10:23||AND I WANT TO REITERATE, I DO NOT SUPPORT NOR DO I BELIEVE IT IS NECESSARY AMERICAN GROUND TROOPS UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES.|
|00:10:31||WE SHOULD BE ABLE TO, WITH A COMBINATION OF THE ROBUST IMPLEMENTATION OF THESE FIVE MEASURES, DRIVE QADHAFI FROM POWER AND GIVE THE LIBYAN PEOPLE THEIR GOD-GIVEN RIGHTS.|
|00:10:46||I JUST WANT TO SAY AGAIN THAT I SEE ON CABLE TIME AFTER TIME ABOUT WE DON'T KNOW WHO THESE PEOPLE ARE AND THEY MAY BE AL QAEDA.|
|00:10:56||I WILL TELL YOU WHO THEY ARE.|
|00:10:57||THEY'RE PEOPLE WHO DON'T WANT TO LIVE UNDER OPPRESSIVE, REPRESSIVE, BRUTAL REGIMES.|
|00:11:04||AND THE MORE OF A STALEMATE, THE MORE LIKELY THAT AL QAEDA FORCES WILL INFILTRATE AND GAIN POWER.|
|00:11:11||THE QUICKER THAT QADHAFI LEAVES POWER, THE MORE LIKELY IT IS WE WILL SEE A DRAMATIC TRANSITION.|
|00:11:19||WE CANNOT SAY -- WE CANNOT SAY THAT WE INTERVENED IN LIBYA TO PREVENT A SLAUGHTER IN BENGHAZI ONLY TO OVERSEE ONE IN ISRATA OR SOME OTHER CITY.|
|00:11:32||IF WE STAY OUR PRESENT COURSE, THAT'S WHAT WILL LIKELY HAPPEN.|
|00:11:36||WE NEED DECISIVE ACTIONS, NOT HALF MEASURES.|
|00:11:39||WE NEED TO BE LEADING.|
|00:11:41||AMERICA MUST LEAD.|
|00:11:43||NATO IS AMERICA.|
|00:11:45||WE NEED TO BE LEADING IN A STRONG AND SUSTAINED WAY, NOT SITTING ON THE SIDELINES OR PLAYING A SUPPORTING ROLE.|
|00:11:51||WE HAVE THE RIGHT GOAL IN LIBYA.|
|00:11:54||THE PRESIDENT WAS RIGHT TO INTERVENE IN THE FIRST PLACE.|
|00:11:58||NOW WE NEED TO TAKE THE NECESSARY STEPS TO FINISH THE JOB.|
|00:12:03||MR. PRESIDENT, I YIELD THE FLOOR.|
|00:12:05||AND I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT THE ARTICLES I REFERRED TO BE MADE PART OF THE RECORD.|
Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, I am aware that most of my colleagues are taking the floor today to speak about the potential shutdown of the government, and very appropriately so. I am strongly opposed to a government shutdown, as we all are. I especially want to note its adverse effects on our men and women in uniform.
Of course, I have joined so many of my colleagues in cosponsoring the Ensuring Pay for Our Military Act of 2011. The last thing our men and women and their families need to worry about is how to make ends meet while they are taking up arms to defend the Nation's interests.
I rise to talk about the deteriorating situation in Libya which could have more profound effects than the crisis we are in. It is a very serious, very deteriorating situation and one which is fraught with severe implications for America's national security interests.
I remain a strong supporter of the President's decision to take military action in Libya. It averted what was an imminent slaughter in Benghazi and has given us a chance to achieve the goal of U.S. policy as stated correctly by the President: to force Qadhafi to leave power. I am also grateful we have capable friends, our Arab partners, and NATO allies, who are making critical contributions. But that is not a substitute for U.S. leadership. Right now that is the main missing ingredient in the coalition's efforts in Libya--the willingness of the administration to take decisive actions, together with our partners, so that we can accomplish our goal as quickly as possible rather than look to our allies to do it all themselves, which I fear the evidence is mounting they cannot do.
The administration has chosen to stop flying strike missions against Qadhafi's forces, even though they continue to threaten Libyan civilians and even though our NATO allies cannot match our unique capabilities in this regard. The administration correctly declared that forcing Qadhafi from power is a goal of U.S. policy, but our military mission is not working toward that goal by actively seeking to degrade Qadhafi's forces, thereby increasing the pressure on him to leave power.
At a time when Qadhafi's forces are adapting to NATO's tactics and capabilities and concealing themselves in populated civilian areas, the administration has grounded our most effective aircraft, the A-10 and the AC-130, which are the only planes--the only planes--that are capable of conducting the kinds of precise air-to-ground operations now required to protect civilians under the current circumstances. Not surprisingly, Qadhafi's forces are now regaining the momentum on the ground.
We cannot succeed with half-measures. Right now, our actions are not adding up to a strategy that appears capable of achieving our goals. To the contrary, we seem to be failing to prevent the situation on the ground in Libya from sliding into a stalemate.
Just yesterday, GEN Carter Hamm, the commander of U.S. Africa Command, who led Operation Odyssey Dawn in Libya, told the Armed Services Committee that a stalemate in Libya, where Qadhafi remains in power to pose an even greater threat to the world and to the Libyan people, is not in America's interest or in anyone's interest. But in the same hearing yesterday, General Hamm also conceded that the situation on the ground in Libya is ``more likely'' of becoming a stalemate now then when this intervention began. I am afraid I agree with the general.
I would like to highlight some of the news my colleagues may have missed.
Yesterday, there was an airstrike that, unfortunately--the Washington Post: ``NATO's credibility takes a hit in Libya.'' Forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi went back on the offensive ..... as questions continued to mount about the credibility and effectiveness of NATO's no-fly zone and campaign of airstrikes.
A senior U.S. general described the situation in Libya as a stalemate, while Turkey said it was talking to both sides working on a ``road map'' for a cease-fire. In the meantime, Gaddafi is seeking what military advantage he can get and probing for gaps in NATO's resolve. .....
The day also ignited new confusion and outrage among rebels in Ajdabiya after warplanes strafed rebel forces and killed at least five people, including two doctors. Rebels first accused NATO of targeting them. ..... By Thursday night, it was still unclear who attacked. .....
Abdul Fattah Younis, the rebel's commander, told reporters that if NATO had attacked their tanks, it was a mistake, and if Gaddafi's airplanes had been allowed to strike them, it was an ``even bigger mistake.'' Quoting the New York Times: As for the current air war, NATO is especially sensitive to the criticism that came most scathingly from the leader of the Libyan opposition forces, Gen. Abdul Fattah Younes. He said in Benghazi late Tuesday that ``NATO blesses us every now and then with a bombardment here and there, and is letting the people of Misurata die every day.'' So we relieved a humanitarian--let's get this straight, my friends--we relieved a humanitarian disaster in Benghazi, and now, because of either ineptitude or lack of resolve or lack of capability or all of the above, we are now watching a massacre--certainly human suffering of enormous proportions in Misurata.
There is another article from the Guardian: ``NATO lacking strike aircraft for Libya campaign.'' There is a New York Times editorial today. Interestingly, the New York Times says: There is a much better option: the American A-10 and AC-130 aircraft used earlier in the Libya fighting and still on standby status. President Obama should authorize these planes to fly again under NATO command. Unlike the highflying supersonic French and British jets now carrying the main burden of the air war, these American planes can fly slow enough and low enough to let them see and target Colonel Qaddafi's weapons without unduly endangering nearby populations.
Facts are stubborn things. The fact is that now the situation is deteriorating. The suffering goes on, and America and our allies appear to be showing that we are incapable or unwilling to address a third-rate military power, ruled by a man who has the blood of 190 Americans on his hands, who has been involved in terrorist activities throughout the world, who went outside of Benghazi and said: We will go house to house and kill every one of you. And the situation is deteriorating into stalemate.
So what do we need to do? First, we need to get U.S. Armed Forces, especially our A-10s and AC-130s, back in the business of flying strike missions against Qadhafi's [Page: S2306] forces--not just as part of our effort to protect civilians but to work toward the goal of our actual policy, which is to impose enough pressure on the regime to compel Qadhafi and his family to leave power.
Second, the United States should work with our friends and allies to help the opposition government in Benghazi, the Transitional National Council, to gain access to some of the tens of billions of dollars worth of funds that have been frozen from the Qadhafi regime.
Third, we need to help the opposition to Qadhafi communicate more effectively, while shutting down Qadhafi's ability to broadcast his propaganda. Qadhafi has cut off land lines, mobile networks, and the Internet. While top opposition leaders have satellite phones, we have both humanitarian and strategic interests in restoring the ability of people in liberated parts of Libya to communicate with each other and the rest of the world. We should take steps to get Qadhafi's satellite, television, and radio broadcasts off the air. U.S. diplomacy is urgently needed to get those countries that have satellite providers broadcasting Qadhafi's propaganda to drop those communications immediately.
Fourth, the United States should follow France, Qatar, and Italy in recognizing the opposition government, the Transitional National Council, as the sole legitimate government of Libya.
I hear again and again: We don't know who these people are. Well, I will tell you who they are. They are people who rose up against an oppressive and brutal dictator and wanted to assert their rights for freedom and democracy. That is who they are.
Any allegation that they are dominated by al-Qaida is patently false. We did not know who was going to come after Hitler, but we wanted him gone. So this continuous stream that somehow this is al-Qaida--it is not al-Qaida; it is people who want freedom and democracy. They rose up peacefully, as the Tunisians did and the Egyptians did and as others across the Middle East and north Africa are now doing for greater political freedom, economic opportunity, and justice. That is why this regional awakening, which some are calling the Arab spring, rather than helping al-Qaida, is, in fact, the greatest repudiation of al-Qaida the world has ever seen.
Fifth, we need to facilitate the provision of weapons to the Libyan opposition, as well as command and control technology, training, battlefield intelligence, and other capabilities that can strengthen their ability to increase the pressure on Qadhafi to leave power.
I want to reiterate that I do not support nor do I believe is necessary American ground troops under any circumstances. We should be able to, with a combination of the robust implementation of these five measures, drive Qadhafi from power and give the Libyan people their God-given rights.
I want to say again that I see on cable time after time that we do not know who these people are and they may be al-Qaida. I will tell you who they are. They are people who do not want to live under oppressive, repressive brutal regimes. And the more of a stalemate, the more likely al-Qaida forces will infiltrate and gain power. The quicker Qadhafi leaves power, the more likely it is we will see a dramatic transition.
We cannot say--we cannot say--we intervened in Libya to prevent a slaughter in Benghazi only to see one in Misurata or some other city. If we stay our present course, that is what will likely happen. We need decisive actions, not half-measures. We need to be leading. America must lead. NATO is America. We need to be leading in a strong and sustained way, not sitting on the side lines or playing a supporting role. We have the right goal in Libya. The President was right to intervene in the first place, but now we need to take the necessary steps to finish the job.
Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the articles I referred to be printed in the Record.
There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in the RECORD, as follows: