Obama lays out what he calls non-negotiable terms for Libya
President Barack Obama says Libya must pull its troops out of its cities and restore utilities.
March 18th, 2011
02:37 PM ET

Obama lays out what he calls non-negotiable terms for Libya

President Barack Obama said Friday that "left unchecked, we have every reason to believe Gadhafi (will) commit atrocities against his own people" and the surrounding region could be destabilized.

"The democratic values that we stand for would be overrun" and the "words of the international community would be rendered hollow," the president said.

The focus of the United Nations is on protecting innocent civilians and holding Moammar Gadhafi accountable, Obama said.

A cease-fire must be implemented immediately, and Gadhafi's troops must be pulled back from several cities, he said.  Power and water must be restored to those cities, he declared.

"These terms are not negotiable," Obama said.

If Gadhafi doesn't comply, the U.N. resolution will be imposed through military action. The United States will work as part of an international coalition, Obama said, but American troops will not be deployed in Libya.

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Filed under: Barack Obama • Human rights • Libya • Politics • Protest • World
soundoff (145 Responses)
  1. matt

    Excellent, a resolution. Let's see if they get around to enforcing it before Gadhafi finishes his slaughter. I'm all for consensus, but "bold" speeches and declarations are useless if the moment for action has passed. The Arab League asked for the US's intervention days ago. This was an opportunity to reclaim some moral authority (not only in the region but globally). But Obama has instead demonstrated that we are indecisive and perhaps not the stalwart protagonists for democracy that we've always claimed.

    March 18, 2011 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Hypocrisy Central

    Lets see – if the Tea Party tried to have a violent overthrow of the
    Obama Administration, he would be well within his rights to use any means
    necessary to stop it, including violence. But not the government in Libya? If overthrowing the government
    of Libya is in our strategic interest, why didn't we do it before?
    And since when does the UN give anything any legitimacy? Didn't they put Libya in charge of
    their Human Rights commission?

    March 18, 2011 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jon

      If Obama had military forces use lethal force against peaceful demonstrators, he'd deserve it.

      March 18, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • popapete

      You hit the nail on the head. Or government no matter which party the president belonged to would use any n all force to put down an uprising. Right now we have the government spying on american citizens that belong to groups that tak about such events;ie, minute men.

      March 18, 2011 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
  3. notayesman

    if Obumpkin's "STICK" is as big as his dick...then he must have a very small PENIS!

    March 18, 2011 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
  4. steebu

    Dave D is right – why hide behind a coalition when you can screw it up all on your own? Haven't we lost enough money and soldiers in the 2 wars we already got going on? Dave, think a little bit, why don't you?

    March 18, 2011 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Blue Person Group

    Gadaffy has been in power for 30+ years, using varying degrees of ruthless force the entire time. The "surrounding region," Egypt, Tunesia, Chad, Niger and Algeria, have been the most stable part of the Arab world for most of that time. The Sudan, with which Libya shares a short border, is a mess in the south but not much of a problem in the north near Libya. So, why would we think that keeping the same guy there would suddenly destabilize the region?

    Instead, look at the prospect of a post-Gadaffy Libya. (My spelling of Gadaffy is not meant as an insult to a certain Duck, by the way.) Are we looking at an Islamic "republic" like Iran? Perhaps a squabbling, ineffective puppet state like Iraq? A quasi-military, quasi-democratic secular dictatorship like Egypt? Unfortunately, there is no counter-example of a modern, secular, pluralistic democracy that respects human rights in any overthrown Arab government in recent history.

    Every time there is an uprising against a dictator, the optimists put on their rose-colored glasses and talk about a better future. We've had enough of these now that we should have some examples of positive results, but they are few and far between, and they don't happen in the Arab world at all. Yes, there's always a first time, but I don't see Libya as the "cradle of democracy" in the Middle East.

    Gadaffy is a bum. But, he's the devil we know, and he may be better than the devils we don't know.

    March 18, 2011 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jon

      People have been fretting over the same question ever since Egypt. Even if the result is another dictatorship, I think this is the best plan. At least this way, people can't say that we stood in their way, like we did in Iran in the 1950's.

      March 18, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
  6. PDub

    Gee Whiz..haters out there. I would have thought you'd be happy Obama wants to spend less of your tax dollars while being responsible for our part in UN Crisis. Go in when while it's HOT...that's stupid,,,why risk/waste American lives and money. Go in as a UN Team...and kick butt..now that's smart!

    March 18, 2011 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Blue Person Group

      Actually, waiting for Gadaffy's forces to re-take most of the cities allows them to retrench and reinforce their positions. By the time the UN gets its act together, Bengazi will also have fallen and the old government will be in complete control. This is a case where help was needed when the rebels were on the offensive. Now, it's too late.

      If we want to continue with the ineffective symbolism, let's send in Joe Biden.

      March 18, 2011 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jon

      @Blue – except that Obama's just required Gadhafi to pull back from those cities as part of any ceasefire. If Gadhafi refuses? Game on.

      March 18, 2011 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
  7. SaneinMASS

    Go Golfing, fill out bracket, ignore nuclear calamity, no jobs, weak foreign policy... what's next... that's right on to Rio to party but not before fundraisers and whitehouse parties...I guess being a community orgainizer really prepared this bozo.

    March 18, 2011 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
  8. bleed green

    I do not believe we will deploy troops to Lybia, The UN should've got this done 2 weeks ago when the freedom fighters had momentum, but at least it's here now. We can not, nore should we try to solve the worlds problems but we should use our influence to help change, when it's for the good. I for one hope I dont have to deploy to Lybia but if the call comes I'll answer. GO ARMY

    March 18, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Mike

    I am glad President Obama and the UN have decided to use force before its too late. One could make the argument it took too long to make a decision, but nonetheless, it has been made and will make a difference. I have a question for those of you who are supporting this operation, but didn’t support the invasion of Iraq; I ask you what is the difference? History shows that Saddam has killed many more of his own people then Gadhafi ever did? Understanding the fact that there was no WMD found, wasnt it still right to go in and remove a dictator such as Saddam who committed more atrocities then Gadhafi?

    March 18, 2011 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jon

      Mostly, it's a matter of the execution. Yeah, it was great seeing Saddam hang for all that he did – and a relief to see those sociopathic sons of his take a dirt nap. But Bush sent us in without an international consensus, without backing, without money and without the proper equipment. So we lost 5000 American soldiers and let 100,000+ Iraqis die on our watch. No dictator's hide is worth that.

      On top of that – it also helps it some that the Libyan rebels are actually *asking* for our help.

      March 18, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Libyan

    Thank you Mr. President for standing for the new wave of real democracy in Libya.

    March 18, 2011 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
  11. De Rak

    I wonder how the people in Darfur who have been slaughtered by their government feel about this? Where was the Global Community then? Oh wait, they don't have anything to offer (resources). President Obama isn't doing this because he cares about the people. Grow up and face reality.

    March 18, 2011 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jon

      You mean, back before Obama was President? As opposed to what happened a few weeks ago, when South Sudan voted to split off from Sudan itself?

      March 18, 2011 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
  12. INTEGRALCAL

    Libya's government has announced an immediate Kangaroo ceasefire which can only full his own people but not every one of us. The great people of African we all known that we don't have Tornado and Typhoon jets nor surveillance and re-fueling war planes. Let us rise up and support The People of Libya with our Land Troop which we are proud of don't let us fold our arms and be looking at Europe and The North.

    March 18, 2011 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Percy

    .Forgot to mention that asking them to withdraw from several cities is a real HOOT. They will just lose the uniforms and dress in civvies. They will continue to stay a step ahead of the UN. It will take someone’s foot print to get it done for sure
    I do agree with involving the international community though. Only problem being it takes them too long to agree on anything and then it is mostly too late or after the fact.
    Perhaps the UN should develop/appoint a rotating rapid response unit. Not sure though.

    March 18, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
  14. YEAH-RIGHT

    He used his "yes, we can" as a feel good, "change all" slogan to get elected and it worked well. Unfortunately it has turned into a well..."no, we can't do that", "um er uh", its Bush’s' fault, "where is my tele-prompter" and oh crap!"why is everybody coming to me with this stuff."

    Did anyone notice the look on his face immediately after his meeting with Israel? He got his A** handed to him and for good reason. This is a dangerous world where, any weakness at all will be exploited. This man is a danger to this country. Oh by the way...I hate racism, absolutely cannot stand it. Therefore, can't call me a racist pig. In fact, I would vote for Condi Rice or Colin Powell before ANY white person. Can't call me a racist for criticizing

    Did anyone notice the look on his face immediatley after his meeting with Israel? He got his A** handed to him and for good reason. This is a dangerous world where, any weakness at all will be exploited. This man is a danger to this country. Oh by the way...I hate racism, absolutley can't stand it. I would vote for Condi Rice or Colin Powell before ANY white person.

    March 18, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jon

      "Any weakness will be exploited." - Seems to me that those who confuse kindness and caution for weakness may be in for a surprise.

      March 18, 2011 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Mike

    Jon,

    you are correct. The initial invasion of Iraq was brilliant planning. Post Saddam strategy was non-existent. WIth that said, many people before the war were against us invading and this had nothing do with the strategy of it.

    March 18, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jon

      This is true. They were mostly worried about Bush's lack of clear objectives and an exit strategy. For my part, I'll admit that I was on the fence on the whole matter. Spreading democracy? Cutting down a dictator? Sure, sounds good in theory. In practice, though, Bush made a botch of it. At the very least, Obama seems to have planned more carefully.

      March 18, 2011 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
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