Mar 22, 2011

Libya, Cuba, Obama and Lugar

President Obama should be commended for taking concrete steps to stop Gaddafi's genocidal threats against the Libyan people who oppose him. But it's not surprising that one of the president's main critics on Libya is his ally on Cuba policy. Senator Richard Lugar [Rep-Ind], has been a tireless advocate for the lifting of travel restrictions to Cuba, a move that will result in the financing of the Castro tyranny. The bills he sponsored last year were never passed; yet Obama acted on Cuba, without Congressional approval, in a manner that obtained what the senator had been wanting to legislate. No complaints were heard from Senator Lugar then. But now the senator has expressed his disappointment with Obama's initiative on Libya, complaining that "it should be handled different."

Apparently Senator Lugar believes President Obama was constitutionally required to have first consulted Congress because of the 1973 War Powers Resolution. That's a fair and debatable question but the Senator dropped the piano when he tells the world that he wants to know who the Americans are fighting in Libya and who they will end up supporting in the end.
"People are being killed. So the question is how do you stop the killing, I suppose. And furthermore, after you do, who do we recognize? Do we recognize Gadhafi who is still there after all this time or do we take further action to depose him, literally to eliminate his regime? That is not at all clear. In fact, it's hardly been discussed as far as I can tell.
That is not at all clear? Evidently supporting Gaddhafi, even after he has threatened to exterminate all Libyans who oppose him, has remained a real option for this United States Senator. But it is not inconsistent with his willingness, and the enormous effort he made in favor of the Castro tyranny (or with Fidel Castro's and Hugo Chavez's support of the Libyan madman). President Obama should be careful with political friends like this.


Interview with Senator Richard Lugar