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United States Senator Lindsey Graham, South CarolinaUnited States Senator Lindsey Graham, South Carolina
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Date: 03/16/2011

On The Urgent Need For Libyan No-Fly Zone

by Senator Lindsey Graham

One test in foreign policy – at least be as bold as the French.  Unfortunately, when it comes to Libya we’re failing that test. 

The French and British are right to call for a no-fly zone over Libya, and they are correct to recognize the forces opposing Gaddafi.  I’m very disappointed by the indecisiveness of the Administration in the face of tyranny.  They are allowing the cries of the Libyan people to fall on deaf ears.  

Allowing Gaddafi to regain control over Libya through force – without any meaningful effort to support the Libyan people – will create grave consequences for our own national security.  

The biggest winner of an indecisive America refusing to stand up to dictators who kill their own people, will be the Iranian regime.  The Iranian regime has already used force against their own people when they demanded freedom.  If we allow Gaddafi to regain power through force of arms, it is inconceivable to me that the Iranians will ever take our efforts to control their nuclear desires seriously.  

The world is watching, and time is beginning to run short.  The Obama Administration should join with the international community to form a no-fly zone while it still matters. 

Then-Senator Obama relished the opportunity to label Iraq as President Bush’s war.  If he does not act decisively in Libya, I believe history will show that the Obama Administration owned the results of the Gaddafi regime from 2011 forward. 

Their refusal to act will go down as one of the great mistakes in American foreign policy history, and will have dire consequences for our own national security in the years to come.  I truly fear the decisions they are making today will come back to haunt us.

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