Graham: Time to ‘get rid’ of Gadhafi
March 20th, 2011
10:28 AM ET
4 years ago

Graham: Time to ‘get rid’ of Gadhafi

Washington (CNN) – Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina on Sunday condemned President Obama’s leadership over the situation in Libya, calling on the United States to “get rid of” Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.

“We used to relish leading the free world, now it’s almost like leading the free world is an inconvenience,” Graham said on “Fox News Sunday.” “I think the president has caveated this way too much, it’s almost like it’s a nuisance.”

Graham, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said this is the “best chance to get rid of Gadhafi in my life.”

“If we don’t get rid of him, we will pay a heavy price down the road,” Graham added.

American, French and British military forces launched an operation on Gadhafi's military Saturday, convinced the Libyan leader was not adhering to the U.N.-mandated cease-fire. The attacks on Libyan military positions with missiles and airstrikes are part of an operation that will include enforcement of a no-fly zone.

According to senior administration officials, Obama is planning for the U.S. portion of the military action in the African country to last for a few days.

Graham’s message to the president: “Get rid of this man. Don’t be uncertain in your statements. Be bold, be effective, work with the international community. Replace this international outlaw sooner rather than later.”

Democratic Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island, who appeared with Graham on the program, said the president’s leadership has “created the conditions for an international coalition.”

“We’re shaping the battlefield right now,” Reed said Sunday. “Initially we have that capacity, but we’ll be able to hand it off very quickly to the French, to Arab forces… That, I think, will send a strong signal to the Arab world that this is not about American interests, it’s about democracy in Libya.”


Filed under: Jack Reed • Libya • Lindsey Graham
soundoff (76 Responses)
  1. The Unsub

    Accept no support from the Republicans! They want President Obama to fail!

    March 20, 2011 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  2. ThinkAgain

    "We" need to get rid of Ghaddafi? And then what – occupy another country? Is Graham going through occupation withdrawals?

    Although Graham is on the Senate Armed Forces Committee, he's not at all the high-level intelligence and military briefings with President Obama. In other words, Graham is just doing the typical Republican thing of putting down our President and calling for military action – without ONCE addressing the consequences of that decision.

    Specifically, who's going to pay for this, Lindsay? Your millionaire and billionaire friends? Are their sons and daughters lining up to fight this one?

    March 20, 2011 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  3. ThinkAgain

    edp: No money for healthcare, no mony for social srvices but we can afford a war – someone's civil war. Why do we have to act like a world police?

    Because the Republicans are in the pocket of Haliburton and all the other war profiteers, that's why.

    March 20, 2011 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  4. Dick Brandlon

    Has anyone noted that nobody in the mainstream media has asked McCain or Graham how their advocacy for war affects the budget? Is a dollar for war more important than a dollar for child care? How about it, Big John?

    March 20, 2011 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  5. ThinkAgain

    Libya is in France and the Arab League's BACKYARD, for Pete's sake! President Obama is entirely correct to bring those parties into this, along with the UN, and make them take the lead.

    Besides, what is it about the following YOU DON'T GET:

    U.N. Resolution 1973 (2011) was adopted by a vote of 10 in favor, 0 against, with 5 abstentions (Brazil, China, Germany, India, Russian Federation). The UN Security Council authorized Member States, "acting nationally or through regional organizations or arrangements, to take all necessary measures to protect civilians under threat of attack in the country, including Benghazi, WHILE EXCLUDING A FOREIGN OCCUPATION FORCE IN ANY FORM ON ANY PART OF LIBYAN TERRITORY — requesting them to immediately inform the Secretary-General of such measures.

    March 20, 2011 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  6. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Well, Senator, what you have had us do? Run it with guns ablazin' and no plan for 10 minutes after we landed, like the previous clueless wonder your party shoved down our throats? We already look like the anti-Muslim aggressor to every Middle Eastern nation except for the rogue state if Israel, with their Apartheid and Ethnic Cleansing! By having acted on a UN mandate presented by the Arab League, we are doing this one correctly.

    Our job is not to take Ghadaffi Gduck out, but to remove his ability to massacre the people who live in his country. We are doing that. While I have more respect for you than most of your colleagues (both Democratic and Republican) due to your Military experience, you really need to listen to what the Pentagon says – we cannot afford to fight another war! If it wasn't for Defense Secretary Gates rebuilding efforts, we would still be stuck with the disaster the DoD became under Donald Rumsfeld. Until we get our military back to a decent rotation of Training vs. Deployment, and have enough boots and ships, we cannot afford to pursue another military fiasco such as Libya has the potential to become.

    March 20, 2011 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  7. MB Seattle

    We are ready to invaid Lybia and McCain and Graham are ready to send the next generation of American kids to fight for who or what? Both these Sentors do not have the vagest idea about the othr tribe we should be supporting. How smart is that? More quick sand from the tax payer.
    How about letting the UK and France take te lead they are dependent on Libia for oil.

    We are not the worlds police man. We should provide humanatierian aid and support through both the UN and NATO

    March 20, 2011 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  8. ThinkAgain

    Scott: So your idea of a strong America is to be perpetually at war with the world so it will fear us? You need to read "1984" by George Orwell to get a better understanding of just what that world would look like (hint: you're Winston Smith).

    March 20, 2011 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  9. patnamm

    These arrogant, power hungry men will never learn.

    March 20, 2011 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  10. MB Seattle

    We are ready to invaid Lybia and McCain and Graham are ready to send the next generation of American kids to fight for who or what? Both these Sentors do not have the vagest idea about the othr tribe we should be supporting. How smart is that? More quick sand for the tax payer.
    How about letting the UK and France take te lead they are dependent on Libia for oil.

    We are not the worlds police man. We should provide humanatierian aid and support through both the UN and NATO

    March 20, 2011 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  11. Ken in NC

    Senator Graham you need to pack up Senator McCain and ship him off to Libya. He can do it all. This man lives for war. Send him in and let him clean up Libya and then you can move him on to Iran and from Iran, maybe Russia. I'm sure McCain wants to kick some Russian butt. I don't know who else we can go to war with after McCain finishes with Russia unless maybe you send him to take on Chavez in South America or maybe the drug king pins in Mexico. There are plenty of them and they should keep Senator McCain at war for many more years. Now Senator Graham, our war problems are all solved thanks to one total IDIOT and he never had to fall back on his back-up, Half Gov and Full Loon Sarah Palin.

    March 20, 2011 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  12. bobden

    Why would anyone care what some repug vote chaser says. I didn't say "what he thinks" because he clearly isn't equiped for thinking.

    March 20, 2011 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  13. Jerry

    I disagree with the US involvement in Libya. I am from America and am sick to death of the US being such a meddlesome Nation. It costs money to do that. We have people homeless and jobless over here. Shouldn't other countries Bomb America for being so horrible to IT'S own people? Should other countries ding Americans for selling out to Corporate Greed at the cost of the citizens over here? This representative sure doesn't represent my feelings one bit. DOING THIS COST MONEY WE DO NOT HAVE. Our govt is such a hypocritical quagmire.

    March 20, 2011 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  14. Lost in Texas FOREVER

    these right wing Republicans really talk out of both sides of their mouths. Places in the Middle East are basically Islamic or Muslim nations. So since when did the far right have such great concern for happens to Muslim people? If they had their way many of them would love to run ALL the Muslims out of the United States all together. Yet now you have folks like Graham, Palin, McCain et al wanting to "blast' the president for taking his time in the situations like what happened in Egypt and now Libya. Give me a freaking break. These guys could basically care LESS about what happens to Muslims here or anywhere else for that matter. They are just using these critical jabs to make political points. Had Obama gone in there with guns blazing then they would have said he was putting Ameican lives in harms way..which is what is going on at this moment.

    March 20, 2011 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  15. Sgt Schultz

    That's not the issue Senator Robber Baron. It is up to the Libyan people to determine the future leadership of THEIR nation.
    The USA is not the policeman of the world and should not be in the business of installing puppet leaders that approve our agenda. That did not turn out well when we did that in Iran.

    March 20, 2011 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  16. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Republicans won't be satisfied until the whole Arab world turns against us and it will be they who will call them terrorist. You can't call people terrorist if we continue to act in terrorist ways. The word terrorist is becoming a joke.

    March 20, 2011 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  17. johnRJ08

    Graham, you strutting little peacock, you're really brave about putting other people's lives on the line. I think it's time for you to go. Gadhafi will be gone soon enough. You can't be gone soon enough.

    March 20, 2011 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  18. Jed

    Typical Republican imperialist thinking. No wonder most of the Arab world hates our guts.

    March 20, 2011 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  19. The Greedy Old Parasites declare war on everyone!

    Just another warmongering Greedy Old Parasite. It's not the job of the US to "get rid of" whoever our pro-war clowns hate at the moment; our job as a nation is to provide a functional example of democracy in action. Since it's hanging by a thread at home, perhaps we need to get our own house in order?

    March 20, 2011 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  20. Indiana Voter

    @J. Olver

    Apparently you don't realize that Democrats still control two thirds of the government and can still veto any bill passed by Republicans in the House. Nice try though, trying to blame everything that has happened to Obama on the Republicans. You are a true liberal that continues to deflect and blame others instead of take responsibility.

    March 20, 2011 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  21. Terry

    I think Mr. Graham has taken one too many trips with McCain. The truth of the matter is Mr. Graham is posturing for the radical right hoping to hold on to his seat in 2012. If Obama had gone "all in" in Libra any sooner the right wing would be belly aching about how he acted too soon.

    March 20, 2011 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  22. Clwyd

    John is a jerk! He figures since he was a POW that he has the answers. However, the Palin answer lost him an election and the respect of Americans!

    March 20, 2011 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  23. New Age Independant

    It's funny, but oh so incredibly predictable how liberals look the other way when a Democrat President issues the order for military action, then blasts Republicans for being warmongers. Liberals and their moronic double standards. Where are the posts blasting Obama for his military actions? Are you all lemmings incapable of independent thought? Or is your liberal agenda of a power grab all that really matters; To throw away all of your ideals, if you have any at all?

    March 20, 2011 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  24. Albo58

    Graham is right and our President is merely voting Present AGAIN! What is THE plan? Does anyone believe that the Libyan dictator will simply abdicate because of a no fly zone? If our plan is to follow the French or hope the Libyan rebels will suddenly go on a successful offensive, then I got news for you...and it ain't good!

    March 20, 2011 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  25. Marcus

    NoCountryLeftForKids – Talking about spin... where are those fabled and famed WMDs?
    Remember them, the reason behind the attack on Iraq? Ever seen or heard about one?
    I did, the military managed to find ONE container with a few of them inside it... and lost it in less than one week.
    Such was the (in)competence of the leaders behind the war against Iraq (all draft-dodgers BTW) before the men and women at the Pentagon managed to shut them up and get things done more realistically.
    This time the US are dealing with an old foe that fooled the previous POTUS and most leaders in Europe claiming that he had changed his spots, which is now obvious that he has not, and together with many countries (France included) an old lesson is being remembered to Mr. Ghadaffi: 'Fool me once...'

    March 20, 2011 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
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