Levin: Libyan people responsible for removing Gadhafi
March 27th, 2011
10:22 AM ET
12 years ago

Levin: Libyan people responsible for removing Gadhafi

Washington (CNN) - Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee Sen. Carl Levin defended U.S. involvement in Libya as a mission with a "clear purpose," but said it is up to the Libyan people to remove their leader Moammar Gadhafi.

The Michigan Democrat on Sunday said support from the international community is vital to the success of the mission that began when the United Nations Security Council voted March 17 to authorize a no-fly zone over the African country and to "take all necessary measure" – without using an occupation force – to protect the civilians under attack in Libya.

"We're part of an international coalition, which has been supported now by U.N. resolution with the support of Arab countries to prevent the slaughter of civilians in Libya," Levin said on CNN's "State of the Union." "And to make sure that continues with a no fly zone, which would be maintained over Libya to prevent Gadhafi from reasserting control of the air."

Although economic sanctions have weakened Gadhafi, Levin said, "It's going to take the people of Libya to remove their dictator with the help of economic sanctions that the world has put in place."

Levin, using the uproar in Egypt as an example, said coalition forces "are not going to be the ones to remove him."

"We are the ones, as part of an international coalition that are going to prevent him from massacring his own people," Levin told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley. "There's a Democratic movement afoot in the Arab world and we should be on the side of that Democratic movement."

But the recent action taken by the United States should not be mirrored in other countries laden with a dictator, Levin said.

"Not unless the international community has said to us come help us remove this dictator," Levin said. "We should use other means in terms of limiting the power of dictators… but we cannot use military means to remove every dictator."

Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.

Filed under: Carl Levin • Libya • TV-State of the Union
soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. Rick McDaniel

    Exactly. If you want change, you are responsible for making change happen.

    That is exactly the same here.

    March 27, 2011 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  2. terry,va

    Obummie doesn't want to get involved other than dropping missiles and bombs. You see this is not war when you do that. Meanwhile, the citizens have to take up sticks, rocks etc. to beat Qaddafi's army. If Qaddafi remains in power it is the people's fault. Obummie to the people, I said Qaddafi must go. Now take your sticks and charge the tanks !!!!!

    March 27, 2011 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  3. vic nashville tn

    1) “We cannot use military means to remove every dictator."

    2) “Libyan people to remove their leader Moammar Gadhafi.”

    Thanks to Sen. Carl Levin
    They are very clear and they know what they are doing

    March 27, 2011 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  4. OneMoreTime

    Off the subject, you have three pictures of Pain that have been posted on the left side of your blog page for days,
    the one of bachman has been there forever. Pain "drop" has been under the "lastest news" forever. So, the Pain
    is dropping, please drop her THREE pictures and move on to updated material. Thank you

    March 27, 2011 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  5. terry,va

    Don't start something you can't finish Obummie. My take of you is if you got punched once you would run like a coward.

    March 27, 2011 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  6. Indy

    If you take off your Republican or Tea Party glasses this mission is very clear and there was no choice but to form a coalition and go to Libya and get the job done. If this was left alone there would be an onslaught of other rouge countries that think they can get away with genocide. You are either against genocide and stand with Obama or you are against it and stand with the dictators. The unrest that would have come was far worse then going into Libya and set a precident for the world to see that the rouge countries will not get away with mass murders of innocent people and the coalition will come for you if it happens. Unrest in the middle east has major consequences to all of us and it can not be allowed to happen. If you think the price of oil is high now,it could quadruple if this situation is left to the middle east to settle.

    March 27, 2011 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  7. fayse

    @ terry.va. Sir/madam, your twisting of the Presidents name does not make you look cute or clever, it merely proves that you are childess and to take every opportunity to slam the President is getting really boring.

    March 27, 2011 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  8. Marcus

    terry,va – Have you seen the news? WHAT TANKS ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?
    Man, read papers and see other channels!

    March 27, 2011 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  9. Chris Hambrook

    Listening to Candy and her guests I can't help but wonder why are they constantly overlooking and discounting the contribution by the Canadian Forces not only in Libya but in Afghanistan. The Libyan mission will be headed up by a very distinguished Canadian General, our F-18's having been performing bombing missions as part of the campaign as well as patrolling the skies.
    In Afghanistan our brave young Men and Women have stepped up to the plate and taken on very tough assignments arm in arm with our American Brethern more than any so-called "European Country". You never seem to acknowledge Canadian participation and leadership.

    Chris Hambrook
    Barrie, Ontario, Canada

    March 27, 2011 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  10. Chris Hambrook

    If there is one Middle Eastern "Regime" that needs to be dealt with harshly and soon is Saudi Arabia, one of the most barbaric, hypocritical countries on the planet. The faster we stop supporting this farce Regime the better off the world will be. Let's not forget the way they treat women, decapitate people in public and that 14-15 of the 19 hijackers of Sept.11th were Saudi, no doubt supported financially by the Saudi Royal Family.

    Chris Hambrook
    Barrie, Ontario, Canada

    March 27, 2011 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  11. Chris Hambrook

    It would nice to see CNN and other major U.S. media stop having the wonderful American people live under this cloud of constant Fear that all of the U.S. oil supply is coming from those crazy Arabs in the middle east, the armpit of the world.

    Most average Americans don't even realize that the majority of their oil comes from a safe partner, friend and ally in Canada.

    Give the American people of break from this constant fear tactic.

    Chris Hambrook
    Barrie, Ontario, Canada

    March 27, 2011 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |