McCain And Lieberman Criticize Obama Administration For Waiting Too Long To Go Into Libya

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(h/t Heather at VideoCafe)

Everybody's favorite Sunday news show guest loves to play concern troll over how President Obama is handling his presidency. Because you know, Grampy McSame would have handled all of this *so* much better.

With his fake sincere expression and his Mr. Rogers voice, along with back up from BFF Joe Lieberman, Mr. Prisoner of War is only to eager to lead the narrative on Libya into serious mission creep from enforcing the No-Fly Zone to taking out Gadhafi and nation-building once again. If only Obama had listened to their war mongering cheerleading earlier.

CROWLEY: Did President Obama wait too long on the U.N. to act?

MCCAIN: He waited too long. There is no doubt in my mind about it. But now it is what it is. And we need now to support him and the efforts that our military are going to make. And I regret that we didn't act much more quickly and we could have, but that's not the point now. The point now is let's get behind this effort and do everything we can to support it.


Golly gee whillikers, Candy, maybe that inadequate, ineffectual POTUS--who is not nearly as strong as *I* would have been in office, by the way--had listened to me earlier and committed us to yet another front in the Middle East even though we're so broke that my party makes a point of saying we can't afford to take care of our own citizens.

WTH??? Explain to me why anyone should give a crap what this also-ran has to say about foreign policy? The same guy who said that walking in Baghdad was as safe as walking down Main Street USA, as long as you were protected by 100 American soldiers, with three Blackhawk helicopters, and two Apache gunships overhead as well as a bulletproof vest and helmet. In fact, McCain just pulls some old chestnuts from the old Iraq playbook:

And I say to my friends in the congress who are nervous about another intervention, I'm confident we can prevail. And I'm confident that if we hadn't have taken this action that the consequences of failure would have reverberated for years.

Well, ain't that sweet with other people's children? Joe "Never Met A Neocon Meme I Didn't Love" Lieberman counsels us that this could take a while, but we could get lucky:

I think we've got to be ready for a longer battle to get him out of there. But it could go more quickly. Because his troops could lose their confidence and abandon him.

Military geniuses, the both of them. What a great plan for more of America's blood and treasure.

CROWLEY: In late February, I spoke with senators John McCain and Joe Lieberman from Cairo during the early stages of the uprising in Libya. During that interview, they said they supported imposing a no- fly zone. Three weeks later, the U.N. approved that no-fly zone which has now effectively been established. Before Congress left this weekend, I spoke with the senators from Washington.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CROWLEY: You all, when I talked to you, called for that no-fly zone. And I think the question that is really out there now is, is it too late?

MCCAIN: I hope it's not too late. And I believe it's not too late. Obviously, if we had taken this step a couple weeks ago a no- fly zone would probably have been enough. Now a no-fly zone is not enough. There needs to be other efforts made.

And I want to preclude ground troops, U.S. or allies ground troops, that is not what we are talking about. But there is a whole lot of things that can be done. Also, we've got to get our assets over there. The aircraft carrier is a long ways away. Aircraft carriers should have been on station a long time ago.

But I'm -- I think the boost of the morale, I think that the -- some of the enforcement that you're going to see from ourselves and our allies including a couple of the Arab countries, I think three of them that I think we can turn this tide. I think the next five or six days we'll know. LIEBERMAN: I think if the world had acted earlier, you know, three or four weeks since the conflict in Libya turned bloody, is not a long period of time. But in a conflict, it is a long period of time. Because Gadhafi...

CROWLEY: Timing is all.

LIEBERMAN: Yes, Gadhafi had so much of an advantage in terms of logistics, command and control, weapons, that time helped him every day while the world refused to make the decision. I think earlier on, maybe a no-fly zone could have done it. Now it's clear from the U.N. Security Council resolution that has passed that the nations of the world have been authorized by the United Nations to take whatever actions are necessary to protect civilians.

You know, Gadhafi the other night said, and it's so typical of him, my troops will go house-to-house, we'll go door to door, we'll go room to room to find the enemies of Libya. And that is exactly what I worry about, that there will be a humanitarian disaster.

So we got to -- it's late. But it's not too late if we act quickly together.

MCCAIN: And the key to it, Candy, is that momentum was all on the side of Gadhafi until that U.N. vote. Now time is not on Gadhafi's side. If he doesn't succeed in a relatively short period of time, he'll be driven back and over time, I believe, defeated.

CROWLEY: We're going to play you something that Under Secretary of State of Burns had to stay on Capitol Hill earlier this week and get your reaction.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WILLIAM BURNS, UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE FOR POLITICAL AFFAIRS: I think there is also a very real danger that if Gadhafi is successful on the ground that you also face, you know, a number of other considerable risks as well, the dangers of him returning to terrorism and violent extremism himself, the dangers of the turmoil that he could help create at a very critical moment elsewhere in the region.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CROWLEY: He was at the Senate Foreign...

(CROSSTALK)

MCCAIN: He's exactly right. And the other aspect of this, if Gadhafi succeeds, it sends a message to every other dictator in the Arab world and outside the Arab world, if your people rise up in search of democracy, go ahead and clamp down and kill as many as you need, you need to in order to stay in power. That's the message.

That would be a terrible message to send to people who are aspiring to freedom and democracy.

CROWLEY: Senator, you have this statement by the under secretary. You've had the president of the United States saying Gadhafi has to go. This is pre-U.N. vote, but nonetheless, you've had the secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, saying Gadhafi has to go. So it seems to me this no-fly mission is something far more than that. It's bent on getting him out.

LIEBERMAN: Well, you're absolutely right. Look, and the first thing I want to say is once the president of the United States says as President Obama did that Gadhafi must go, if we don't work with our allies to make sure Gadhafi does go, America's credibility and prestige suffers all over the world. I had the opportunity...

CROWLEY: So, we can't afford to let him stay in office?

LIEBERMAN: We can't afford to let him stay in office. I want to say, too, that the first people that asked John and me to please do something to help the opposition to Gadhafi in Libya were the students, the young people, who led the uprising in Egypt, because they see Gadhafi's targets in Libya as their brothers and sisters in this Arab spring. And if Gadhafi survives, the Arab spring maybe comes to an end, at least it doesn't move beyond Tunisia and Egypt.

MCCAIN: On a tactical level, he is -- Gadhafi's acting land, sea and air. And we can take out the air and sea component of that very quickly.

This is ideal terrain for air power. This is made for aviators. And so I think with significant air assets we can have a really big impact.

Now, how quickly we can move back and get him out, I think it's going to be a matter of time.

CROWLEY: And by that, you mean months? Because what you're doing really is...

MCCAIN: I don't know, because you see, there's so much got to go with morale and momentum. I think that if it looks like to the people around Gadhafi and the average soldier that is now fighting for Gadhafi that it's a matter of time, I think it's possible -- I emphasize possible -- you could see a rapid situation, a rapid deterioration on the side of Gadhafi.

LIEBERMAN: I think we've got to be ready for a longer battle to get him out of there. But it could go more quickly. Because his troops could lose their confidence and abandon him.

MCCAIN: And I am confident in the military capabilities that we have as well as other capabilities. For example, jamming his communications. For example, get in some much needed weapons, getting some people trained. There's a lot of things we can do beside just the air power component of it. So I have great confidence in our capabilities, the most mightiest nation in the world is now matched up against a third rate or fourth rate power.

CROWLEY: Let me ask you a bottom line question here, would it have been better -- there are so many people from Libya, our reporters included, who have said, he just needed a -- he was just ready to go. And then there was this two-week delay while we waited for the U.N. to do something.

Did President Obama wait too long on the U.N. to act?

MCCAIN: He waited too long. There is no doubt in my mind about it. But now it is what it is. And we need now to support him and the efforts that our military are going to make. And I regret that we didn't act much more quickly and we could have, but that's not the point now. The point now is let's get behind this effort and do everything we can to support it.

And I say to my friends in the congress who are nervous about another intervention, I'm confident we can prevail. And I'm confident that if we hadn't have taken this action that the consequences of failure would have reverberated for years.

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