Tags: libya | moammar | gadhafi | hadley

Hadley: Gadhafi Prefers Destruction to Leaving

Sunday, 06 Mar 2011 10:42 AM

By Hiram Reisner

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Former U.S. National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley and former Libyan Immigration Minister Ali Errishi agree that Libyan despot Moammar Gadhafi would rather see his country destroyed that leave power.

“I have no doubt about that,” Errishi said in a Sunday interview on libya,moammar,gadhafi,hadleyCNN’s “State of the Union.” “This is a man who has shown that there is only one choice for the Libyan people: Either I rule you, or I kill you. So there is basically – there is no middle ground.”

Hadley, President George W. Bush’s top security adviser, said he agreed.

“I think President [Barack] Obama’s statement was very important, because he said Gadhafi needs to go. That he had lost his legitimacy and turned on his own people -- that was a very important statement,” Hadley said. “But I think between the statement the president made … and military options, there’s a lot greater scope for our diplomacy.”

“I think, for example, we could consider a statement now saying: We’re looking past Gadhafi. We’re going to help the Libyan people build a regime, in which they can be proud. I’d like to see us take this money that we have frozen – I think it’s $15 billion – and say we will start creating a trust, for the re-building of Libya,” he said. “And we could be calling for tribes, the military, other groups, to join – to turn against Gadhafi, to join in building the new Libya – and then make the point that they will be held responsible for his crimes.”

Errishi said there are two elements that are missing in what needs to be done and what happens when Gadhafi goes.

“I think behind every policy, there must be certain principles,” he said. “The first one – I don’t know whether some of the decision and policy makers think of this – there’s a moral component and a material component to it, not just humanitarian assistance and food, but stopping the killing – and there is no stopping the killing as long as he is in power.

“So there is that moral component that justifies, what I call support,” Errishi said. “I mean people don’t like that word intervention. Also, another component the [American] president and the secretary of state talk of is the Libyan people as friends. We are an independent and proud people, but we are not too independent to have and friends and not too proud to ask them for help in times of need.

“The Libyan people actually flatter the United States. They think that these are the only people that can actually do something. And {who] believe in those values of self-determination, freedom, rule of law. So there should be some limit to geo-political cynicism. We asked for help when he was on the ropes … and they were dragging their feet, I don’t know why.”

Host Candy Crowley noted there is a fine point in the situation, because the United States does not need a lot of fingerprints on regime changes in the region, while on the other hand there are people dying in Libya. She asked what is the military option and had the United States dragged its feet and missed a previous opportunity to push Gadhafi out to avoid the Libyan crisis.

“You really won’t know the answer to that question, until you see how this plays out,” Hadley said. “I think one of the things the Libyan people – like any other people who are in the process of freeing themselves – they want to do [it] themselves. People actually want and need to win their own freedom.

“Bu that doesn’t mean we cannot help,” he said. “I tried to sketch out some things we can do diplomatically to help, obviously if there is a way to get weapons into the hands of the rebels – if we can get anti-aircraft systems so they can enforce a no-fly zone over their own territory, that would be helpful.

“And I think that’s what really they are calling for: Help and support. But they want to be empowered to do it themselves, rather than have someone do it for them,” Hadley continued.

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