Sen. Webb Challenges Obama's Libya Policy

Sunday, 26 Jun 2011 02:38 PM

By Hiram Reisner

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Democratic U.S. Sen. James Webb lambasted President Barack Obama’s Libya policy Sunday, saying he has problems with the president’s “unilateral” decision to get involved in yet another Middle East conflict and the reasons given for U.S. Libyan involvement “defy historical precedent.”

Webb, obama, libya
Sen. James Webb: “The president did not come to the Congress — and also, the reasons that he used for going in defy historical precedent" (Getty Images Photo)
Webb, a decorated Vietnam veteran and former secretary of the Navy, made his comments on NBC’s “Meet the Press” as part of a broader criticism of Obama’s focus on the Middle East at the expense of problems in Asia — particularly China.

Host David Gregory asked the Virginia senator whether U.S. intervention tactics in Libya are the right way to dispose of Libyan despot Moammar Gadhafi.

“No one wants to see Gadhafi remain in power, but that’s a totally different question [from] as to how the United States should be involved,” Webb said. “The president did not come to the Congress — and also, the reasons that he used for going in defy historical precedent.

“We weren’t under attack, we weren’t under imminent attack, we weren’t honoring treaty commitments, we weren’t rescuing Americans,” he said. “So on the one hand, there’s a very serious issue of precedent here — and on the other, we need to be clear that once Gadhafi is gone we won’t have Americans in there as a peacekeeping force.

“We’ve got to stop this addiction — we’ve got to start focusing on our true strategic interests,” Webb said.

Webb said he is supporting amendments to legislation making its way through Congress to prohibit ground troops in Libya.

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