Independent Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman says while official statements about U.S. intervention in Libya have been confusing, actions on the ground are quite clear — the United States is backing people fighting for freedom. Lieberman also warned on Fox News Monday that U.S. involvement in Libya should send a powerful message to tyrannical leaders in the entire region — particularly to Bashar Assad in Syria.
“I’ve said over the last couple of weeks after the U.N. resolution that the statements, both in the U.N. resolution and about it, have sometimes been confusing, but the action on the ground has not been,” Lieberman said on Fox News’ “Your World with Neal Cavuto.”
“It’s very clear what the coalition forces, and now NATO, are doing there is directly supportive of the freedom fighters who are trying to overthrow [Moammar] Gadhafi,” Lieberman said. “And I don’t mind that; we have taken a side, and it’s the right side, which is the side of the people of Libya.
“So maybe official diplomatic policy is that we’re neutral — but on the ground and in the air over Libya we’re anything but neutral,” he added. “We’re clearing the way for the rebels to move west towards Tripoli.”
Lieberman said reality is the United States is taking a “principled position” in Libya and it extends beyond to other leaders of oppressive Middle East regimes.
“My own hope is that the strong position that the world community has taken in Libya sends a very clear message to other autocratic or totalitarian regimes in the Middle East,” he said. “And if your response to your people’s uprising is to slaughter them, you run the risk that the world community will come in and do to you, and your country, what we are now doing to Gadhafi and Libya.
“And it’s particularly relevant to Assad in Syria, because we remember his father killed 20,000 of his own people in a single city a couple of decades ago, who began to uprise against him,” Lieberman added.
“What we are doing in Libya, I think is sending a message to the ‘Son’ Assad in Syria: You try to turn on your people like your father did, the world community is not going to just stand by and let that happen.”
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