Obama: U.S. mission in Libya is succeeding, saved ‘countless’ lives

March 26th, 2011 - 6:01 pm ICT by BNO News  

WASHINGTON, D.C. (BNO NEWS) — President Barack Obama on Saturday said the U.S. mission in Libya is succeeding and already saved ‘countless’ of lives, but said the country cannot intervene every time there is a crisis somewhere in the world.

Obama made the remarks in his weekly radio and internet address, making it the first time he formally addressed the American people on the situation in Libya. “When I ordered our armed forces to help protect the Libyan people from the brutality of Muammar Gaddafi, I pledged to keep the American people fully informed,” he said.

The speech comes a day after Obama briefed a group of Members of Congress on the situation in Libya. Some Members of Congress have repeatedly called on the President to give a formal televised address, lay out his goals in Libya, and and to declare war with the African nation, although that is not expected to happen. On Monday evening, however, Obama will speak about Libya in a televised address.

In Saturday’s speech, Obama said its military mission in Libya is ‘clear and focused’, despite some criticism. “We’re succeeding in our mission,” he said. “We’ve taken out Libya’s air defenses. Gaddafi’s forces are no longer advancing across Libya.”

The U.S. military action against Libyan forces is authorized under United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973 which calls for the establishment of a no-fly zone over Libya and to take “all necessary measures” to protect Libyan civilians from government-led attacks.

The President said that, as Commander in Chief, there is “no greater decision” than sending American service members into harm’s way. “The United States should not - and cannot - intervene every time there’s a crisis somewhere in the world,” Obama said.

“I firmly believe that when innocent people are being brutalized, when someone like Gaddafi threatens a bloodbath that could destabilize an entire region, and when the international community is prepared to come together to save many thousands of lives - then it’s in our national interest to act. And it’s our responsibility. This is one of those times,” Obama said.

Obama further said scores of civilian lives have already been saved because of the military intervention in Libya. “Because we acted quickly, a humanitarian catastrophe has been avoided and the lives of countless civilians - innocent men, women and children - have been saved,” he emphasized.

“Every American can be proud of the lives we’ve saved in Libya and of the service of our men and women in uniform who once again have stood up for our interests and our ideals,” Obama added. “And people in Libya and around the world are seeing that the United States of America stands with those who hope for a future where they can determine their own destiny.”

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