Ten days ago, having tried to end the violence without using force, the international community offered Gaddafi a final chance to stop his campaign of killing, or face the consequences. Rather than stand down, his forces continued their advance, bearing down on the city of Benghazi, home to nearly 700,000 men, women and children who sought their freedom from fear.
At this point, the United States and the world faced a choice. Gaddafi declared that he would show “no mercy” to his own people. He compared them to rats, and threatened to go door to door to inflict punishment. In the past, we had seen him hang civilians in the streets, and kill over a thousand people in a single day. Now, we saw regime forces on the outskirts of the city. We knew that if we waited one more day, Benghazi – a city nearly the size of Charlotte – could suffer a massacre that would have reverberated across the region and stained the conscience of the world.
It was not in our national interest to let that happen. I refused to let that happen. And so nine days ago, after consulting the bipartisan leadership of Congress, I authorized military action to stop the killing and enforce UN Security Council Resolution 1973. We struck regime forces approaching Benghazi to save that city and the people within it. We hit Gaddafi’s troops in neighboring Ajdabiya, allowing the opposition to drive them out. We hit his air defenses, which paved the way for a No Fly Zone. We targeted tanks and military assets that had been choking off towns and cities and we cut off much of their source of supply. And tonight, I can report that we have stopped Gaddafi’s deadly advance.
In this effort, the United States has not acted alone. Instead, we have been joined by a strong and growing coalition. This includes our closest allies – nations like the United Kingdom, France, Canada, Denmark, Norway, Italy, Spain, Greece, and Turkey – all of whom have fought by our side for decades. And it includes Arab partners like Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, who have chosen to meet their responsibility to defend the Libyan people.
To summarize, then: in just one month, the United States has worked with our international partners to mobilize a broad coalition, secure an international mandate to protect civilians, stop an advancing army, prevent a massacre, and establish a No Fly Zone with our allies and partners. To lend some perspective on how rapidly this military and diplomatic response came together, when people were being brutalized in Bosnia in the 1990s, it took the international community more than a year to intervene with air power to protect civilians.
Moreover, we have accomplished these objectives consistent with the pledge that I made to the American people at the outset of our military operations. I said that America’s role would be limited; that we would not put ground troops into Libya; that we would focus our unique capabilities on the front end of the operation, and that we would transfer responsibility to our allies and partners. Tonight, we are fulfilling that pledge.
Our most effective alliance, NATO, has taken command of the enforcement of the arms embargo and No Fly Zone. Last night, NATO decided to take on the additional responsibility of protecting Libyan civilians. This transfer from the United States to NATO will take place on Wednesday. Going forward, the lead in enforcing the No Fly Zone and protecting civilians on the ground will transition to our allies and partners, and I am fully confident that our coalition will keep the pressure on Gaddafi’s remaining forces. In that effort, the United States will play a supporting role – including intelligence, logistical support, search and rescue assistance, and capabilities to jam regime communications. Because of this transition to a broader, NATO-based coalition, the risk and cost of this operation – to our military, and to American taxpayers – will be reduced significantly.
So for those who doubted our capacity to carry out this operation, I want to be clear: the United States of America has done what we said we would do.” —President BARACK OBAMA, making the case for U.S. intervention — as part of an international coalition — in Libya. (via inothernews)
Anyone got news on the nuclear plant on fire?
This is depressing.
Regarding the nuclear plant news about the system to cool the core reactor not working, it might mean the reactor is out of control and the emergency cooling has failed. If the fuel can’t be cooled, it will melt and collect at the bottom of the reactor. If enough of it pools in one place, it will either explode or burn through the concrete until it hits groundwater and then explode. Either way it will disperse radiation over a large area. Don’t know if the last update about the five plants being shut down with no possibilities of leaks included those two plants in Fukushima. If it didn’t, this might be an emergency.
So that tsunami warning got extended to the west coast not long after that M4.5 on the Big Island. Still thinking there’s not gonna be a tsunami? It also occurs to me that some people don’t know that a tsunami is a series of waves and not just one big wave. Just putting it out there.
The earthquake that hit Japan is nothing short of a disaster and has left a great deal of devastation in its wake. Tonight, my thoughts and prayers go out to everyone in Japan and surrounding countries that also felt the effect of this natural disaster.
My heart also goes out to those back home in Hawaii. I know some of you don’t believe there’s really going to be a tsunami, but let me try to give you some perspective on this. Chile is twice as far away from Hawaii as Japan, and the quake there was M6.9 (we did get a little bit of an effect from that). Japan just had an M8.9 earthquake. Since the plate boundaries in Japan fall under the “convergent subduction” category, that means one plate is moving under another, creating strains as well as changing the terrain in the area. A sudden shift because of strains built up in the plates can not only cause earthquakes and contribute to volcanic activity but also drastically change the ocean floor surface, causing tsunamis. Whether or not you believe there’s going to be a tsunami, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Please take care of yourselves and stay safe ♥