It’s important that the Libyan people oust Col. Moammar Gadhafi themselves, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Friday.
Schumer said the U.S. could be involved in getting rid of Gadhafi, but that it would be best if this were done by Libyans themselves.
“I think it's important that he be ousted from power and I think it'd be a lot better if his own people ousted him,” Schumer said on MSNBC.
Schumer’s comments come as the Obama administration faces criticism from Republicans in Congress over the goals for the Libyan campaign. In a letter to Obama, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) complained of a “sometimes contradictory” case for the war.
The administration has insisted that the military’s mission is to protect Libyan civilians, describing the campaign as an effort to prevent a humanitarian crisis. Yet the mission has also bombed Gadhafi’s compound, and officials have said U.S. policy is that Gadhafi should leave power. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said it would be difficult to have peace in Libya with Gadhafi around.
Schumer said that the U.S. has been succeeding in the goals it set in getting involved in Libya: offering humanitarian aid and disrupting “command and control lines of Gadhafi.”
Schumer described the mission as also to allow rebel forces in Libya to strengthen themselves and remove Gadhafi from power.