Top Democrat leaders support Obama on Libya

Top Democrat leaders support Obama on Libya

Senator Carl Levin said, "He has put the ducks in a row before he decided that the United States should take the lead for a short period of time to do what only we could do because of the type of accurate targeting that our equipment has, and then to hand this off for the ongoing effort to allies, including Arab countries."

"That was the right course of action because if we had proceeded unilaterally, we would not have had the kind of political support around the world which is essential for the mission to succeed," Levin said in a joint teleconference with his two other Democratic Senator colleagues, Richard Durbin and Jack Reed.

Their statements came amid increasing complaints from Republican lawmakers that Obama kept Congress out of the loop during the early military campaign. "I think the president moved very thoughtfully and very deliberately to assemble a multinational coalition.

Had he not done so, a unilateral action from the United States would have left us with a significant military burden and a significant financial burden, and also would have likely provoked, not support in the Islamic world, but perhaps condemnation for another example of a unilateral American military operation in a Muslim country," Reed argued.

The number-two Democrat in the US Senate, Durbin termed it "a very wise act". He said that US action reflected Washington's need to cement ties with new Middle East leaders emerging from recent regional political upheaval.

Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the US House of Representatives, said. "Actions taken by the international community have already prevented Gaddafi from implementing his threat to 'show no mercy' to his own people, including those living in the city of Benghazi," said

"Decisions made in the days ahead are strengthened by our NATO partners' participation. US participation is strengthened by the President's continued consultation with Congress," Pelosi said.

"Acting upon the United Nations Security Council's resolution to use 'all measures necessary' to protect the Libyan people and the Arab League's call for a no-fly-zone, the United States joined the international community in preventing an imminent humanitarian crisis in Libya," she said.