USA lawmakers send mixed message on Libya to their president

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USA lawmakers send mixed message on Libya to their president

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A mixed message has been delivered by the House of Representatives to President Barack Obama after back to back votes on the USA’s involvement in Libya.

The first was a clear rebuke to the president rejecting a measure to give formal authorisation to their involvement, significantly the second vote overturned a bill to bar funding for USA military strikes, which was welcomed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

“We have a plan that we are executing for achieving our mission in Libya. It is on track and we need to see it through. Time and history are on our side, but only if we sustain the pressure,” she said.

As Commander-in-Chief Obama has overseen over 750 air strike sorties of which almost 120 fired at targets. Had the vote on continued funding gone against him the military action would have stopped.

In Benghazi the rebels believe both votes in the House of Representatives should have backed the president.

Jalal el-Gallal, the Libyan rebel spokesman said:

“We honestly believe that they should support their president and his pursuit of democracy and freedom which are fundamentals to the American people and to assist the Libyan people to realise their aspirations.”

The two votes will make no difference to the conflict and the current Nato backed action against Col Gadaffi’s regime. In the United States analysts say what happened in congress highlights the ambivalence on Capitol Hill over their country’s involvement in the north African country.