Iowa delegation reacts to Obama’s speech on Libya

Three of the seven members of Iowa’s congressional delegation emailed me responses to President Obama’s speech last night.  Read them below, in the order they were received.

Braley Responds to President’s Speech on Libya

Washington, DC – Today, Congressman Bruce Braley (IA-01) released the following statement following President Obama’s speech on the conflict in Libya:
“I’m concerned, and I know many Americans are concerned, that tonight we didn’t get a clear and accurate accounting from the President on how much this conflict in Libya is going to cost American taxpayers. We’ve got two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan – and Americans deserve to hear from our President what this third conflict is going to cost us. I look forward to meeting with Secretary Gates and Secretary Clinton later this week and hearing their explanation of the costs of this operation and their strategy for moving forward in Libya.”
Last week Rep. Braley sent a letter to President Obama asking for a full accounting of the Libyan conflict and the costs to taxpayers. Speaker Boehner sent a similar letter to the President. Rep. Braley has previously called for a full accounting of the human and financial costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
A copy of Rep. Braley’s letter is available here:
Below is a statement from Senator Chuck Grassley regarding the President’s speech tonight about U.S. military involvement in Libya.

“I was an early advocate of a no-fly zone.  Today, despite the President’s delay in offering this help, the Libyan opposition has made progress in defending itself against the brutality of Gadhafi, thanks to the strength and capability of U.S. military forces.

“The burden remains on the President to convey how he sees the mission of the United States going forward.  What is the long-term commitment of the United States in supporting the effort that now is NATO led?  If America’s armed forces are put in harm’s way, what is the objective, if not regime change?  How long does President Obama envision our involvement, should Gadhafi hold on?

“It’s unclear when our involvement will end and under what terms.  Debate in our system of government is necessary.  Congress needs to be involved regarding the way that the United States is to continue making a commitment to this military action.  The President needs to speak with the kind of passion that shows that America is credible as a world leader, and the speech didn’t go as far as it should have to do that.”

Harkin Statement on the Situation in Libya

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) released the following statement on the situation in Libya and the President’s national address this evening.

“It is tragic to see Colonel Gaddafi continuing to ignore the will of his people and continue his brutal crackdown.  Based on those humanitarian atrocities, I was supportive of the initial UN-backed military strikes.  But with the U.S. ongoing military presence in Iraq and Afghanistan, I have concerns about an open-ended engagement in Libya. 

“Tonight, President Obama rightly addressed a skeptical public about this mission.  I believe that while there is merit in handing over operations to NATO, ultimately, a political solution is needed to end the conflict in Libya. 

“As we move toward that goal, I would like to commend and thank all of the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces who have been carrying out this operation.” 

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.


  1. I am afraid that the intervention will be seen by the Libyan people as America’s effort to bring democracy as well as economic prosperity to the region and if this prosperity is not finally achieved, which may easily happen, these people will have the reason to accuse the Western world of promising something which is not possible to obtain.