Obama And Cameron: Not Letting Up On Gaddafi
Obama compared the uprisings in the Middle East to the end of Communism in Europe and the end of apartheid in South Africa. Now, he and Prime Minister Cameron are presenting a unified front on Libya.
The president and prime minister turned up the heat on Moammar Gadhafi in a joint appearance Wednesday, with the president saying that "ultimately" the Libyan leader will go.
The United Nations-endorsed mission to protect Libya's people from their leader means making sure Gadhafi "doesn't have capacity to send in a bunch of thugs to murder innocent civilians and threaten them," Obama said.
"I do think we have made enormous progress in Libya. We have saved lives. Gadhafi and his regime need to understand there will not be a letup in the pressure we are applying," Obama said.
But both he and Cameron said it will take time to reach a solution in Libya, which Gadhafi has ruled for 42 years. The nation seems to be grinding into a stalemated civil war.
"We may have to be more patient than people would like," Obama said.
President Obama also addressed the NATO airstrikes on the country's capital, saying there would be no "let up" of the pressure on Gaddafi to step down.
"I do think we have made enormous progress in Libya," he said. "We have saved lives. Qaddafi and his regime need to understand there will not be a letup in the pressure we are applying."
The president also acknowledged the factors that complicate the mission, however, and said that "ultimately, this is going to be a slow, steady process."
The goal, he added, is to help liberate the Libyan people from tyranny so "they can start creating the institutions required for self-determination."
Prime Minister Cameron agreed with Obama's remarks, saying there was a need to be "turning up the heat" on the Libyan government.
"It is impossible to imagine a future for Libya with Qaddafi still in power. He must go," Cameron said. Later he added, "The two key things here are patience and persistence."