Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Moammar Gadhafi: Time to Step Down

It looks like President Obama finally gave Hillary the go ahead to say what she probably wanted to say several days ago. From the LA Times:

President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Saturday called on Moammar Kadafi to step down, reversing previous reticence by the U.S. leaders to directly urge the Libyan president to leave office.

In a statement, Clinton said Kadafi “has lost the confidence of his people and he should go without further bloodshed and violence,” and that the Libyan people deserved a government that “protects their universally recognized human rights.” The U.S. has always said that the future of Libya should be decided by its people, she said, and “they have made themselves clear.”

Meanwhile the White House released the contents of a phone call between Obama and Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany.

In a phone call with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Obama did not cite Kadafi by name, but said that the Libyan leader had lost his legitimacy. “The President stated that when a leader’s only means of staying in power is to use mass violence against his own people, he has lost the legitimacy to rule and needs to do what is right for his country by leaving now,” a White House statement said.

What is his problem with calling out Gadhafi by name anyway? Read Hillary’s full statement below the fold.

Here is Clinton’s full statement as published by USA Today:

The United States strongly condemns the ongoing violence and human rights violations committed by the government of Libya against its own people. As President Obama said, these actions violate international norms and every standard of common decency. They must stop.

We are moving quickly on a series of steps to hold the Libyan government accountable for its violation of human rights and to mobilize a strong response from the international community.

Last night the United States took action to limit the ability of senior officials of the Gadhafi regime to travel. As Secretary of State, I signed an order directing the Department to revoke U.S. visas held by these officials, others responsible for human rights violations in Libya, and their immediate family members. As a matter of policy, new visa applications will be denied.

This step followed President Obama’s Executive Order freezing assets and imposing financial sanctions on members of the regime responsible for abuses against their own people and the suspension of the very limited defense trade we have had with Libya, including pending sales of spare military parts and other licenses allowing private companies to sell military equipment there.

The United States is also working with our friends and partners to mobilize a strong and unified response from the international community to hold accountable the perpetrators of these unacceptable violations of universal human rights. This afternoon I continued close consultations with our European allies, including EU High Representative Catherine Ashton. Negotiations are underway at the United Nations Security Council on a resolution that would impose new sanctions and restrictions. On Monday, I will meet with a number of counterparts in Geneva and address the UN Human Rights Council, which on Friday recommended suspending Libya’s membership. We are also working with partners to determine how to provide humanitarian assistance to those in need. Consistent with the President’s guidance, we will continue to look at the full range of options to hold the Libyan government accountable and support the Libyan people.

We have always said that the Qadhafi government’s future is a matter for the Libyan people to decide, and they have made themselves clear. When a leader’s only means of staying in power is to use mass violence against his own people, he has lost the legitimacy to rule and needs to do what is right for his country by leaving now. Moammar Gadhafi has lost the confidence of his people and he should go without further bloodshed and violence. The Libyan people deserve a government that is responsive to their aspirations and that protects their universally recognized human rights.

In other related news, Gadhafi’s “voluptuous” Ukranian nurse Galyna Kolotnytska has had enough. She has told her family she will soon be returning to Ukraine.

Galyna Kolotnytska

Galina Kolotnitskaya left home nine years ago to work in Libya, first at a hospital and then as part of Qaddafi’s personal staff, the newspaper reported.

“Mom got in touch with me yesterday,” Tatyana Kolotnitskaya, her daughter, was cited as saying. “She said she’s in Tripoli now. There’s shooting, fighting, basically everything they’re showing on the news. She was speaking in a calm voice and asked me not to worry, and said that soon she’ll be home.”

Former Bush poodle and British Prime Minister Tony Blair is apparently one-up on Obama in the Libyan situation. He actually called Gadhafi on the phone yesterday and told him to step down.

Britain’s former prime minister made two unannounced calls to Colonel Gaddafi on Friday – the day the Libyan President appeared in public and exhorted a crowd of his hardcore supporters to “defend the nation” against the uprising and “crush the enemy” behind it….

According to Whitehall sources, Mr Blair made an initial call to the Libyan President, who has ordered helicopter gunships to fire on protesters he described as “rats” and “cockroaches”. The Middle East envoy urged him to cease the attacks. The sources suggested that, after consultations with the British Foreign Office, Mr Blair was told that the UK Government would prefer the Libyan President to step down, and so he agreed to phone him again and transmit that message.

Let’s hope this bloody nightmare is almost over. It’s time to get some humanitarian aid in to help the victims of the tyrant’s murderous crackdown.

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18 Comments on “Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Moammar Gadhafi: Time to Step Down”

  1. dakinikat says:

    About time. It must be about over if he finally stuck his neck out.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Well, he allowed Hillary to stick her neck out anyway.

      I don’t know if you saw my latest update, but Tony Blair actually called Gadhafi yesterday and told him to get out of Dodge.

  2. Finally. Figures Hillary would be the one.

  3. bostonboomer says:

    The UN Security Council is meeting right now. They passed the resolution referring Gadhafi to the World court for crimes against humanity. Also imposed sanctions on Libya and condemn the use of military force against peaceful demonstrations.

    • dakinikat says:

      Didn’t Libya have sanctions on it for like decades after the lockerbie bombing? I’m not sure that actually does anything, but I suppose it’s a move in the right direction

  4. Sophie says:

    Interesting. While we lament The Zero’s lack of initiative, Tony Blair is the former PM. It’s not like Cameron made the call (or Sarkozy or Napolitano). I’m having a really uncomfortable visual of all these world leaders on a conference call going, “You call him.” “No, you call him.”

    Of course, I believe a president Hillary would have made the call in a NY minute.

  5. Peggy Sue says:

    Well, by not calling Gadaffi out by name, he can always backtrack if the situation on the ground changes then say he meant someone else. Or say he had a momentary laspe because Gadaffi’s name is spelled a dozen different ways or . . .

    It’s Hillary’s fault; she made me do it.

    He should get the Nobel Lame Award.

  6. Joanelle says:

    Thanks, for those links too, BB

  7. foxyladi14 says:

    leave it to Hillary to do the heavy lifting again :)

  8. paper doll says:

    President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Saturday called on Moammar Kadafi to step down…

    In a way Hill is today’s Dick Cheney…but without a fraction of the power of course…but Obama has to have her hold his hand at every step…much as Bush needed Dick hand holding . God save us from the man childs

  9. Tom Boone says:

    I could not agree with Secretary Clinton more. Qaddafi has always been a flamboyant sore spot but the atrocities he has committed against his own people are unconscionable. No one deserves to call themselves a leader when they are ruling at gunpoint – and even more so when they actually are committing the most egregious human rights violations imaginable. I would go a step further: it is time for Qaddafi to either step down or for one of his generals (whether Libyan or mercenary) to step up and shoot him. If nothing else, here we have proof of the old adage “absolute power corrupts absolutely.”