The United States and its allies should recognize and arm a provisional government in Libya and also impose a no-fly zone that would prevent Libyan aircraft from attacking anti-government protesters there, two leading U.S. senators said Sunday.
Sens. John McCain, R-Arizona, and Joseph Lieberman, an independent from Connecticut who caucuses with the Democrats, told CNN's State of the Union
that the Obama administration needs to do more to help protesters oust Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.
"I think the world has to do more," Lieberman said. "I'd begin with the imposition of a no-fly zone, so that Gadhafi can't be attacking his own people from the air."
In addition, Lieberman said, "We've got to recognize the opposition provisional government as the legitimate government of Libya and that we ought to give that government certainly humanitarian assistance and military arms, not to go in on the ground ourselves, but give them the wherewithal to fight on behalf of the people of Libya against a really cruel dictator."
Both Lieberman and McCain stopped short of calling for U.S. forces to get involved. McCain added that the United States and allies should make clear that any foreign mercenaries backing Gadhafi in attacking the Libyan people would face a war crimes tribunal.
Both senators, speaking from Cairo, Egypt, said they understood the administration's concern over making statements or taking steps that could endanger American citizens in Libya, but they called the response so far insufficient.