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Amidst Congressional Debate on Libya, Commentators Defend Persistent Relevance of Intervention

In recent weeks, Congress has engaged in a robust legal debate over the War Powers Resolution and the Obama administration’s civilian protection operation in Libya. In a recent piece for Foreign Policy magazine, Middle East scholar Marc Lynch chides the Obama administration for not defending the (legitimate) international intervention in Libya before Congress:

Beyond the political jockeying, however, the sudden burst of attention to Libya should be an opportunity for the public to take a fresh look at what is actually happening in Libya. This is a good time to realize that the war in Libya was very much worth fighting and that it is moving in a positive direction.  A massacre was averted, all the trends favor the rebels, the emerging National Transitional Council is an unusually impressive government in waiting, and a positive endgame is in sight.  This is a war of which the administration should be proud, not one to be hidden away from public or Congressional view.

Similarly, U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), along with a number of Senate Republicans, have challenged their party’s growing distaste for the Obama administration’s response to the Libya crisis:

Appearing on ABC’s "This Week," Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) declined an opportunity to criticize Boehner, but spoke out strongly against the comments from GOP presidential candidates.

"I was more concerned about what the candidates said in New Hampshire," McCain said. "This is isolationism … If we had not intervened, Gaddafi was at the gates of Benghazi … our interests are our values, and our values are that we don’t want people needlessly slaughtered."

"I will be no part of an effort to defund Libya," Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.) said on NBC’s "Meet The Press" program Sunday. 

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