President Barack Obama
In defense of the military intervention keeping the American sentiment..."To brush aside America’s responsibility as a leader and — more profoundly — our responsibilities to our fellow human beings under such circumstances would have been a betrayal of who we are.""As Commander-in-Chief, I have no greater responsibility than keeping this country safe. And no decision weighs on me more than when to deploy our men and women in uniform…. There will be times, though, when our safety is not directly threatened, but our interests and values are……In such cases, we should not be afraid to act – but the burden of action should not be America’s alone.""Moreover, we have accomplished these objectives consistent with the pledge that I made to the American people at the outset of our military operations. I said that America’s role would be limited; that we would not put ground troops into Libya; that we would focus our unique capabilities on the front end of the operation, and that we would transfer responsibility to our allies and partners. "Verbal Assual on Gadhafi..."Last month, Gaddafi’s grip of fear appeared to give way to the promise of freedom. In cities and towns across the country, Libyans took to the streets to claim their basic human rights….Faced with this opposition, Gaddafi began attacking his people...""Ten days ago, having tried to end the violence without using force, the international community offered Gaddafi a final chance to stop his campaign of killing, or face the consequences. Rather than stand down, his forces continued their advance, bearing down on the city of Benghazi…At this point, the United States and the world faced a choice...""We knew that if we waited one more day, Benghazi – a city nearly the size of Charlotte – could suffer a massacre that would have reverberated across the region and stained the conscience of the world. It was not in our national interest to let that happen. I refused to let that happen."Connecting Iraq..."To be blunt, we went down that road in Iraq. Thanks to the extraordinary sacrifices of our troops and the determination of our diplomats, we are hopeful about Iraq’s future. But regime change there took eight years, thousands of American and Iraqi lives, and nearly a trillion dollars. That is not something we can afford to repeat in Libya." REUTERS

President Barack Obama spoke to the nation on Monday about the situation in Libya, saying the NATO alliance of nation to which the United States belongs will take over command on Wednesday and adding that the wider changes arising from popular outcry in the Middle East cannot be changed back.

Going forward, the lead in enforcing the No Fly Zone and protecting civilians on the ground will transition to our allies and partners, and I am fully confident that our coalition will keep the pressure on Gaddafi's remaining forces, Obama said.

The U.S. will play a supporting role by providing assets related to intelligence, logistical support, search and rescue assistance and communications jamming.

He said the cost of U.S. operations would be reduced significantly.

He also spoke about the future of Libya.

The transition to a legitimate government that is responsive to the Libyan people will be a difficult task. And while the United States will do our part to help, it will be a task for the international community, and - more importantly - a task for the Libyan people themselves, he said.

He said the U.S. will not be able to dictate the pace and scope of change sweeping across the Middle East.
Only the people of the region can do that, he said.

Amid popular pressure, the heads of neighboring Egypt and Tunisia have stepped down or announced their exit. In Syria protests have turned violent, while growing unrest taking place in Yemen and Bahrain.

I believe that this movement of change cannot be turned back, and that we must stand alongside those who believe in the same core principles that have guided us through many storms: our opposition to violence directed against one's own citizens; our support for a set of universal rights, including the freedom for people to express themselves and choose their leaders; our support for governments that are ultimately responsive to the aspirations of the people, he said.

International Efforts

Earlier on Monday, U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Nicolas Sarkozy called on Libyans to organize a transition that will oust Gaddafi from power.

The call comes just ahead conference in London on Tuesday will include representatives from many of the same countries and organizations currently enforcing and backing a no-fly zone over Libya which has enabled rebels to begin advancing westward against forces backing Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

We call on all Libyans who believe that Qadhafi is leading Libya into a disaster to take the initiative now to organize a transition process, Cameron and Sarkozy said in a joint statement on Tuesday.

More than 40 representatives from various groups with overlapping membership will attend, including NATO, the United Nations, the Arab League, the African Union and the UN's Organization of the Islamic Conference.

Mahmoud Jebrill, a Libya opposition leader will also attend, a European diplomat told Bloomberg News. The official was not authorized to publicly discuss the meeting in advance.

We do think it's very important to spell out an end-state, a vision of where this goes, said Denis McDonough, U.S. Deputy National Security Advisor told reporters on Monday.

He said the Obama Administration has been working on what that would be, but it would be announced by his superiors at a later time.