Congressman Leonard Boswell says the death of one of the world’s “dispicable” dictators shows the wisdom of having NATO and European nations take the lead in Libya.
President Obama has called it “leading from behind” — a statement Republican presidential candidates have ridiculed — but Boswell notes that no American soldiers died in the Libyan operation, and Muammar Gaddafi is now dead.
“I’m glad this dispicable person is no longer there. When I think about what he did at Lockerbie and so on, you know, he’s a bad person,” Boswell says. “And so they have taken it upon themselves to remove him and I wish and hope for all that I can think of that they are successful in being able to set up a democracy and the people of that country have the opportunity not to live under a dictator.”
Reports indicate Gaddafi was wounded by an air strike from a French aircraft and was later shot in the head by rebels who caught up with his convoy. By contrast, U.S. soldiers arrested former Iraq President Saddam Hussein, he was tried for his crimes and then hanged. Boswell says he would have prefered a trial for Gaddafi, but that wasn’t an option.
“This was a NATO operation…and I’m glad that we didn’t put boots on the ground, but you know we worked with our allies in NATO…and so I think that we did what we needed to do.”
Boswell is a retired military officer who served in NATO-related operations off the coast of Portugal and in Germany. Boswell says the European alliance is working and may play a growing role in conflicts on the African continent, but Boswell says it’s time to bring all U.S. troops home from both Iraq and Afghanistan — and close all U.S. military bases in those two countries.
Boswell made his comments this morning during taping of the “Iowa Press” program which airs tonight on Iowa Public Television.