At the earliest signs of unrest in Libya, it was unclear how the United States would respond, and some criticism has been aimed at the White House over its reaction.
Potential 2012 GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump indicated he is aggrieved by the U.S. response to date. In an appearance on Wednesday’s “Today” on NBC, Trump lamented the atrocities taking place in Libya under the leadership of Moammar Gaddafi.
“Again it’s the weakness of our country,” Trump said. “We have all those soldiers, all those ships over there and you have this mad man shooting people down in the streets. They’re protesting and they’re protesting rather violently. He has F-18s shooting bullets into the crowds and I think killing probably tens of thousands of people. They say two or three thousand people, I think it’s got to be a lot more than that.”
Trump said limiting Gaddafi’s airstrike capabilities was a must, but was pressed over whether the response should include ground forces.
“I would certainly support a no-fly zone at a minimum,” Trump said.
“Even at the risk of committing our military forces not only in the air, but on the ground?” Lauer asked.
It would include ground troops Trump said.
“I would not do it for a long period of time, but you can’t allow — this is like a holocaust — you can’t allow something like this to happen,” he said. “It should have been done already. He could have saved a lot of lives if this were done. That could have been surgically — he could have been surgically taken out. He knocked out the Pan Am plane. This is not a good man. This is not a sane man. Something should have happen and I don’t mean by leaving our troops there for any longer than a very short time.”