Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) weighed in Thursday on the crisis in Libya, expressing support for a United Nations resolution authorizing intervention in the country and describing himself as “very impressed” with the Arab League’s endorsement last week of a no-fly zone.
Addressing reporters at a news conference on budget issues, Reid said in response to a question on Libya that he had just come from a classified briefing where lawmakers “learned a lot” about the situation there from State Department and military officials.
“I haven’t had the good fortune of knowing what has happened, if anything, at the United Nations; that debate was going on as we spoke,” Reid said. “But we’re going to look at this very closely. This is an extremely difficult issue facing the world. I’m very impressed with the Arab League stepping forward. I think that is a first.”
Reid noted that the U.S. continues to work with the Arab League and others in order to “find out the right approach to this.” He also condemned Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi, whose forces have renewed their attacks on opposition leaders as well as civilians in the ongoing conflict.
“Gaddafi is a person who has no standing anyplace in the world,” Reid said. “He’s slaughtering his own people. And I think there needs to be something done; I think it will be done; and I’m anxious to see if we can get China and Russia to abstain, if not support what we do.”
Earlier Thursday, freshman Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) announced that he opposes any military intervention in Libya, noting that the U.S. is already involved in two wars and that information about the anti-Gaddafi forces remains limited.