WASHINGTON - Pro-defense US senators on Sunday said the United States should raise military pressure on Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi to leave, and one said NATO should end the crisis quickly with an attack aimed at Gaddafi and his inner circle in Tripoli.
Voicing concern about the violence in Iranian ally Syria, lawmakers urged the White House to show more support for protesters trying to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Independent Senator Joseph Lieberman went further with a call for arms embargo on Syria and sanctions on Assad and his family.
Senator Lindsey Graham on CNN's "State of the Union," said the Libyan rebels did not have enough momentum or training to end the stalemate with Gaddafi and urged an air campaign directed at Gaddafi and his inner circle.
Lieberman said it was "very important that Gaddafi and his family and everyone else near him wakes up every day thinking that it is their last" to avoid a "very costly and destructive stalemate."
But Lieberman stopped short of advocating making a military goal of killing Gaddafi. "NATO has got to start thinking about whether they want to more directly target Gaddafi and his family. That's the surest way of ending the violence against the civilians of Libya," he said.