“This is a victory for the United States military, for our British and French allies, for NATO, for the president of the United States, but most importantly for the Libyan people. …” Kirk said in a conference call with reporters from the Libyan capital. “Unquestioned kudos goes to the president and his team, but the challenges are not over yet.”
“This was a success by President Obama and his team. Any military conflict has ups or downs or things you might have done differently … but we have all the makings of a very strong U.S. ally in Libya.”
Those are the words of Republican Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), who criticized the President at the beginning of the conflict for not getting congressional approval before joining forces with NATO to help the Libyan people. Now, after touring the war-torn country, Mark Kirk is singing a different tune.
Kirk traveled to Tripoli with three fellow Republican senators – John McCain of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Marco Rubio of Florida – to meet with members of the National Transitional Council, comprised largely of the opposition movement that removed Qadhafi from power.
The congressional delegation toured a hospital and the U.S. embassy, and spoke with civilians in Martyr’s Square, the site of protests and fighting earlier this year.
While driving through the streets of the city, Kirk described seeing “spontaneous graffiti” that was overwhelmingly anti-Qadhafi. Billboards which had previously displayed the Libyan leader’s image had been ripped down.
“The age of Qadhafi has definitely ended,” Kirk said, though the ousted leader still remains at large.
Now only if Kirk could spread those words to the rest of the Republicans in Congress, and don’t be surprised if we find out that Republicans are now trying to come up with a way to credit George Bush for Libya’s success.0