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Libya’s Interest—and Ours

3:28 PM, Oct 7, 2011 • By DANIEL HALPER
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Senators John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Mark Kirk, and Marco Rubio write:

Last Thursday we arrived in Tripoli to the promise of a free Libya. We saw a city that is surprisingly secure and orderly. We visited al-Jdeida prison and spoke freely with detainees—a testament to the commitment of the Transitional National Council (TNC) to democracy, transparency and the rule of law. At the end of the day, we walked through Martyrs' Square, where Libyans cheered and thanked America and our NATO allies.

We also observed many of the serious challenges that remain. We spoke with some of the 28 militias that are still deployed across Tripoli. We saw the enormous task of rebuilding a country after 42 years of tyranny and seven months of war. And we visited a hospital where we met a few of the 60,000 Libyans who have been wounded in this conflict and will require significant future care—a population that is still growing amid the ongoing fighting in Sirte and Bani Walid.

In short, the Libyans we met want to build a secure, prosperous and democratic nation that rejects violent extremism, allies itself with America and our allies, and promotes the peaceful ideals of the Arab Spring. It is in our national interest for Libya to consolidate the gains of its revolution, and in the critical months ahead we must deepen our support for the Libyan people.

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