Travel Diary: New Future for Libya

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
October 19, 2011

More:Interactive Travel Map | Photos | Background Briefing

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton traveled to Tripoli, Libya on October 18, 2011. During her visit, she met with Libyan Transitional National Council Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril. Following their meeting, Secretary Clinton said:

"...On behalf of the American people I congratulate all Libyans. It is a great privilege to see a new future for Libya being born. And indeed, the work ahead is quite challenging, but the Libyan people have demonstrated the resolve and resilience necessary to achieve their goals.

"Think about what has been achieved already. In crowded squares and mountain passes, Libyans stood up against a dictator's aggression, and claimed the rights and dignity of a free people. Libyans were called rats by their own leaders and they were confronted by every possible tactic to break your spirit. But no threats dimmed the courage of the Libyan people. The United States was proud to stand with you, and we will continue to stand with you as you continue this journey, respecting your sovereignty and honoring our friendship. This is Libya's moment. This is Libya's victory and the future belongs to you."

While in Libya, Secretary Clinton also held a town hall meeting with youths and civil society at Tripoli University, where she said:

"I know that more than 30 years ago students from this university came to this very spot to engage in historic protests, and their voices were crushed by the Qadhafi regime. But today, because of the courage of the Libyan people, we can be here together to have a conversation about what you hope for your futures and what partnership the United States can offer. So on behalf of all of the people of my country, I congratulate all of the people of the new Libya. "

Secretary Clinton continued, "...The last seven months have been historic, not only for Libyans, but indeed for the world, because you have faced your challenges and conducted your revolution with courage and commitment. You demanded the rights and the dignity of a free people, and you withstood the brutal assaults from those who were only wedded to the past. And now we have a new era. There will be new stories written about Libya in the history books.

"But what will that story be? That, to me, is the question of the day. If you are committed to a new Libya, then how will you make your contributions? The structures of oppression have been torn down, but new structures are only being imagined now. ...What we all have to determine is how you turn to reconciliation and create an inclusive Libya that guarantees human rights and dignity, that delivers jobs and opportunities, that governs itself under respect for the rule of law.

"Now, every democracy reflects the unique choices and passions of its people. That is one of democracy's great strengths. We do not expect your democracy to be exactly like our democracy. We come from different backgrounds, we have different histories, and yet there are certain fundamentals about democracy that we think are more likely to produce a better outcome.

"A democracy makes a virtue of the diversity of its people. No democracy can function effectively unless every group contributes. So Libya will need the talents of all of its people, young people, women, people from every part of the country. I feel strongly that in the weeks and months ahead, as you make these decisions about how to shape your democracy, women need to be part of that decision making. Because women defied Qadhafi's troops, women supported the revolution.

"I was struck by a quote that I read of a woman who was asked by a reporter why she took such great risks to be part of this revolution, and she responded by saying, 'For God, for tasting freedom, for our land, for our liberty, for the future.' Well, that is what people who fight for their freedom believe, and women must be part of the new Libya.

"The same is true for young people. This rising generation here at the university has given so much, and I agree with the president that you expect so much as well. And those expectations are warranted, but it will take time, effort, and some patience to achieve the goals that you seek."

As she concluded her remarks at Tripoli University, Secretary Clinton underscored the U.S. commitment to the Libyan people and announced that the United States will resume educational exchanges, including the Fulbright Program, in Libya. You can read the Secretary's full remarks during the town hall meeting here, and read her remarks with Prime Minister Jibril here. Follow her travel here on



Virginia, USA
October 19, 2011

Donald M. in Virginia writes:

Reference to Libya, the hunt for Col. Qadaffi, I would say what could be good leads to finding him, will come down to his friends. The US had an outpost in Libya years ago when a pilot and crew crashed in the south. That might be a good place to look.

United States
October 19, 2011

Zharkov in the U.S.A. writes:

TGR: What is your biggest fear for America's children?

BC: That the government has turned it into a totalitarian state where the people don't have personal freedoms to assemble, think and live their lives without surveillance, over-taxation and subservience to the state. I worry that my children and grandchildren could be impoverished by conflict, by a society that dissipates its resources in wars that only destroy wealth, rather than creating anything.

TGR: You have said we are entering Cold War II. Can you explain that?

BC: Everyone is uncomfortable with the role we played in the Middle East. They fear we could enter a World War III. But a cold war is not a conflict between the main parties. We didn't battle with the Russians directly. We fought in Vietnam.

The same is going on with China in an economic war over resources. The U.S. bombs the place in hopes that a new government will come in and give us cheap oil while China is busy winning contracts for the access to resources in many far-flung regions from oil in Africa to soybeans in South America. China is building cultural centers and roads to mines in an attempt to gain the favor of the people while gaining access to resources. Our approach of bombing people just makes enemies and is very expensive. It is another example of the stupidity of a late-stage empire.

October 19, 2011

W.W. writes:

In the midst of all the governments that decide the fate of men; in the bosom of so many states, the majority of them despotic ... there exists a certain realm which holds sway only over the mind ... that we honour with the name Republic, because it preserves a measure of independence, and because it is almost its essence to be free. It is the realm of talent and of thought.

congratulation mrs secretary

Virginia, USA
October 20, 2011

Donald M. in Virginia writes:

Congratulations to the Rebels in Libya for the job well done against Col. Qadaffi. After the many terroist acts, victims, problems caused by Qadaffi the world is a safer place! "Bravo Zulu"!

New Mexico, USA
October 20, 2011

Eric in New Mexico writes:

Well there's some young fella in Libya brandishing a gold-plated .45 that apparently he took off Ghaddafi and if the news is confirmed, Hell came and payed him a visit in his hidy-hole.

I suppose he'll be wanting to collect on the reward the TNC offered...and throw one heck of a party for all his friends.

Congratulations is certainly in order as well to Mr. Sarkozy and his lady, for the arrival of his newest member of his family, a little girl who has arrived this day,...better now that the world is less one dictator.

I'd say that's a pretty good trade with the universe all things considered....don't stop now world!....Assad the asinine awaits his hidy-hole and justice served up by the Syrian people, now that Libyans have demonstrated how to get the job done with a little help from their friends.

to be continued...



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