ThinkProgress: At the main square in Benghazi, people have been gathering to celebrate the end of the rule of Muammar Qaddafi. As euphoric Libyan rebels advanced into Tripoli on Sunday, there were scenes of jubilation in the rebels’ de facto capital, Benghazi, where thousands celebrated in the streets.
One large sign in the middle of the square in Benghazi features a picture of the “Fantastic 4” (from right to left): Obama, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, British Prime Minister David Cameron, and U.S. Ambassador the U.N. Susan Rice. The text on the sign reads: “God Bless You All. Thanks For All.”
Men take part in Friday prayers behind a banner honoring U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice, British Prime Minister David Cameron, France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy and U.S. President Barack Obama, at the main square of the rebel-held town of Benghazi, Libya, Friday, Aug. 12
Lexington (The Economist): I am on holiday for three weeks in a faraway corner of Cornwall, but the momentous news from Libya has reached even here. Barack Obama received a lot of stick for his cautious approach to the uprising in Libya. Liberals traumatised by Iraq could not believe he had started another war. Republicans mocked him for “leading from behind”. But with the collapse of Muammar Qaddafi’s regime now in prospect, his critics ought to eat at least some of their words.
Like many others, I had strong misgivings, but the president remained supremely calm throughout and the speech he made in March looks pretty good in light of what has now happened. The intervention could not have taken place without America’s technological help; it was conducted mainly by allies; it had the blessing of the UN Security Council and the Arab League; and for those reasons it has generated almost no blowback from the Arab world. In short, a job well done – though I don’t expect his Republican critics to be willing to admit this.
Update: The AFP article below would appear to be wrong, it looks like Michelle Obama isn’t going to France after all!
Thursday: The President will travel from London to Deauville, France for the G-8 meetings … will hold a bilateral meeting with President Medvedev of Russia …. participates in the G-8 working lunch and working sessions … will also hold a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Kan of Japan.
AFP: France’s First Lady Carla Bruni will host a packed agenda for the wives of the developed world’s most powerful leaders Thursday, in her first G8 summit since her pregnancy was revealed.
…She will appear along with other first ladies, including the US president’s wife Michelle Obama and Britain’s Samantha Cameron, using the summit to promote her latest cause: the battle against adult illiteracy.
After lunch on the first day of the summit on Thursday, 43-year-old Bruni will take her guests to visit food producers from the Normandy region before hosting a working session dubbed “together against illiteracy.”
In the evening, Bruni and her husband President Nicolas Sarkozy will play host to the other leaders and their spouses for a dinner on the seafront terrace of Le Ciro’s restaurant in the elegant Channel seaside resort.
The First Lady will return to Washington after the French leg of the Obamas’ visit to Europe
Friday: The President will hold a bilateral meeting with President Sarkozy of France …. will then participate in the G-8 working sessions …. Later, the President will travel from France to Warsaw, Poland. In the evening, the President and President Komorowski of Poland will host a dinner for the heads of state of Central and Eastern Europe.
Saturday: The President will hold a bilateral meeting with President Komorowski of Poland … the President and Prime Minister Tusk of Poland will hold a working lunch …. the President and Prime Minister Tusk will hold a joint press conference …. the President will depart for Washington, DC.