Obama Interrupts Vacation to Cheer Libya Rebels

President offers audio statement during vacation
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 22, 2011 1:51 PM CDT
Obama Cheers Libya Rebels, Warns 'This Is Not Over'
In this Aug. 2, 2011 file photo, President Barack Obama speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

(Newser) – Barack Obama couldn't let the fall of Moammar Gadhafi's regime pass without comment, so the vacationing president issued an audio statement today praising NATO and the rebels and calling on Gadhafi to publicly step down. "The celebrations that we’ve seen in the streets of Libya show that the pursuit of human dignity is far stronger than any dictator," Obama said, but he added, "I want to emphasize that this is not over."

"Although it’s clear that Gadhafi’s rule is over, he still has the opportunity to reduce further bloodshed by explicitly relinquishing power to the people of Libya," Obama said. He also urged rebels to show restraint; "True justice will not come from reprisals or violence." And he couldn't resist bragging just a little, noting that the victory had been achieved "without putting a single US troop on the ground" and saying that "NATO has once more proven that it is the most capable alliance in the world." (Read more Barack Obama stories.)

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