The four Republican senators who visited Libya last week said the “most meaningful support” Washington can provide the war-torn country is medical care for its wounded citizens after their months-long battle to overthrow Muammar el-Qaddafi.
“From our visit to the hospital, it is clear that Libya does not have the capacity to care for such a large number of wounded, many requiring advanced treatment and prosthetics,” Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz.; Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.; Mark Kirk, R-Ill.; and Marco Rubio, R-Fla., wrote in an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal on Friday. “Indeed, this is such a priority that the [Transitional National Council] told us they would be willing to draw on the more than $150 billion in Libya's frozen assets to reimburse the U.S. for the costs of this humanitarian assistance.”
The senators encouraged the United States to consider deploying a hospital ship, such as the USNS Comfort, to Libya or Malta or transporting Libyans in need of advanced care to U.S. medical facilities in Europe.
The United States, with the “promise of a free Libya,” should also help Libyans safeguard the stockpiles of weapons across the country from Qaddafi’s looted stockpiles and encourage the many militias to acquiesce to the TNC’s authority without picking “winners who would advance factional or ideological interests through force.”