If the photo of smiling deposed leaders Moammar Gaddafi, Hosni Mubarak, and Zine Ben Ali in happier times was an indicator of the power of the Arab Spring, the following photo is Libya’s moment in the sun.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton meets Libyan soldiers at the steps of her C-17 military transport upon her arrival in Tripoli in Libya on Tuesday. (KEVIN LAMARQUE/AP)

In an unexpected trip Tuesday to Libya, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pledged millions of dollars in new aid, including for medical care for wounded soldiers and assistance in securing weaponry, and met with the officials of the transitional government.

She also shook hands with a lineup of Libyan soldiers, until very recently referred to by the media and White House as Libyan “rebels.”