Tags: Hillary Clinton | hillary | clinbton | gadhafi | libya

Hillary Defends Disastrous Libya Strategy

Hillary Defends Disastrous Libya Strategy

By Tuesday, 20 October 2015 08:38 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the CNN debate described the 2011 Libyan intervention as American “smart power at its best” and defended the president’s unauthorized use of force.

Jaw, meet ground.

Even the president himself backed away from discussing Libya as a great achievement when he recently told an audience at the United Nations that “our coalition could have and should have done more to fill a vacuum left behind.”

Libya in fact resembled more of a success story before the U.S. and NATO intervened in the country’s civil war.

Dictator Moammar Gadhafi had dismantled the country’s nuclear program, paid reparations to the families of those he killed through acts of terror, constrained radical Islamists in northern Africa, shared intelligence with the West and secured Europe’s southern border from jihadists crossing the Mediterranean Sea.

The accomplishment did not come easily, however.

Until 2003, the world had rightfully ostracized Gadhafi for his heinous murders and humanitarian abuses, including simultaneously opening fire on innocent civilians at airport ticket counters in Rome and Vienna in 1985, bombing a Berlin discotheque in 1986 and most famously taking down Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988.

The international community responded by imposing aggressive sanctions, with Republican and Democratic administrations turning the screws.

Then in 2003 — after closely following America’s determined resolve against terror in the years after 9/11 — Gadhafi suddenly changed his worldview.

I met with him on three separate occasions while serving on the House Intelligence Committee and watched firsthand as the transformation took place. It represented a remarkable triumph due to decades of bipartisan effort.

He was indisputably evil, but he did what the U.S. asked of him in the war against radical Islam.

The celebration was short-lived, because in 2009 President Obama and Clinton adopted a seemingly enlightened strategy of switching sides and engaging Islamists such as the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas with no preconditions.

It marked a fundamental change in American foreign policy by disregarding previous bipartisan strategies that had proven effective for an entirely new and untested direction. The administration believed that “moderate” jihadists could be trusted and managed.

Aside from Clinton, everyone else in the administration should know by now that it is not the case.

The 2011 full-tilt NATO/U.S. campaign to depose Gadhafi required the Obama administration to directly and indirectly arm and support al-Qaida and other radical Islamist veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. Weapons flowed into the fight from Gadhafi’s abandoned stockpiles, NATO, Qatar, and the UAE.

Gadhafi opponents included many “good guys,” but they never received the support necessary to govern a new Libya after he was gone. It created an opportunity for extremists to fill a vacuum, which led to a failed Islamist state that exports weapons, jihadists, and ideology throughout northern Africa and the Middle East.

After NATO and the U.S. abandoned the country, many jihadists left for Syria to form the early core group of fighters that evolved into ISIS. They and their brethren are now terrorizing and inflicting genocide upon religious minorities in the Middle East, which is in turn creating the massive refugee crisis in Europe.

This is not how I envision success. Foreign policy is painstakingly difficult, and if there is to be anything gained from the experience in Libya, it is how not to conduct world affairs.

Radical jihadists hate Americans for who we are. They cannot be managed. They cannot be trusted. Engaging them is a tragic fool’s errand. We need to realize that they are at war with us and that we cannot control their motivations. We instead need to confront them, contain them and ultimately defeat them before they defeat us.

Clinton appears to be the sole holdout in the Obama administration in understanding the catastrophe caused by its foreign policy in Libya.

The U.S. cannot absorb four more years of such successes.

Pete Hoekstra represented Michigan for 18 years in Congress, including as chairman of the U.S. House Intelligence Committee. He currently serves as the Shillman senior fellow at the Investigative Project on Terrorism, and is the author of "Architects of Disaster: The Destruction of Libya." For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

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Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the CNN debate described the 2011 Libyan intervention as American “smart power at its best” and defended the president’s unauthorized use of force.
hillary, clinbton, gadhafi, libya
Tuesday, 20 October 2015 08:38 AM
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