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Hillary and Obama Own
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Last week, in one incident, as many as 180 men, women and children drowned when the boat carrying them capsized off the Libyan coast. “Libya is a major transit route for migrants hoping to make it to Europe,” reported Reuters. “Smuggling networks exploit the country's lawlessness and chaos.”
What Reuters did not explain, at least in any detail, is “why Libya”? In this, Reuters was hardly unique. The same media that gleefully blamed Iraq’s post-Saddam disorder on George Bush refuse to even address the question of who is to blame for the “lawlessness and chaos” in post-Qaddafi Libya.
If the media were curious, they might want to review President Obama’s address to the nation in late March 2011. “We knew that if we . . .waited one more day,” said Obama, “Benghazi, a city nearly the size of Charlotte, could suffer a massacre that would have reverberated across the region and stained the conscience of the world.”
“I refused to let that happen,” added Obama in a radio address soon after. Instead, he authorized military action “to stop the killing.” Less than two months earlier, Obama had not so much as mentioned Libya in his State of the Union address.
Libya had been pretty much out of the news in America since 2003 when its strongman ruler, Muammar el-Qaddafi, was persuaded to abandon his WMD program. He stayed on reasonably good terms with the United States in the succeeding years. In April 2009, in fact, el-Qaddafi’s son Mutassim had a cordial meeting with Hillary Clinton in Washington. “We deeply value the relationship between Libya and the United States,” Hillary told the press with the tall, western-looking young man standing beside her (below).
In March 2011, the good will el-Qaddafi had mustered suddenly lost all value. Obama asked America to believe we were going to war to prevent a Rwanda-sized stain on “ the conscience of the world.”
If Obama had studied the 1999 Kosovo action—and Hillary was there to help him—he would have known how the media would react if a Democrat president launched an unauthorized air war. At that time, to hold the country together, Yugoslavian authorities were attempting to suppress an insurrection by Islamic Albanians in the Kosovo province.
Like Obama, President Bill Clinton had not bothered getting congressional approval before sending our planes in. To bolster public support, Clinton and his people began a drumbeat about mass graves, ethnic cleansing and even genocide. As in Libya, there was no other reason for the war other than to prevent genocide.
President Clinton compared the work of the Serbs in Kosovo to the German “genocide” of the Jews during the Holocaust and assured America that “tens of thousands of people” had been murdered. In the war’s wake, however, international teams could find no signs of genocide anywhere. Spanish forensic surgeon Emilio Perez Pujol would tell the British Sunday Times that the talk of genocide was “a semantic pirouette by the war propaganda machines, because we did not find one—not one—mass grave.”
For the Libyan conflict, Alan Kuperman, a professor of public affairs at the University of Texas, did the calculations the media refused to do.
Writing in the Boston Globe just two weeks after the President’s address on Libya, Kuperman made the simple point, “The best evidence that Khadafy did not plan genocide in Benghazi is that he did not perpetrate it in the other cities he had recaptured.”
As Kuperman also noted, the ubiquitous cell phone cameras failed to capture any images of a massacre. Not exactly a Republican partisan, Kuperman previously served as a legislative assistant to Democrat House Speaker Tom Foley and legislative director for then Congressman Chuck Schumer.
As Kuperman explained, rebel forces, fearing imminent defeat, followed the Kosovo playbook and faked a humanitarian crisis. In March 2011, The New York Times’s David Kirpatrick reported, “The rebels feel no loyalty to the truth in shaping their propaganda, claiming nonexistent battlefield victories, asserting they were still fighting in a key city days after it fell to Qaddafi forces, and making vastly inflated claims of his barbaric behavior.”
Leading as he did “from behind,” Obama had to know the pretext for war was false, but he would continue to pursue it for another six deadly months. As 2011 sped by, the insurgency dragged on, and the only sure casualty was the truth.
In October 2011, NATO planes attacked a convoy among whose passengers was a desperate el-Qaddafi. The militia members took the aging chieftain prisoner, indelicately sodomized him with a knife, and recorded it all on video. This was not quite the image of a new Libya Obama and Clinton were hoping to project, but it was the shape of things to come.
Still, the White House carried on as if no one had seen the video. Said Obama in a Rose Garden speech, "The dark shadow of tyranny has been lifted." He and Clinton championed the victors and made Libya their personal success story.
The biggest misconception about NATO’s intervention,” wrote Kuperman, “is that it saved lives and benefited Libya and its neighbors.” In fact, Qaddafi did not attack peaceful protesters. The rebels started the violence, and Qaddafi responded. Barely six weeks after the rebellion started, Qaddafi had all but suppressed it at the cost of about one thousand lives.
Then Clinton and Obama blessed NATO’s intervention, one that prolonged the war seven months and cost roughly seven thousand more lives. During the insurrection, the Obama administration had been funneling money to Qatar to help arm Libyans rebels. As the New York Times reported, “The weapons and money from Qatar strengthened militant groups in Libya, allowing them to become a destabilizing force since the fall of the Qaddafi government.”
After the fall of el-Qaddafi, these groups, many of them with a strong Islamic bent, refused to disarm and continued to resist government authority. In the midst of this mess, in early April 2011, American special representative Chris Stevens arrived in Libya on board a Greek freighter. Obama and Clinton would reward his loyalty and courage with the most disturbing lies of their relentlessly dishonest careers.
After the murder of Stevens and three other Americans, Libya continued to fracture. As of today, several militia groups compete with each other to see who can impose sharia law most thoroughly. Lately, they have been too busy storming the Parliament, seizing hostages, and attacking foreign consulates to bother themselves patrolling for human traffickers.
As the death toll mounts and as the migrant crisis in Europe worsens, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton can take perverse comfort in knowing they will be held blameless. Such is the incredible lightness of being a Democrat.
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