Believe it or not, this might be the least delusional part of Hillary Clinton’s remarks about Libya in last night’s MSNBC town hall forum. Hillary declares that the US-led NATO intervention against Moammar Qaddafi was a success, and that “we didn’t lose a single person” in the regime change … which is only true if one believes that the sacking of our consulate in Benghazi under her watch was entirely unrelated to decapitating the functioning government of Libya (via Shoshana Weissmann):
Politico also picked up the story:
“Libya was a different kind of calculation. And we didn’t lose a single person. We didn’t have a problem in supporting our European and Arab allies in working with NATO,” the former secretary of state said during an MSNBC town hall on Monday night.
Clinton may have been referring strictly to the U.S.-backed overthrow of Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi in 2011, which indeed saw no loss of American lives and cost just around $1 billion. But her comments ignore the 2012 attacks at the U.S. mission and CIA outpost in Benghazi, which killed four people including U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens.
Ousting Qaddafi was worth it, Clinton said.
“Now, is Libya perfect? It isn’t. But did they have two elections that were free and fair where they voted for moderates. Yes, they did. So you know, changing from a dictator who has hollowed out your country to something resembling a functioning state and even hopefully more of a democratic one doesn’t happen overnight,” she said. “And we’ve got to continue to support the Libyan people, to give them a chance, because otherwise you see what has happened in Syria, with the consequences of millions of people flooding out of Syria, with more than 250,000 people killed, with terrorist groups like ISIS taking up almost — huge blocks of territory, as big as some of the states in that area.”
Yes, they certainly do ignore the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi. But these remarks ignore a lot more than that. Qaddafi’s Libya was a brutal dictatorship, but one that had been cooperating in some part against radical Islamist terrorist groups, and had a functioning military that kept them on the run. Decapitating the regime without any way to influence developments on the ground did not result in “a functioning state.” It resulted in a failed state. The government that held two elections cannot even claim all of Tripoli as under its control, and its writ runs nowhere else in the country.
Most stunning of all, Clinton seems unaware that ISIS is taking up blocs of territory in Libya now, too. So have al-Qaeda affiliates like Ansar al-Sharia — the group that sacked our Benghazi consulate nearly four years ago, thanks in large part to security decisions made by State under Hillary’s leadership. We didn’t give Libya a chance — we destroyed Libya, and left nothing but a viper pit of terror networks to replace it. And Hillary thinks this is a success story.
If we elect her as President, expect a lot more “success” stories like Libya.
Update: I misspelled Shoshana Weissmann’s first name in the original post; it’s corrected above.