"I say this as a former Secretary of State and as an American: the Russians are still coming. Our [unelected] intelligence professionals are imploring Trump to act."" 2/28/18...Hillary Clinton twitter..."(Mrs.) Clinton may claim she has lots of foreign policy experience, but but the hard truth is that much of her experience has involved making grievous mistakes and bloody miscalculations....Clinton’s ultimate vulnerability on Libya is that she was a principal author of another disastrous “regime change” that has spread chaos not only across the Middle East and North Africa but into Europe, where the entire European Union project, a major post-World War II accomplishment, is now in danger."....Libya now a slave trading hub: "On July 2 , Raghavan reported on what amounts to Libya’s modern-day slave trade. According to his report, Libya is “now home to a thriving trade in humans. Unable to pay exorbitant smuggling fees or swindled by traffickers, some of the world’s most desperate people are being held as slaves, tortured or forced into prostitution.”" August 17, 2017, "Refusing to Learn Lessons from Libya," Consortium News, James W. Carden....Mrs. Clinton and her unelected "intelligence professional" pals are free to get real jobs instead of leeching off US taxpayers.
April 1, 2016, “Cleaning Up Hillary’s Libya Mess,” Robert Parry, Consortium News
"Hillary Clinton’s signature project as Secretary of State – the “regime change” in Libya – is now sliding from the tragic to the tragicomic as her successors in the Obama administration adopt increasingly desperate strategies for imposing some kind of order on the once-prosperous North African country torn by civil war since Clinton pushed for the overthrow and murder of longtime Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi in (Oct. 20) 2011.
The problem that Clinton did much to create has grown more dangerous since Islamic State terrorists have gained a foothold in Sirte and begun their characteristic beheading of “infidels” as well as their plotting for terror attacks in nearby Europe.
There is also desperation among some Obama administration officials because the worsening Libyan fiasco threatens to undermine not only President Barack Obama’s legacy but Clinton’s drive for...the White House.
The continuing crisis threatens to remind...voters about Hillary Clinton’s role in sparking the chaos in 2011 when she pressured President Obama to counter a military offensive by Gaddafi against what he called Islamic terrorists operating in the east.
Though Clinton and other “liberal interventionists” around Obama insisted that the goal was simply to protect Libyans from a possible slaughter, the U.S.-backed airstrikes inside Libya quickly expanded into a “regime change” operation, slaughtering much of the Libyan army.
Clinton’s State Department email exchanges revealed that her aides saw the Libyan war as a chance to pronounce a “Clinton doctrine,” bragging about how Clinton’s clever use of “smart power” could get rid of demonized foreign leaders like Gaddafi. But the Clinton team was thwarted when President Obama seized the spotlight when Gaddafi’s government fell.
But Clinton didn’t miss a second chance to take credit on Oct. 20, 2011, after militants captured Gaddafi, sodomized him with a knife and then murdered him. Appearing on a TV interview, Clinton celebrated Gaddafi’s demise with the quip, "we came; we saw; he died."
However, with Gaddafi and his largely secular regime out of the way, Islamic militants expanded their power over the country. Some were terrorists, just as Gaddafi had warned.
One Islamic terror group attacked the U.S. consulate in Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2012, killing U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other American personnel, an incident that Clinton called the worst moment of her four-year tenure as Secretary of State.
As the violence spread, the United States and other Western countries abandoned their embassies in Tripoli. Once prosperous with many social services, Libya descended into the category of failed state with the Islamic State taking advantage of the power vacuum to seize control of Sirte and other territory. In one grisly incident, Islamic State militants marched Coptic Christians onto a beach and beheaded them.
Yet, on the campaign trail, Clinton continues to defend her judgment in instigating the Libyan war. She claims that Gaddafi had “American blood on his hands,” although she doesn’t spell out exactly what she’s referring to. There remain serious questions about the two primary incidents blamed on Libya in which Americans died – the 1986 La Belle bombing in Berlin and the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988.
But whatever Gaddafi’s guilt in that earlier era, he renounced terrorism during George W. Bush’s presidency and surrendered his unconventional military arsenal. He even assisted Bush’s “war on terror.” So, Gaddafi’s grisly fate has become a cautionary tale for what can happen to a leader who makes major security concessions to the United States.
The aftermath of the Clinton-instigated “regime change” in Libya also shows how little Clinton and other U.S. officials learned from the Iraq War disaster. Clinton has rejected any comparisons between her vote for the Iraq War in 2002 and her orchestration of the Libyan war in 2011, saying that “conflating” them is wrong....
Though her (past) Democratic rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders, hasn’t highlighted her key role in the Libya fiasco, Clinton can expect a tougher approach from the Republicans if she wins the nomination. The problem with the Republicans, however, is that they have obsessed over the details of the Benghazi incident, spinning all sorts of conspiracy theories, missing the forest for the trees.
Clinton’s ultimate vulnerability on Libya is that she was a principal author of another disastrous “regime change” that has spread chaos not only across the Middle East and North Africa but into Europe, where the entire European Union project, a major post-World War II accomplishment, is now in danger.
Clinton may claim she has lots of foreign policy experience, but the hard truth is that much of her experience has involved making grievous mistakes and bloody miscalculations."
August 17, 2017, "Refusing to Learn Lessons from Libya," Consortium News, James W. Carden
"Exclusive: Official Washington never likes to admit a mistake no matter how grave or obvious. Too many Important People would look bad. So, the rationalizations never stop as with the Libyan fiasco, observes James W. Carden."
"In recent weeks, the Washington Post’s Cairo bureau chief Sudarsan Raghavan has published a series of remarkable dispatches from war-torn Libya, which is still reeling from the aftermath of NATO’s March 2011 intervention and the subsequent overthrow and murder of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.
On July 2, Raghavan reported on what amounts to Libya’s modern-day slave trade. According to his report, Libya is “now home to a thriving trade in humans. Unable to pay exorbitant smuggling fees or swindled by traffickers, some of the world’s most desperate people are being held as slaves, tortured or forced into prostitution.”
The numbers help tell the tale. “The number of migrants departing from Libya is surging,” writes Raghavan, “with more than 70,000 arriving in Italy so far this year, a 28 percent increase over the same period last year.”
On August 1, Raghavan returned to the pages of the Post with a disturbing portrait of life in Tripoli, reporting that: “Six years after the revolution that toppled dictator Moammar Gaddafi, the mood in this volatile capital is a meld of hopelessness and gloom. Diplomatic and military efforts by the United States and its allies have failed to stabilize the nation; the denouement of the crisis remains far from clear. Most Libyans sense that the worst is yet to come.”
Raghavan notes that “Under Gaddafi, the oil-producing country was once one of the world’s wealthiest nations.” Under his rule, “Libyans enjoyed free health care, education and other benefits under the eccentric strongman’s brand of socialism.” It would be difficult not to see, Raghavan writes, “the insecurity that followed Gaddafi’s death has ripped apart the North African country.”
Taken together, Raghavan’s reports should come as a rude shock to stalwart supporters of NATO’s intervention in Libya. Yet the embarrassing fervor with which many embraced the intervention remains largely undiminished – with, as we will see, one notable exception.
An Upside-Down Meritocracy
Anne Marie Slaughter, who served as policy planning chief at the State Department under Hillary Clinton, emailed her former boss after the start of the NATO operation, to say: “I cannot imagine how exhausted you must be after this week, but I have never been prouder of having worked for you.”
Five months after the start of NATO operation against Gaddafi, Slaughter went public with her approval in an op-ed for the Financial Times titled “Why Libya Skeptics Were Proved Badly Wrong.” Proving, if nothing else, that the foreign policy establishment is a reverse meritocracy, Slaughter holds an endowed chair at Princeton and is also the well-compensated president of the influential Washington think tank New America.
President Obama’s decision to intervene received wide bipartisan support in the Congress and from media figures across the political spectrum, including Bill O’Reilly and Cenk Uyghur.
Yet the casus belli used to justify the intervention, as a U.K. parliamentary report made clear last September, was based on a lie: that the people of the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi were in imminent danger of being slaughtered by Gaddafi’s forces.
The report, issued by the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, states that “Despite his rhetoric, the proposition that Muammar Gaddafi would have ordered the massacre of civilians in Benghazi was not supported by the available evidence.”
The report also noted that while “Many Western policymakers genuinely believed that Muammar Gaddafi would have ordered his troops to massacre civilians in Benghazi…this did not necessarily translate into a threat to everyone in Benghazi. In short, the scale of the threat to civilians was presented with unjustified certainty. US intelligence officials reportedly described the intervention as ‘an intelligence-light decision.’”
Even as it became clear that the revolution had proved to be a disaster for the country, the arbiters of acceptable opinion in Washington continued to insist that NATO’s intervention was not only a success, but the right thing to do. It is a myth that has gained wide purchase among D.C.’s foreign policy cognoscenti, despite the judgment of former President Barack Obama, who famously described the intervention as “a shit show.”
A full year after the commencement of NATO’s campaign against Gaddafi, former NATO Ambassador Ivo Daalder and NATO Supreme Allied Commander James Stravidis took to the pages of that reliable bellwether of establishment opinion, Foreign Affairs, to declare that “NATO’s operation in Libya has rightly been hailed as a model intervention.”
According to Daalder and Stravidis, “the alliance responded rapidly to a deteriorating situation that threatened hundreds of thousands of civilians rebelling against an oppressive regime.”
In 2016, a Clinton campaign press release justifying the ill-starred intervention, claimed “Qadhafi and his regime made perfectly clear what their plans were for dealing with those who stood up against his reign, using disgusting language in urging his backers to cleanse the country of these rebels. This was a humanitarian crisis.”
Astonishingly, the campaign “Factsheet” goes on to assert that, “there was no doubt that further atrocities were on the way, as Qadhafi’s forces storming towards the county’s second biggest city.” Yet there is, as both the U.K. parliamentary report and a Harvard study by Alan J. Kuperman found, no evidence for this whatsoever.
“Qaddafi did not perpetrate a ‘bloodbath’ in any of the cities that his forces recaptured from rebels prior to NATO intervention — including Ajdabiya, Bani Walid, Brega, Ras Lanuf, Zawiya, and much of Misurata — so there was,” writes Kuperman, “virtually no risk of such an outcome if he had been permitted to recapture the last rebel stronghold of Benghazi.”
Nevertheless, the myth persists. Brookings Institution Senior Fellow Shadi Hamid, the author of Islamic Exceptionalism, continues to insist, against all evidence, that the intervention was a success.
“The Libya intervention was successful,” says Hamid, “The country is better off today than it would have been had the international community allowed dictator Muammar Qaddafi to continue his rampage across the country.”
In this, Hamid is hardly alone. Left-activists in thrall to a Trotskyite vision of permanent revolution also continue to make the case that NATO’s intervention was a net positive for the country.
In a recent interview with In These Times, Leila Al-Shami claimed that “If Gaddafi had not fallen, Libya now would look very much like Syria. In reality, the situation in Libya is a million times better. Syrian refugees are fleeing to Libya. Far fewer people have been killed in Libya since Gaddafi’s falling than in Syria. Gaddafi being ousted was a success for the Libyan people.”
That danger in all this is that by refusing to learn the lessons of Libya (and Kosovo and Iraq and Syria) the U.S. foreign policy establishment will likely continue to find itself backing forces that seek to turn the greater Middle East into a fundamentalist Sunnistan, ruled by Sharia law, utterly hostile to religious pluralism, the rights of women, minorities and, naturally, U.S. national security interests in the region."
"[For more on this topic, see Consortiumnews.com’s “Hillary Clinton’s Failed Libya ‘Doctrine.’”]"
"James W. Carden served as an adviser on Russia policy at the US State Department. Currently a contributing writer at The Nation magazine, his work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Quartz, The American Conservative and The National Interest."
Added: Mrs. Clinton was stunningly rejected by voters in 2016. Between 6.7 and 9.2 million Obama voters bypassed Mrs. Clinton and became Trump voters, "far more than enough to provide Trump his electoral College victory."...
Mrs. Clinton's "voters" appear to be the endless war industry, a money laundering operation that couldn't exist without US taxpayer dollars. No wars=no free taxpayer cash.
"The biggest common denominator among Obama-Trump voters is a view that the political system is corrupt and doesn’t work for people like them."...
Added: "Non-college voters" aren't exactly a fringe group:
Maps above from Dec. 2017, "Party Hoppers: Understanding Voters Who Switched Partisan Affiliation," Democracy Fund Voter Study Group
Added: Mrs. Clinton's defeat was entirely predictable: Democrat Party voters had been fleeing since 2011.
Democrat Party exodus 2011-2017:
Dec. 2017, "Party Hoppers: Understanding Voters Who Switched Partisan Affiliation," Democracy Fund Voter Study Group, Author: Robert Griffin (formerly with Center for American Progress and others)
*While most Obama to Trump voters once identified as Democrats, a majority now identify as Republicans. Since 2011, there has been a 28 percent decline in Democratic identification and a 43 percent increase in Republican identification among these voters....
Partisan affiliation is one of the most stable features of the modern American electorate. While individuals’ feelings toward politicians or their attitudes about policy can change quickly, partisanship is a deep-seated identity resistant to change."...
In Ohio, thousands of Democrats were changing parties:
7/18/2016, "Outside Cleveland, thousands of Democrats are becoming Republicans," CNN, Mahoning County, Ohio
Comment: No amount of human suffering is enough for neocons entrenched throughout US institutions made possible by US taxpayers.
"I say this as a former Secretary of State and as an American: the Russians are still coming. Our intelligence professionals are imploring Trump to act." 2/28/18 Hillary Clinton twitter