Libya

Libya Intervention Was Based on "Erroneous Assumptions," According to Scathing U.K. Parliament Report

Hillary Clinton still calls Libya "smart power at its best," even though it looks more like what President Obama called it earlier this year-a "shit show."

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Smart power at its dumbest.
MOHAMED MESSARA/EPA/Newscom

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton—the former Secretary of State who in 2011 aggressively pushed President Obama to intervene militarily in Libya's civil war—still defends the intervention which took out dictator Muammar Gaddafi as "smart power at its best," even though it resulted in a power vacuum that has left the North African nation in a new state of civil war, with a substantial ISIS presence. One U.S. general called Libya a "failed state" earlier this year.

Those inclined to give Clinton a pass for what's become of Libya will point to reports at the time that Gaddafi was about to unleash a massacre on civilians in the rebel stronghold of Benghazi. This supposed massacre-in-waiting continues to be the go-to excuse for the Obama administration's decision to join NATO allies in airstrikes which helped rebel forces topple the Gaddafi regime.

The problem is, according to a recently released U.K. Parliament Select Committee report, that thinking "was not informed by accurate intelligence" and in short order, "the limited intervention to protect civilians had drifted into an opportunist policy of regime change."

Though the report ultimately holds former U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron "responsible for the failure to develop a coherent Libya strategy," blame is laid at the feet of the international community for hastily supporting a what it wanted to believe was a humanitarian intervention but which directly lead to "political and economic collapse, inter-militia and inter-tribal warfare, humanitarian and migrant crises, widespread human rights violations, the spread of Gaddafi regime weapons across the region and the growth of ISIL in North Africa."

Assessing the evidence used to justify intervention, the Select Committee writes:

We have seen no evidence that the UK Government carried out a proper analysis of the nature of the rebellion in Libya. It may be that the UK Government was unable to analyse the nature of the rebellion in Libya due to incomplete intelligence and insufficient institutional insight and that it was caught up in events as they developed. It could not verify the actual threat to civilians posed by the Gaddafi regime; it selectively took elements of Muammar Gaddafi's rhetoric at face value; and it failed to identify the militant Islamist extremist element in the rebellion. UK strategy was founded on erroneous assumptions and an incomplete understanding of the evidence. (emphasis added)

Essentially, Cameron and his NATO allies cherry-picked evidence to justify the intervention and failed to think even one step ahead once the dictator fell. Sound familiar?

Clinton may regret her support for the disastrous Iraq War, but she has shown no indication that she'll budge an inch in reassessing her ownership of the debacle that is Libya.

Earlier this month at the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) Commander in Chief forum, Clinton was asked by a veteran who identified as a Democrat, "How do you respond to progressives like myself who worry and have concerns that your hawkish foreign policy will continue?"

Clinton's replied that she views "force as a last resort, not a first choice," but that with regards to Libya, "I think taking that action was the right decision. Not taking it, and permitting there to be an ongoing civil war in Libya, would have been as dangerous and threatening as what we are now seeing in Syria."

This is amazing statement from a candidate who is running largely on her foreign policy expertise and sound judgment. Libya IS in a state of civil war and while the body count might not rise to the humanitarian catastrophe that is Syria, there is no better descriptor that can be placed on what post-intervention Libya looks like than what President Obama called it earlier this year—a "shit show."

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102 responses to “Libya Intervention Was Based on "Erroneous Assumptions," According to Scathing U.K. Parliament Report

  1. Hillary Clinton still calls Libya “smart power at its best,” even though it looks more like what President Obama called it earlier this year?a “shit show.”

    Gotta love how blatantly Hillary and her operatives will piss on your leg and look you right in the eye and tell you it’s rain.

    1. Fair warning: the liquid that jets out of the bottom of Herself can melt a hole through six inches of titanium.

      1. You don’t have to tell me twice.

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      2. Molecular Acid

    2. Fair warning: the liquid that jets out of the bottom of Herself can melt a hole through six inches of titanium.

      1. HAHAH LOL I got that joke.

    3. One of my Democrat friends steadfastly remains convinced that Hillary is not, in fact, a hawk. I haven’t asked him to provide any substantiation about it, just because I don’t care, but it remains an opinion among many of our more leftist friends that Hillary is anti-war despite there being virtually no evidence of that. My guess is that they’re going to lay all the blame at Obama’s feet, and that isn’t necessarily wrong, but it’s hard to say that someone that heavily pushed for intervention is actually some sort of dove.

      1. Pursue it, and I bet you 100 rations the answer will be Bush made her do it.

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    6. They can both be right.

      Smart power at its best might just be a shitshow.

  2. But but but Gary Johnson asked what Aleppo is, and that’s like a gazillion times worse.

  3. And there are reports Saif Gaddafy is getting ready to get back in the mix.. If Saif comes even near power in Libya, HIllary will go absolutely bananas.. probably travel there to slit his throat herself. http://cameroon-concord.com/ed…..o-politics

    1. and anecdotal yes, but the population may be turning against the revolutionaries anyway.. http://www.sundaymail.co.zw/li…..r-gaddafi/

      1. There was less shootiness going on.

  4. I thought the intervention was based on Sidney Blumenthal’s fever dreams about mass rape by Gaddafi forces.

    1. No.

      I’m reliably told that if the U.S. and the U.K. hadn’t intervened, the French would have, leaving the U.S. much worse off.

      1. “Intervene” is such a pretty way of saying “blow up your shit with our expensive toys and leave you homeless and destitute you’re welcome see ya”.

  5. This is amazing statement from a candidate who is running largely on her foreign policy expertise and sound judgment. Libya IS in a state of civil war and while the body count might not rise to the humanitarian catastrophe that is Syria, there is no better descriptor that can be placed on what post-intervention Libya looks like than what President Obama called it earlier this year?a “shit show.”

    Too bad Obama didn’t realize at the time that his Secretary of State was starting a shitshow and tell her to stop it.

    1. +1 turd sandwich

    2. Yeah, it was just his republican defense secretary, joint chiefs of staff and most of the DoD that was saying don’t do this shitshow.. Obama chose to listen to Hillary and samatha powers.. like he had is right flank completely covered and still listen to Hillary’s insane ramblings and lies.

  6. “Erroneous assumption” is a genteel euphemism for “lie”.

    1. It’s interesting how the media is navel gazing over the word “lie” now that they’re confronted by Trump. The media has been historically careful to not call out politicians as lying out of some kind of respect for the mess that is politics. Now they’re reconsidering the word.

    2. Back when, the Audi supposed ‘unintended acceleration’ was finally euphemized as ‘pedal misapplication’ rather than ‘stepping on the wrong pedal, you idiots!’

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  8. Speaking of interventions, is one needed to get contributors to stop scaling down their images and actually resize them for web publication? A nearly 1MB jpeg? What’s going on here? Did the Kochs invest in bandwidth?

    1. View image – it’s 2578*4096 pixels. That’s just absurd, especially for just a picture of a guy on an armored vehicle and not a detailed infographic where you have small text to read.

    2. What? Are you paying by the bit or something?

      1. Some plans effectively do.

        I’m at work, so the taxpayer is funding my bandwidth.

        1. Nah, Intarwebz is a basic human right and is free, exactly like “healthcare”. See? It is just a “vast right wing conspiracy” that makes things cost anything. Entirely Bush’s fault. Getting close yet? I am sure if we throw enough cliches at a problem it will go away.

      2. I like to look out for the little guy.

        1. You DO realize this is a libertarian site?

          1. Look, bandwidth costs money and sending bits that are not actually needed slows down performance while costing money. Therefore, the small modicum of time needed to resize an image can create an efficiency for the site, and they should be interested in not wasting their own money like that.

            Unless they’re expecting a government bailout…

            1. ……..how do I upsize my comments?

              1. holind down the ‘Ctrl’ key, press + a couple of times.

                1. Uh, no bitch. He was tryin’ to get a bigger soda and fries. That’s stupid. You’re stupid.

                  1. *backhands SugarFree*

                    don’t talk about Florida Man like that!

                    1. You tha bitch, bitch.

            2. I suggest you do your level best to slow down everything government related to as close to a halt as you can. They do the least amount of damage when they are doing nothing. Anything above nothing is all damage.

              So stream Vudu, Vimeo, Netflix, Youtube, etc., all you want. Turn off their connection to the outside world (well, more than normal) and let freedom reign!

              Thank you for your service…..

          2. “The little guy” is what he calls his penis.

    3. The size of the JPG is a metaphor for the size of the Libya problem. Performance art mean nothing to you?

    4. Are you internetting over a 56k modem? Wait, then how the fuck are you always the first links commenter?

      1. Mostly by not double posting.

    5. Are you internetting over a 56k modem? Wait, then how the fuck are you always the first links commenter?

      1. HAHA yeah I wondered the same thing!

  9. So Boosh Lied?

    1. Closer to Elfen Lied.

  10. We’re gonna protect you civilians in (insert foreign country) good and hard.

  11. Hillary Clinton still calls Libya “smart power at its best,”

    Someone’s definition of ‘smart’ needs to be updated.

    1. “Smart” is the new “special”.

    2. The same one they used for the Smart Car.

      Or when your Mom paddled your ass and it ‘smarted’.

      But I like this definition best: to feel shame or remorse or to suffer in punishment or in return for something.

    3. Dems rarely know the meanings of words. Demonstrated, daily.

  12. What difference, at this point, does it make?

  13. “I think taking that action was the right decision. Not taking it, and permitting there to be an ongoing civil war in Libya, would have been as dangerous and threatening as what we are now seeing in Syria.”

    Good thing she did that, otherwise we’d have a very bloody and destabilizing conflict on our hands.

  14. Libya is the smart power version of Iraq. Clinton and Obama destabilized a country and created a breeding ground for extremists at a fraction of the cost (dollars and lives) of the Iraq War. Reason should be touting this achievement in government efficiency.

    1. +1 libertarian case for Hillary

      1. I really hope when they line us up against the wall, they put us in pairs so they can kill two of us with one bullet, because I like efficient government.

        1. They’ll make us dig our own mass grave first. With teaspoons, so that it takes more of us to do it. Full employment to the very end!

          1. LOL. You are too funny.

  15. From April = Foreign Policy mag: Hillary Clinton Has No Regrets About Libya

    “[The Republicans] are going to make a big effort to suggest that the current instability in Libya reflects on the secretary,” one Clinton campaign aide told me. “But the secretary feels confident ? people will see that her decision-making and her leadership helped save us from a scenario where it could have come become another Syria.”

    The last part of that statement raises a key question: Are Clinton aides saying that Obama should have intervened in Syria? None of them will get into an extended discussion about the differences between the two…

    The whole thing is worth a read because it debunks a lot of the rhetoric used by both Clinton and Obama in how they spin events/decisions – most of the excuses used try to suggest that “had they been able to do X or Y” things would have been different or better.

    The fact is that, usually, “X and Y” were done, and failed.

    The lesson that both want to try and make is that they “should have done more“; its always MORE. Because the only other option is that “decisions you DID make were wrong, bad, faulty, flawed from the start” – which they’ll never accept after the fact.

    backup excuse #2 is, “Democracy takes time“.

  16. Goodbye,

    Me am not Hillary Clinton. Me use smart power. Hillary Clinton smart and powerful!

    Hello

  17. Yes Hillary is terrible. But Trump is terrible-squared. And Hillary’s picking dovish Tim Kaine is a good sign. I think she made mistakes and learned from them. TrumPutin will lead us to WW III against all of Africa. What’s the point?

    1. ^Jill Stein approves this message.

    2. “Pay attention to meee!” the troll explained.

      1. Jill Stein demands respect for her highly paid shills.

    3. I figure, between the U.S. and Russia, we could probably exterminate all life in Africa in less than a week. Without nukes.

      It would be like going to war with the year 1300, only some of them have AK’s and a few pickups with machineguns.

      1. OK that does sound like fun. I gotta admit.

        1. Fun, or not fun, it wouldn’t be a very long lasting or terribly dangerous World War (for us).

          I doubt China would be very enthused about the competition though, so there’s that.

        2. Oh, before I forget, ask the British about the Zulu before you get too enthused. Of course, they didn’t have Robot Military Aircraft or Hellfire Missiles either. I imagine that could have helped.

    4. And Hillary’s picking dovish Tim Kaine is a good sign.

      In prison the going rate for Tim Kaine’s dovish ass is about five cigarettes.

    5. Ha! Ha! Ha! You think Hillary “learned”. Ha! Ha! Ha! Man, thanks! That is the best one yet today.

      Wow. I need to go wipe away my tears of laughter.

      On a more somber note, my buddy thinks that during the debate they should have Anthony Wiener, Monica Lewinski, and other such notables in the front row. The goal being to try to stress Hillary to the point that she ACTUALLY transforms into “Bill the Cat” right before our eyes. Here’s hoping!

      And thanks again. Long week, I needed that.

    6. Oh, and I almost forgot. We will be declaring war on a continent? Not that I am opposed, just wanting to be sure I know what to paint my “No War for (whatever the continent of Africa might have that we might want)” sign.

  18. I have zero problems with criticism of HRC. Just the other day I asked a friend how many wars did Trump vote for or play a part in formenting. The point is you shouldn’t support Donald Trump either– given his rhetoric and policy positions. We’re all on board with that, right? Right?

    1. So you’re voting for Gary?

    2. How is it that you haven’t realized most of the people here are libertarians?

      1. He realizes it just fine. That’s why he’s just a greifer and should be ignored.

      2. When I come on here and say Donald Trump sucks and I won’t vote for him the usual reaction is to talk about the perfidy of HRC, as if I support her– which I do not. Why do Libertarians have such a problem with someone criticizing Donald Trump? Shouldn’t the response be total agreement amongst people who don’t really like the government?

        Here’s maybe where I depart. The hypothetical. If Dolph Lundgren had my testicles in an electrically-charged testicle crusher and demanded that I go into the voting booth and cast a vote for Clinton or Trump I would stare at him in disbelief and bemusement. “This is what all your effort is for?” I would say in disbelief and bemusement. “Why didn’t you say so in the first place?” Then, after my release, I would saunter over to the voting booth and without too much concern check the box next to Hillary Clinton’s name. There simply is no comparing the two in terms of temperament, policy goals, or experience.

        1. So, you’re voting for Gary?

          1. Oh, sorry, no. You’re not voting for Gary. Therefore the very thing you bitch and moan about, I.E. people here cursing Clintons name when you ask about Trump, you’re doing yourself.

            If you’re not voting for Gary you clearly don’t give a shit about how absolutely fucking awful Clinton is, and therefore all you do care about is how ‘bad’ you perceive Trump to be in theory.

            You’re useless. Just absolutely useless.

            1. I would have thought that this “as if I support her– which I do not” would have meant that I wouldn’t have to answer this “…don’t give a shit about how absolutely fucking awful Clinton is” accusation. Apparently not.

              How would you deal with Dolph lundgren scenario?

          2. I’m thinking about it. He’s my #2 currently.

  19. Vote for Gary – but for Hillary if you’re in a swing state. Also, don’t forget to bring with you Reason’s Handy Guide for Downballot Libertarians and Principled Conservatives.

    Jill Stein didn’t approve this message and is starting to get angry about being ignored.

  20. We’re all on board with that, right? Right?

    I would honestly rather have Trump in the White House than Clan Clinton. So, no.

  21. You know who else intervened in Libya?

    1. Scipio Africanus?

    2. Queen Dido was a hottie, from what I understand. Her and Aeneas were Brangelina 1.0.

    3. The CIA?

      Btw, They helped kill off or discredit the Leftists and pan-Arabists who kept the Islamists in check. Apparently, my longing for the old days makes me a monster.

      1. For those watching, when Amsoc says ‘the old days’ he’s referring to the Leftist regime supporters who murdered political opponents, randomly shot unarmed protesting civilians and had women gang-raped by guards in prisons.

  22. So Obama calls Libya a shit show, but he blames Cameron for it.

  23. Like everything Obumbles or Cankles touch Libya is an unmitigated disaster yet both are still popular. People are idiots.

  24. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton . . . still defends the intervention which took out dictator Muammar Gaddafi as “smart power at its best” . . .

    I still think Gaddafi’s check to the Foundation simply didn’t clear.

    1. Poor old Gaddafi. He really put the dead back in deadbeat.

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