Libya

Libyans Would Have Preferred Hillary Clinton Kept Her 'Smart Power' Away From Their Country

Five years after the fall of Gaddafi, some Libyans say life was better under dictatorship than the current chaos.

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Smart power!
Screenshot/CBS News

It's been five years since Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi was killed by rebels supported by NATO forces. Since that time, Libya has descended into civil war, with two governments in two cities both claiming legitimacy, ISIS controls significant amounts of oil and territory, and the country is generally considered a failed state.

While Gaddafi was a monstrous despot who ruled for over four decades, AFP reports that a winking nostalgia for the late colonel has emerged in the capital city of Tripoli:

Those living in the capital say they are exhausted by power cuts, price hikes and a lack of cash flow as rival authorities and militias battle for control of the fragmented oil-rich country.

"I hate to say it but our life was better under the previous regime," says Fayza al-Naas, a 42-year-old pharmacist, referring to Kadhafi's more than four decades of rule.

Today, "we wait for hours outside banks to beg cashiers to give us some of our own money. Everything is three times more expensive."

When news broke of Gaddafi's demise, Hillary Clinton was caught on a hot mic prior to an interview with CBS News. Then-Secretary of State Clinton pumped her fists and exclaimed, "We came. We saw. He died!" Despite the fact that the country is torn between what one analyst described to AFP as "chaos with militias and Islamist extremists as the dominant forces, or military rule," little has changed Clinton's rosy assessment of post-Gaddafi Libya.

It was only last month that Hillary Clinton defended her forceful support of U.S. intervention in Libya on the grounds that it averted a civil war. While such cognitive dissonance isn't quite the attention-grabber that Gary Johnson's notorious "What is Aleppo?" gaffe was, it is a remarkable thing for the current presidential front-runner to insist that the obviously short-sighted intervention—which directly led to an ongoing civil war and which President Obama describes as his greatest foreign policy regret—remains an example of "smart power at its best."

This is especially the case when you consider that the whole pretext for the intervention, ostensibly to stop a "slaughter" of civilians, was based on "erroneous assumptions and an incomplete understanding of the evidence," according to a scathing report (little reported in the U.S. media) issued by the U.K. Parliament last month. Much as during the run-up to war with Iraq, U.K. and U.S. government officials cherry-picked information to justify the use of force and had no plan for how to help stabilize the country after the dictator's fall.

Supporters of Hillary Clinton frequently claim that no other candidate for president has ever been as "qualified," citing her years as First Lady of both the U.S. and Arkansas, as well as her eight years in the Senate and four in the State Department, as unimpeachable demonstrations of her competence and judgment. And while Clinton may "regret" her support for the war in Iraq—it may well have cost her the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008, after all—when it comes to Libya, she appears to believe that "smart power" means never having to say you're sorry.

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  1. This is my borrowed shocked face: -_-

    1. I’m saving my actual, unironic shocked face for Trump making hay of this. That would be genuinely surprising.

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  2. Five years after the fall of Gaddafi, some Libyans say life was better under dictatorship than the current chaos.

    But gay rights moves forward when everyone takes it up the ass. Plus carbon footprints way down alongside the development index.

    Libyans not understanding the 4D chess here.

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  3. We came, we saw, you died, dirty brown people! And I’ll totally do it again! *cackle* *cackle* *cackle* *cackle* *cackle* *cackle* *cough* *cough* *cough* You! Bring me water now or I’ll turn you into a toad! *cackle* *cackle* *cackle* *cough* *cough* *cough*

    1. Just don’t spill it on her, she might melt

      1. I’ll get you my pretty! And your little dog too!

  4. Hillary adopting and reworking Caesar’s quote sickens me in just about every way. She’s a fat, shriveled up shrew who has nothing but disrespect for military men, but damn if it doesn’t give her cheap thrills to order it around and carry out her stupid policy choices. She’s the worst sort of democratic politician. One who thinks she’s brilliant for basically pointing at a map and saying blow shit up as if she planned things personally.

    1. And now she’ll have unrestrained power over not only conventional weapons, but nukes as well. I really cannot think of anything scarier than that. And the progs are going to go full on neocon to support their new evil master. This is like something out of an apocalypse movie.

      1. There are some people running against Hillary. One of them said “pussy” 11 years ago and doesn’t want open borders and is against free trade and has an orange comb-over and is an idiot so vote for Johnson so you can feel better about getting what President Hillary gives you.

        1. Why don’t you vote for Johnson and dump Trump. I will never give my worthless vote (Hillary will win MD by 70+%) to either Trump or Hillary because both are evil scum who want to enslave the population under their vision of what will make America great instead of returning to the people the freedom taken from us by politicians just like Clinton and Trump that made us great in the first place. Not that Johnson is the greatest liberty candidate but he is a start.

    2. “Hillary adopting and reworking Caesar’s quote sickens me in just about every way.”

      I find it pretty fitting as she aspires to be a despot and do away with the Republic… but then again the biggest difference betwixt Julius and Hillary is military competence, so she should probably shy away from Julius’ military quotes.

      1. Trump hasn’t got the lean and hungry look to cause her any concern.

      2. To be fair, at least Caesar actually fought in combat alongside his men into his 50s and 60s. If Hillary’s that determined to emulate his example, maybe she should do the same.

        1. What do you have against our soldiers?

    3. Of course it gives her thrills. She’d probably have a stroke if she did anything more strenuous than passing a fart, and yet she can have people killed. The ultimate power, with no accountability whatsoever. It’s no surprise to me that she wants the presidency.

    4. She may end up going to war with someone just to prove she’s man enough for the job what she doesn’t realize is we already knows she’s man enough just not the right man.

  5. Somewhat, but not really related. The cutest person to face roadside murder at the hands of Jihadis just gave first interview since beginning of syrian war. https://youtu.be/ahMxGAPQHiQ

    Would.

    1. How the hell did an Eskimo get to Syria?

      1. Multi-culturalism! All countries have it except for the backwards USA, you dumb hillbilly!

      2. What am I not understanding? Eskimo?

        1. She looks like an Eskimo. You didn’t get a sudden urge to rub noses with her?

          1. Ahhh… the interviewer I assume.. yeah I see it I guess.. I was really trying to start a whose hottest wife of people we want to murder thread..

          2. Monarch: *pulls Dr. Girlfriend close, bats eyelids against her cheek*

            Dr. Girlfriend: *wrenching away* What are you doing?

            Monarch: Butterfly kisses. I learned them in prison.

  6. Unpossible. When the great U S of A saves people, they know they’ve been saved.

    1. This wasn’t a case of saving people. It was an assassination of one man.

      1. Can a lynching be called an assassination??

    2. Sometimes you gotta blow up the village to save the village.

      1. Welcome to Hillary’s O’rwelian world of double speak

    3. Lives created and saved.

  7. This is especially the case when you consider that the whole pretext for the intervention, ostensibly to stop a “slaughter” of civilians, was based on “erroneous assumptions and an incomplete understanding of the evidence,”

    This isn’t at all similar to Iraq, because reasons.

  8. Boosh make war. Boosh BAD! Hillary make war, Hillary GOOD!

    /dumbshit progs

    1. Only the political left is intelligent enough to nation-build. Don’t you see how destabilizing a whole region and then pulling out to leave them to deal with the mess is better than invading a country and staying for decades?

      The sad thing is, the left is probably right about one thing: Americans can’t be arsed about our misadventures around the world as long as they aren’t asked to pay for it.

  9. Proof positive that anarchism will never work and the only solution is a dictatorial central gov’t keeping all of the Hobbsian brutes in line.

    We need to direct humanity’s murderous urges somewhere else. My vote is upward and outward. We need to colonize this solar system ASAP, find some other alien races, and engage in full-scale xenocide. Every spare man, woman, and child that can carry a gun can feel free to indulge in whatever kind of mayhem and carnage they feel like, with no repercussions because the victims aren’t human.

    We need a new Manifest Destiny. It is the sacred right of humanity to rule over this galaxy from end to end with an iron fist. That should give us a good 1,000 years of something to do. Once we have scoured all other life from the Milky Way and established the uncontested dominance of our species, we can figure out something else to do.

    1. They can at least clean up the Reaver problem.

    2. +1 Hyperion

    3. I know this is parody, but god damn do I want to do some space lootin’.

      1. Only the first sentence is parody.

        I’m actually perfectly fine not extending any consideration to any non-human species. Shit, I’d rather give rights to gorillas on Earth than to fucking aliens. I’m from Buenos Aires, and I say, kill ’em all!

        1. I see you what you did there

    4. We need a new Manifest Destiny. It is the sacred right of humanity to rule over this galaxy from end to end with an iron fist. That should give us a good 1,000 years of something to do. Once we have scoured all other life from the Milky Way and established the uncontested dominance of our species, we can figure out something else to do.

      Cue something with wrong number of eyes/chromosomes loading relativistic kinetic smasher-things on the singularity-powered launcher thing, while engaging in its version of laughter.

  10. Ingrates! Don’t they realize they should be slavishly grateful that Hillary stretched out her benevolent hands to them? So the results sucked for them; so what? What do you peasants want, anyway? Pay your damn taxes and shut up!

  11. Five years after the fall of Gaddafi, some Libyans say life was better under dictatorship than the current chaos.

    To be fair, you can always find somebody to say things were better under the old dictatorship than the new so that’s a pretty weak argument right there. Give it a few years and you’ll be able to find Venezuelans looking back at the good old days of Maduro, Cubans fondly remembering Castro, Torontoans pining for the Ford.

    That still doesn’t make it our business to impose our idea of “better” on the brown-skinned little monkeys what ain’t all intellectually superior like us white folks, as some are wont to do, if the Libyans want something better they’re perfectly capable of getting it for themselves. They’ve had a couple more millenia of experience with civilization than we’ve had, haven’t they?

  12. You can’t rush into a country, destabilize their entire political and social structure, then leave. We need to let these people change things themselves by empowering them with nothing more than knowledge easily accessible on the internet and attainable through less government and freer markets.

    1. You can’t rush into a country, destabilize their entire political and social structure, then leave.

      You can when you have no expectation of domestic media, the electorate, or international agencies holding you accountable, e.g. when you’re a progressive lefty.

  13. Postrel looks a little off in that screencap.

    1. Comments like that is why she hates us. Keep up the good work.

  14. “Five years after the fall of Gaddafi, some Libyans say life was better under dictatorship than the current chaos.”

    Seeing American Presidents (or Presidential candidates) talk as though they’re speaking on behalf of another people is troubling for a couple of reasons.

    1) Americans can’t speak for the people of Libya. The people of Libya need to speak for themselves. Watching Bush claim that the people of Iraq wanted to be bombed, invaded, and occupied, or watching Obama and Hillary claim the same thing for Libya or Syria is absurd. It’s absurd for me to speak for the Iraqi, Libyan, or Syrian people, as well.

    Maybe someday the Libyan people of the future will feel differently. Maybe they’ll look back at the Libyan revolution the way we look back at the American revolution or the American civil war. I can imagine the British circa 1861 saying, “Look at all the carnage in America! They would have been better off if they hadn’t achieved independence!”, and how ridiculous that would be! I’m glad we won the American revolution. I’m glad we fought and won the American civil war.

    It’s okay for me to say that. I’m an American. I’m speaking for myself.

  15. 2) The other reason it’s bothersome to see American Presidents (and candidates) talk as though they’re speaking on behalf of another people is because doing things for the benefit of other people is foolish and wrong.

    The world would be a better place if Lyndon Johnson were more worried about Americans than the people of Vietnam, if George W. Bush were more worried about American security than the people of Iraq, and if Obama were more worried about Americans than the people of Syria and Iran. The interests of the American people and the interests of people elsewhere in the world are sometimes one in the same–as they were during World War II and at some points during the Cold War. But that led to confusion.

    The interests of the American people should always be paramount in the minds of our Presidents. If getting involved in a foreign conflict is in the best interests of American security and the American people, then that’s the case that needs to be made. The American President should ONLY take interest in the best interests of the Polish, French, Korean, Israeli, Vietnamese, Somali, Kuwaiti, Afghan, Iraqi, Libyan, or Syrian people insofar as doing so is in the interests of the American people.

  16. I’m not saying we should never get involved in foreign wars, and I’m not saying we should get involved in any particular war either. I’m saying that the governing principle should never be the interests of some other people, and the governing principle should always be the bests interests of the American people.

    Why is a Presidential candidate even talking about the best interests of the Libyan people? Why are we talking about the bests interests of the Libyan people?

    If I support or oppose Hillary on Libya, I assure you, any discussion of what is in the best interests of the Libyan people is merely coincidental. This is foreign policy. This is security policy. This is about war. It isn’t about America being the most precious champion of preciousness in the whole wide world so that everyone else in the world can feel precious, too.

    I might even suggest that Hillary’s preoccupation with using foreign policy and war to help other less fortunate peoples is an enormous threat to those people’s well-being, but that isn’t what I’m really concerned about. What I’m really concerned about is the threat her misplaced concerns for other peoples presents to American interests and American security.

    1. I actually have a problem with the idea that the President speaks for the American people, much less people in another country.

      1. Yeah, pretty sure the ‘voice’ of the American people is Congress but even that is massively watered down since they limited the number of Congress-Critters to make the whole thing more wieldy.

        What happens when there are a few billion Americans (probably won’t happen)? Will we still have just the same 435 Congress-Critters? Legally, yes, and it’s absurd.

        It was meant to scale, but they entirely removed the scaling thus ensuring the oligarchy. This was intended.

  17. Its kind of funny, I know a few Iraqis who left after our *second war* there. You know, the one that brought peace to the Middle East? Apparently the ingrates think it was better off there before anti-aircraft round casings rained onto the roofs and they would rather have the horribly evil Hussein back instead of living under ISIS/whichever cabal that the American government is supporting this year.

  18. “…It’s been five years since Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi was killed by rebels supported by NATO forces….”

    Bush picked up the phone and when Obo answered, said the magic words. This is Bush’s fault.

  19. It was only last month that Hillary Clinton defended her forceful support of U.S. intervention in Libya on the grounds that it averted a civil war. While such cognitive dissonance isn’t quite the attention-grabber that Gary Johnson’s notorious “What is Aleppo?” gaffe was

    Bullshit. Not remembering a minor city name (which the glorious NY Times misrepresented, twice, in their sneer at GJ) is far less harmful than not recognizing when one has disrupted an entire country and killed thousands of people.

  20. RE: Libyans Would Have Preferred Hillary Clinton Kept Her ‘Smart Power’ Away From Their Country
    Five years after the fall of Gaddafi, some Libyans say life was better under dictatorship than the current chaos.

    How’s that for gratitude?
    Heil Hitlary fucks up at Benghazi, and all Libya gets is chaos.
    There’s just no pleasing some people.

  21. Clinton’s lust for blood and power is insatiable She is a bigger war monger than Dick Cheney and has been for every war since she nagged Bill to bomb Serbia. That her base fails to see that shows how blind they are to team politics

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