Friday March 4, 2016
“We came, we saw, he died,” exclaimed an ebullient Hillary Clinton, as she exulted over the horrific death of Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi, who was sodomized with a bayonet before being brutally murdered by rampaging militiamen. Visiting Tripoli, the Libyan capital, the American Secretary of State was eager to take credit for the “liberation” of yet another Muslim country by Western powers acting in concert. An extensive and quite revealing New York Times investigation (Pt. 1 here, Pt. 2 here) reports on “a ‘ticktock’ that described her starring role in the events that had led to this moment. The timeline, her top policy aide, Jake Sullivan, wrote, demonstrated Mrs. Clinton’s ‘leadership/ownership/stewardship of this country’s Libya policy from start to finish.’ The memo’s language put her at the center of everything: ‘HRC announces … HRC directs … HRC travels … HRC engages,’ it read.”
These days, however, out on the campaign trail, Mrs. Clinton is not quite so eager to take ownership of what can only be characterized as an unmitigated disaster, a case history dramatizing the perils of “liberal” interventionism from inception to bloody denouement.
Mrs. Clinton was easily won over by the Libyan rebels who presented a utopian view of what the post-revolutionary era would look like: there would be free elections, a free media, women would be able to “do it all,” and everyone would get a pony. They “’said all the right things about supporting democracy and inclusivity and building Libyan institutions, providing some hope that we might be able to pull this off,’ said Philip H. Gordon, one of her assistant secretaries. ‘They gave us what we wanted to hear. And you do want to believe.’”