The Libya Gamble-Part One, Hillary Clinton, ‘Smart Power’ and a Dictator’s Fall – The New York Times

The Libya Gamble, Part One and Part Two, takes several hours to read. Magnificent reporting by SCOTT SHANE and JO BECKER. By the end of Part Two, you have learned that the Lead from Behind strategy in Libya was championed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Then the Europeans and the dispersed Libyan leadership failed to deliver, while our own ally Qatar armed and financed pro ISIS factions in that hotbed of militias. With friends like that, who needs enemies. Obama says that not picking up the slack in Libya, which was advocated by Clinton, was one of his great foreign policy mistakes. I wonder if military intervention at this late date could reset the failed state? A successful intervention would cripple the Republicans in the upcoming presidential election, by removing one of their only valid criticisms of President Obama and his foreign policy team.


“By the time Mahmoud Jibril cleared customs at Le Bourget airport and sped into Paris, the American secretary of state had been waiting for hours. But this was not a meeting Hillary Clinton could cancel. Their encounter could decide whether America was again going to war.In the throes of the Arab Spring, Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi was facing a furious revolt by Libyans determined to end his quixotic 42-year rule. The dictator’s forces were approaching Benghazi, the crucible of the rebellion, and threatening a blood bath. France and Britain were urging the United States to join them in a military campaign to halt Colonel Qaddafi’s troops, and now the Arab League, too, was calling for action.President Obama was deeply wary of another military venture in a Muslim country. Most of his senior advisers were telling him to stay out. Still, he dispatched Mrs. Clinton to sound out Mr. Jibril, a leader of the Libyan opposition. Their late-night meeting on March 14, 2011, would be the first chance for a top American official to get a sense of whom, exactly, the United States was being asked to support.In her suite at the Westin, she and Mr. Jibril, a political scientist with a doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh, spoke at length about the fast-moving military situation in Libya. But Mrs. Clinton was clearly also thinking about Iraq, and its hard lessons for American intervention.”

Source: Hillary Clinton, ‘Smart Power’ and a Dictator’s Fall – The New York Times


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