Hillary Clinton’s “hawkish foreign policy” was questioned during NBC’s “Commander in Chief Forum” by a progressive female voter who served as an intelligence analyst specializing in counter-violence extremism.
The female pointed to Clinton’s “extensive record with military intervention.” She asked the former Secretary of State, “How do you respond to progressives like myself who worry and have concerns that your hawkish foreign policy will continue? And what is your plan to end wasteful war campaigns in which our peers, service women and men, continue to be killed and wounded?”
In response, Clinton addressed the fact that this woman, like the majority of her progressive following, find issue with her support for the Iraq war. “Well, I-I assume you’re talking about Iraq, because of my vote,” Clinton said. “And you probably are talking about Libya, because of the– the role that I played– in the administration’s decision about whether to take on Qaddafi. But before I get to that, let me say very clearly, I view force as a last resort, not a first choice.”
Clinton continued, “With respect to Libya, again, there’s no difference between my opponent and myself,” referring to Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. “He’s on record extensively supporting intervention in Libya when Qaddafi was threatening to massacre his population. However, there I put together a coalition that included NATO, included the Arab League, and we were able to save lives.”
Clinton was accurate in pointing out that Trump also supported military action in Libya. Unfortunately, Clinton’s next statement was misleading. She said “We did not lose a single American in that action,” omitting the fact that during her time as secretary of state, the 2011 overthrow of Muammer Gaddafi took place thrusting Libya into a state of chaos. Less than one year after that, and under her watch, the Benghazi massacre took place on an American compound there and resulted in the death of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans, Sean Smith, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty.
“And I think taking that action was the right decision,” Clinton added. “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.”
Breitbart News reported that a 2012 “SECRET” classified memo was sent to various top Obama administration officials and agencies, including to the State Department and to Clinton’s office personally which stated that “Western and Gulf states were supporting the terrorist group to try to overthrow Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad, who was being propped up by the Russians, Iranians, and Chinese” and that the “Obama administration was actively supporting Al Qaeda in Iraq, the terrorist group that became the Islamic State.”
Later in the forum, Clinton said “We have to defeat ISIS. That is my highest counterterrorism goal. And we’ve gotta do it with airpower.” She added, “We are not putting ground troops into Iraq ever again. And we’re not putting ground troops into Syria. We’re to defeat ISIS without committing American ground troops.”
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