A new book by former House Intelligence Committee Chairman Pete Hoekstra exposes how an inexperienced president and politicized State Department turned relative stability in Libya into unmitigated chaos.
Titled “Architects of Disaster: The Destruction of Libya,” Hoekstra documents how the Obama administration and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton upon taking office in 2009 reversed decades of bipartisan and successful U.S. foreign policy. They embraced and legitimized “moderate” Islamists such as the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and the mullahs in Iran with no preconditions.
The reversal also meant that allies such as Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi – who went from international pariah to a leader on whom the U.S. could count in the war against radical Islamism in the years after 9/11 – became a dead man walking.
The resulting NATO/U.S. campaign to depose Gaddafi unleashed the terrorist elements he held under control for so many years and created a failed state that exports training, ideology and weapons to radicals throughout the Middle East and North Africa. It sowed the seeds of ISIS in Syria and Iraq, which today is inflicting barbaric genocide against religious minorities and creating a humanitarian crisis in Europe.
With a foreword by renowned Islamist terror expert Steve Emerson and drawing upon insider sources and a depth of experience, Hoekstra’s “Architects of Disaster” is a profoundly honest and penetrating look at a foreign policy gone disastrously wrong.
Hoekstra, who now serves as the Shillman Senior Fellow with the Investigative Project on Terrorism, met with Gaddafi on three separate occasions as a member of the House Intelligence Committee. He describes Gaddafi’s transformation from an international outcast into a leader willing to ally his country with the U.S. in a very troubled region of the world.
Gaddafi’s stock had fallen tremendously following decades of supporting global terror, including bombing a Berlin discotheque in 1986 and horrifically taking down Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988.
The world isolated him through sanctions, and Republican and Democratic administrations kept the pressure on.
In 2003 – after witnessing America’s determined resolve against terror especially in the years following 9/11 – Gaddafi came in from the cold. He shuttered the country’s nuclear program, agreed to pay reparations to victims of his terror campaigns, leashed radical Islamists in northern Africa and secured Europe’s southern border from jihadists crossing the Mediterranean Sea.
Hoekstra writes in ‘Architects of Disaster’ that he could not be forgiven for the terrorist atrocities he had previously committed, but his sudden willingness to change his polices to align with U.S. interests represented a remarkable bipartisan foreign policy success in the world of reapolitic. All of this changed when the U.S. elected a new president who identified himself largely as the opposite of his predecessor who would do things differently.
The new president seated Muslim Brotherhood leadership in the front row of Obama’s historic speech to the Muslim world in Cairo, which served as a precursor to the administration standing by while Islamists overthrew America’s long-time ally Hosni Mubarak and started implementing Sharia law.
The administration also changed direction in Iran by reaching an agreement that enabled its mullahs to move forward on their nuclear program with nothing in return for the U.S. or its allies in the region.
In Libya, the 2011 NATO/U.S. intervention required directly cooperating with radical jihadist veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, including Ansar al-Sharia. The organization’s leader, Ahmed Abu Khattala, was charged as the prime suspect in the attacks on the Benghazi diplomatic compound, which resulted in the murder of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, along with fellow Americans Sean Smith, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, on September 11, 2012.
Gaddafi’s deposition and murder was a dream come true for the Islamists and the inevitable outcome of a foreign policy on Islamist terror grounded in wishful thinking and self-delusion bordering on criminality.
Hoekstra says that lawmakers will need to implement the lessons learned in Libya as consistent bipartisan understandings and principles to guide foreign affairs. Islamist hostilities are permanent and intractable, so the U.S. had better become serious about defining and defeating the threat.
In the Middle East, Hoekstra writes in ‘Architects of Disaster,’ history has proven that autocratic leaders who are pro-Western are infinitely preferable to the evil regimes bent on spreading terror and Islamic hegemony in addition to their persecution and execution of women, religious minorities and homosexuals.
Obama’s reckless decisions in the Middle East to depose secular autocrats in favor of genocidal Islamists in the name of democracy have helped to eviscerate national security gains that the U.S. had painstakingly built over decades.
If we don’t change our policies, Hoekstra warns, the U.S. and the world will pay the price for years to come.
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