JERUSALEM — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi slammed President Trump’s decision to target arch Iranian terrorist Qassem Soleimani as “provocative and disproportionate” and announced the House will soon vote on a resolution to limit Trump’s war powers.
Rewind nine years. On October 20, 2011, an excited Pelosi released a statement celebrating the death of Libya’s Moammar Gaddafi during the Obama administration’s U.S.-led NATO operation targeting Gaddafi’s government. Back then, Pelosi did not seek legislation to limit Obama’s war powers during the seven month Libya conflict even though there was no imminent threat against America in that country at the time.
Unlike Soleimani, who was reportedly plotting an immediate attack on Americans, there was no information that Gaddafi was directly threatening the U.S. at the time of his death. Gaddafi was an extremist with anti-American views who was involved in terrorist bombings in the 1980s but he was not considered an immediate danger to America when he was killed in 2011 during the so-called Arab Spring.
There is no information the U.S. was directly involved in death of Gaddafi, but the strongman was killed as a result of the U.S.-led NATO invasion in Libya.
Pelosi hailed the killing just after news broke of Gaddafi’s October 2011 death.
She released the following statement on her Congressional website:
Today’s news marks the next phase of Libya’s march toward democracy. After decades of tyrannical rule in Libya, the world is hopeful that the next generation of Libyan leaders will bring their country out of this dark chapter. The strong action taken by the United States, led by President Obama, and NATO, the United Nations and the Arab League proves the power of the world community working together.
Pelosi further supported the Obama White House’s military actions in Libya but also called for continued consultation between the president and Congress on the matter. The Democrats largely backed Obama on Libya.
This even though Obama bypassed Congress to commit the U.S. to NATO’s seven month operation in Libya aimed at regime change without any pressing national security justification.
As a result of the U.S.-led NATO intervention, Libya was left in tatters with an instable government and a witch’s brew of rebels competing for cantons of territory in the country. Libya became a failed state and many analysts say that helped lead to the spread of the Islamic State.
As this reporter documented at the time, the U.S.-NATO campaign resulted in the largest terrorist looting of Man-Portable-Air-Defense-Systems, or MANPADS, with those weapons reportedly being proliferated around the Middle East.
I previously reported:
Gaddafi had hoarded Africa’s biggest-known reserve of MANPADS, with a stock said to number between 15,000 and 20,000. Many of the missiles were stolen by militias fighting in Libya, including those backed by the U.S. in their anti-Gaddafi efforts. There were reports of a Western effort to secure the MANPADS, including collecting some from rebels in Libya.
Let’s contrast Pelosi’s celebration of Gaddafi’s death and her support for Obama’s extended military campaign in Libya to the House Speaker’s furious response to Trump’s decision to eliminate Soleimani.
The U.S. took out Soleimani after Iran-backed militias crossed all red lines with last week’s organized assault on the U.S. embassy in Iraq. Failing to swiftly and strongly respond would have signaled that Iran could get away with future attacks on America.
Unlike the Libya war, where there was no immediate threat, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo explained Soleimani was terminated to disrupt an “imminent attack” he was planning that would have endangered the lives of Americans.
“He was actively plotting in the region to take actions – a big action as he described it — that would have put dozens if not hundreds of American lives at risk. We know it was imminent,” Pompeo told CNN.
“These were threats that were located in the region,” Pompeo added. “Last night was the time that we needed to strike to make sure that this imminent attack … was disrupted.”
Soleimani was responsible for plotting deadly attacks on Americans. He commanded the al-Quds force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, where he oversaw a vast terrorist apparatus for Iran — the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism. He essentially controlled Hezbollah and supervised the expansion of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and jihadist militias in Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, the Gaza Strip and West Bank. This reporter referred to Soleimani as the “Osama bin Laden of the Shiite world.”
Instead of hailing Soleimani’s death a watershed moment for the war on terror, Pelosi characterized the elimination of Soleimani thusly: “Last week, the Trump administration conducted a provocative and disproportionate military airstrike targeting high-level Iranian military officials.”
“This action endangered our service members, diplomats and others by risking a serious escalation of tensions with Iran,” she wrote while ignoring Pompeo’s remarks that Soleimani was plotting imminent attacks on Americans.
While essentially giving Obama cart blanch to launch a seven month war in Libya, Pelosi wont give Trump more than 30 days for actions targeting Iran, perhaps the most dangerous threat to the free world.
Pelosi explained her House resolution: “It reasserts Congress’s long-established oversight responsibilities by mandating that if no further Congressional action is taken, the Administration’s military hostilities with regard to Iran cease within 30 days.”
What a far cry from the war hungry Pelosi of 2011. “The United States has and will continue to work with the Libyan people to achieve their aspirations for freedom, a democratic government and the rule of law,” Pelosi said in her October 2011 statement supporting further U.S. action in Libya.
Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.