In Donald Trump’s terrorism speech in Youngstown on Monday, Trump again hammered Hillary Clinton and President Obama on their foreign policy, reiterating that Clinton and Obama were responsible for the formation of ISIS. They weren’t. This time he somehow links the failures in Iraq to Libya, it is hard to say as he uses only rhetoric without evidence.
“The failures in Iraq were compounded by Hillary Clinton’s disaster in Libya,” Trump said on Monday. “President Obama has since said he regards Libya as his worst mistake. According to then-Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, the invasion of Libya was nearly a split decision, but Hillary Clinton’s forceful advocacy for the intervention was the deciding factor.”
Donald Trump was very supportive of an invasion of Libya in 2011, as the above video shows. Far from calling the intervention a “failure” or a “disaster,” Trump thought that the US should have had a full scale invasion of the sovereign nation, and that it would be “very easy and very quick.”
I can’t believe what our country is doing. Gaddafi, in Libya, is killing thousands of people and nobody knows how bad it is. And we’re sitting around, we have soldiers all over the Middle East. And we’re not bringing them in to stop this horrible carnage. That’s what it is, it’s a carnage.
You talk about the things that have happened in history, this could be one of the worst. Now we should go in, we should stop this guy, it would be very easy and very quick. We could do it surgically, stop him from doing it and save these lives.
Additionally, he badly misquoted President Obama. Trump said that Obama “regards Libya as his worst mistake.” What Obama actually said is “probably failing to plan for, the day after, what I think was the right thing to do, in intervening in Libya” was his worst mistake.
Saying that your long term planning was a mistake is not the same thing as saying the entire endeavor was a mistake. If you take a car in to be fixed but you say that you should have put it on a different credit card, that doesn’t mean that you should not have gotten your car fixed.
Whatever your feelings on the US intervention in Libya, it is clear that Donald Trump was very in favor of a full scale war in Libya. What he thought then doesn’t matter, as he only using Libya as a political grist for his mill. While the intervention did not go as well as planned, blasting your opponent for something that you supported publicly is dishonest.