Why Hillary Clinton is Responsible for US Failures in Libya and Syria
by Patrick Henningsen - 21st Century Wire
November 5, 2016
“Hillary Clinton is the architect of US foreign policy failures in Libya and Syria.”
We’ve heard this statement made a lot over this US election cycle, but exactly how much truth is there to it? After researching this issue, not only is it true, it’s an understatement. She wasn’t just an architect, she was a chief instigator.
Clinton’s main source of resume credibility is her tenure as US Secretary of State from January 21, 2009 to February 1, 2013. During that time, Clinton resided over the planning and conception of two devastating conflicts, Libya and Syria. These two disasters will ultimately define both the Obama and Clinton legacies, and not for the reasons one might think. I would like to stress that the case being made here is not a political one, it is a moral and ethical inquiry into the actions and conduct of a public official.
Before we get into Libya, which itself is a detailed and grave tale of nation building gone wrong, let’s look closely at Syria – a conflict (not a Civil War) which has been dominating the international conversation for the last 4 years, but even more intensely in the last 18 months. Thus far, the results of US policy are abominable.
What ownership does Clinton have over today’s Syria?
Today, the conflict is still being fuelled by tens of thousands of US and Gulf-backed militants, mostly of foreign origin, who comprise multiple Takfiri terrorist groups which the US insist calling “rebels.” This conclave includes the Islamic State (ISIS/Daesh), Al Nusra Front (al Qaeda in Syria), Arar al Sham, Nour al-din al-Zenki, Jaish al-Fatah (The Army of Conquest), along with many others. These armed groups are occupying strategic civilian areas throughout Syria, and it is a statement of fact that these terrorists are using civilian populations as human shields.
A US-led ‘Coalition’ is currently flying over Syria and Iraq, supposedly “fighting ISIS,” but is also coming dangerously close to conflict with both the Syrian and Russian militaries.
Although this situation is now way beyond the pale, there was a time back in 2012 when a genuine diplomatic intervention could have helped to alter a fatal course of events.
Hillary Clinton played a crucial role in initiating the current disaster.
During a presidential primary debate in Milwaukee in February 2016, Clinton was quick to boast about her many “achievements” as Secretary of State, especially in Syria:
“You know, the Security Council finally got around to adopting a resolution. At the core of that resolution is an agreement I negotiated in June of 2012 in Geneva, which set forth a cease-fire and moving toward a political resolution, trying to bring the parties at stake in Syria together.”
It’s a nice statement, but like so many of Clinton’s policy eulogies, it has no basis in reality.
Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Center for Sustainable Development Solutions, sets Clinton straight explaining, “In 2012, Clinton was the obstacle, not the solution, to a ceasefire being negotiated by UN Special Envoy Kofi Annan. It was US intransigence – Clinton’s intransigence – that led to the failure of Annan’s peace efforts in the spring of 2012, a point well-known among diplomats. Despite Clinton’s insinuation in the Milwaukee debate, there was (of course) no 2012 ceasefire, only escalating carnage. Clinton bears heavy responsibility for that carnage, which has by now displaced more than 10 million Syrians and left more than 250,000 dead.”
Clinton’s job, like most US diplomats, was to uphold the public facade that Washington is engaging in its usual list of honorable pursuits like ‘cease fires, ‘peace plans’ and protecting human rights – while simultaneously helping to advance a covert agenda that achieves the exact opposite: destabilization, escalation of violence, flooding the region with weapons, and of course, working to overthrow the government of Syria. We want to pay special attention to the weapons trafficking part. Clinton was pivotal – not only in coordinating with the Gulf states, but also giving political legitimacy to arming the “moderate rebels” (now commonly recognized as terrorists).
Although the initial effort to fuel the armed insurgency in Syria was organized through Libya under the office of Secretary Clinton (which we’ll demonstrate below), later efforts were formalized through a series of large weapons shipments out of NATO countries like Croatia, and then through other US-sanctioned covert smuggling projects like Operation Timber Sycamore, where the CIA, with the approval of President Obama, organized weapons shipments into Syria via Turkey and Jordan, but with Saudi Arabia footing the bill for that clandestine operation. The New York Times confirmed certain details of this in January 2016:
“American officials have not disclosed the amount of the Saudi contribution, which is by far the largest from another nation to the program to arm the rebels against President Bashar al-Assad’s military. But estimates have put the total cost of the arming and training effort at several billion dollars.”
Perhaps the most important aspect of this story is this: it is absolutely illegal under International Law for foreign nations to conspire and trafficking arms into a country with the intent to overthrow the government of a nation-state.
Now that might be a cause for concern for those wanting to recognize the international rule of law, but the United States, the Obama and Clinton regime has done this without any compunction at all. History shows however, that such overt flouting of international law places the entire basis of the Geneva Conventions and the United Nations at risk. Beyond this, it is also a running violation of US law in terms of providing material support (weapons, cash, supplies, intelligence and logistical support, and even political backing) to internationally recognized terrorist organizations. On those two points alone, Hillary Clinton should be not only disqualified for public office in the US, but should also face another criminal indictment for her role, along with every other US public official involved in sanctioning these operations, including Barack Obama, Senator John McCain, and a number of other US officials like Mike Rogers, former Republican Congressman from Michigan and chairman of the House Intelligence Committee when Timber Sycamore began.
From 2011, Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton was effectively the public-facing CEO of the cynically titled, ‘Friends of Syria.‘ This was essentially a lobbying tour, bringing together NATO members, the Arab League and the “Syrian Opposition” all together to promote a policy of regime change for Syria. In reality, it was really a vehicle for raising money and planning for war. Here Clinton was flanked by her Saudi Arabian and Qatari donors to the Clinton Foundation, along with then UK Foreign Secretary William Hague, Turkey’s prime minister, Recep Tayip Erdogan, a hand-picked puppet government-in-exile called the ‘Syrian National Council,’ and other ‘stakeholders’ – all vying for a piece of Syria.
Behind the pomp and circumstance, however, all parties were openly conspiring to arm militants for the purpose of upending the government in Damascus. Clinton effectively steered this process throughout her time in the cabinet – a destructive process which has led to the bloodbath we see today. To any rational observer, the whole enterprise would be viewed as a failure; in terms of human loss, the refugee crisis, sectarian violence, and breeding terrorism for the next 30 or 40 years – and yet, somehow Hillary Clinton is counting this as one of her ‘achievements.’ Here, Sachs offers an accurate take on Clinton’s abysmal legacy in Syria:
“.. she joined Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and right-wing Israelis to try to isolate, even defeat, Iran. In 2010, she supported secret negotiations between Israel and Syria to attempt to wrest Syria from Iran’s influence. Those talks failed. Then the CIA and Clinton pressed successfully for Plan B: to overthrow Assad.
When the unrest of the Arab Spring broke out in early 2011, the CIA and the anti-Iran front of Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey saw an opportunity to topple Assad quickly and thereby to gain a geopolitical victory. Clinton became the leading proponent of the CIA-led effort at Syrian regime change.
In early 2011, Turkey and Saudi Arabia leveraged local protests against Assad to try to foment conditions for his ouster. By the spring of 2011, the CIA and the US allies were organizing an armed insurrection against the regime. On August 18, 2011, the US Government made public its position: “Assad must go.”
Since then and until the recent fragile UN Security Council accord, the US has refused to agree to any ceasefire unless Assad is first deposed. The US policy—under Clinton and until recently—has been: regime change first, ceasefire after. After all, it’s only Syrians who are dying. Annan’s peace efforts were sunk by the United States’ unbending insistence that U.S.-led regime change must precede or at least accompany a ceasefire. As the Nation editors put it in August 2012:
The US demand that Assad be removed and sanctions be imposed before negotiations could seriously begin, along with the refusal to include Iran in the process, doomed [Annan’s] mission.
Despite the billions spent on arming and training ‘rebels’, the millions of refugees and the hundreds of thousands dead – Assad did not “go” as per the grand plan.
Things continue to go septic. A recently released WikiLeaks email from a 2014 exchange between Clinton campaign chair, then White House advisor to President Obama, John Podesta, where the pair openly discuss common knowledge that the governments of Saudi Arabia and Qatar are funding ISIS terrorists.
“While this military/para-military operation is moving forward, we need to use our diplomatic and more traditional intelligence assets to bring pressure on the governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which are providing clandestine financial and logistic support to ISIL and other radical Sunni groups in the region,” Clinton wrote.
“This effort will be enhanced by the stepped up commitment in the [Kurdish Regional Government]. The Qataris and Saudis will be put in a position of balancing policy between their ongoing competition to dominate the Sunni world and the consequences of serious U.S. pressure.”
In his recent interview with Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and filmmaker John Pilger, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange explains an unsettling criminal connection between Clinton and her family foundation:
“All serious analysts know, and even the US government has agreed, that some Saudi figures have been supporting ISIS and funding ISIS, but the dodge has always been that it is some “rogue” princes using their oil money to do whatever they like, but actually the government disapproves. But that email says that it is the government of Saudi Arabia, and the government of Qatar that have been funding ISIS.”
Aside from verifying what many already suspected, this proves that the Clinton Foundation knowingly accepted millions of dollars in ‘charitable’ donations from the same Gulf states which both Secretary Clinton and President Obama knew were funding ISIS, Al Nusra Front (al Qaeda in Syria), and the rest.
Taken as a whole, this represents a level of corruption that would preclude anyone from running for office, let alone the US Presidency and yet, this issue receives very little airtime in the US. The reason for this is simple: both Democrats and Republicans are up to their neck in Washington’s Dirty War on Syria.
When the initial Benghazi story broke in the US, the media and the Republican politicians focused almost exclusively on the US casualties during militant raids on a CIA annex and makeshift US embassy in Benghazi. Four men died on September 11th and 12th, 2012 – U.S. Ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens, U.S. Foreign Service Information Management Officer Sean Smith, and CIA contractors Tyrone S. Woods and Glen Doherty. Ten others were wounded in the fighting.
During the aftermath, US media and GOP opposition made the story all about Hillary Clinton and the White House’s ‘failure’ to send reinforcements which they argue could have “saved American lives.” While this may have been true, it ignores the real story. This diversion was done in order to steer the narrative away from the bipartisan effort to traffick massive amounts of illegal weapons from Libya, and into the hands of US-NATO and Gulf-backed ‘rebels’ in Syria.
We now know that Clinton’s diplomat Christopher Stevens was providing diplomatic cover for a CIA operation to transfer ex-Libyan military weapons stocks over to Syria. Many islamist fighters who fought with NATO to bring down Gaddafi in 2011 were later transferred from Libya to Syria to fight against the Syrian government.
Still, despite all of this the collapse of Washington’s puppet government the National Transitional Council (NTC), and Libya rapidly descending into a failed state, and the emergence of a new ISIS beach head there – Clinton’s inner circle remained clueless and only seem to be concerned with promoting ‘HRC’ credentials in advance of her presidential run. Gateway Pundit adds:
“Hillary’s team provides Clinton credit for her many actions that led to Qadhafi’s toppling in Libya including, but not limited to: suspending the operations of the Libyan embassy in Washington; evacuating US embassy personnel in Tripoli and closing the embassy there; obtaining sanctions against Qadhafi and his family; working to suspend Libya from the Human Rights Council; appointing Special Envoy Chris Stevens to be the U.S. representative to Benghazi; engaging with UAE, Qatar, and Jordan to seek their participation in coalition operations; holding meetings with House Democrats and Senate Republicans to persuade them not to de-fund the Libya operation; and lastly, it was noted that Hillary worked to construct a $1.5 billion assets package to the National Transitional Council or NTC.
Hillary saw this email sent to her from Cheryl Mills because as noted at WikiLeaks she asked for it to be printed in a subsequent email to a colleague.
This email proves that Clinton’s team created a list to show her responsibility for being the architect behind the overthrow of Qadhafi in Libya and the subsequent horror as a result. It is now known that the NTC in Libya is no longer in charge but it is unknown what happened to the $1.5 billion Hillary pushed to prop up this group.”
Here is the email via Scribd
With all the hysterical rhetoric by Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party this year about “Russia Hacking the US Elections,” it should be pointed out that Clinton’s State Department engineered a complete overthrow of a foreign government in Ukraine.
There is also the case of the foul-mouthed Victoria Nuland (photo, left), Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs – appointed by Clinton and charged with organizing Washington’s 2014 coup d’etat in Kiev.
Clinton’s appointee Nuland absolutely key in destabilizing the Ukraine, a move which effectively ruined US-Russian relations, leading us right up to the present geopolitical confrontation over Syria.
During the mêlée Nuland was also caught on tape with US Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt, discussing which hand-pick Washington-approved people would be filling which positions in their new unelected junta government, including the office of Prime Minister. Listen to this stunning call:
Nuland happens to also be the wife of Neoconservative founding father and Bush acolyte, Robert Kagan, a signatory of the Project for a New American Century (PNAC), the geopolitical shock doctrine which outlined 9/11, the Iraq War, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria. Not surprisingly, Kagan endorsed Hillary Clinton for president – presumably because he knows she will prosecute the wars required to keep his doctrine’s agenda on track.
Award-winning journalist Robert Parry adds, “The fact is that Clinton has generally marched in lock step with the neocons as they have implemented an aggressive “regime change” strategy against governments and political movements that don’t toe Washington’s line or that deviate from Israel’s goals in the Middle East. So she has backed coups, such as in Honduras (2009) and Ukraine (2014); invasions, such as Iraq (2003) and Libya (2011); and subversions such as Syria (from 2011 to the present) all with various degrees of disastrous results.”
The No Fly Zone Fantasy
Another big problem is that Clinton sees her path to war in Syria through a No Fly Zone, to “Save the poor children of Aleppo.” Although it sounds good during a TV debate, it is very unrealistic in practical terms, and if implemented, it would place the US squarely at war with both Russia and Syria, and possible Iran by extension. Is that the best Clinton has to offer? Prof Michel Chossudovsky explains the fundamental flaw in Clinton’s proclamation:
At the third presidential debate, Hillary Clinton reasserted her commitment that if elected president, she would implement a no-fly-zone, intimating that the objective was to “save lives”:
“I think a no-fly zone could save lives and could hasten the end of the conflict. I am well aware of the really legitimate concerns you have expressed from both the president and the general,” Clinton said in response to a question from Fox News debate moderator Chris Wallace.
“This would not be done just on the first day. This would take a lot of negotiation and would also take making it clear to the Russians and Syrians that our purpose here was to provide safe zones on the ground … I think we could strike a deal and make it clear to the Russians and the Syrians that this was something that we believe was in the best interest of the people on the ground in Syria.” (Fox News, emphasis added)
At present, under the Obama administration, the joint chiefs of staff are opposed to the “No Fly zone”.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff are appointed by the Secretary of Defense.
Under a Clinton presidency, a new Secretary of Defense as well as a new Chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, firmly committed to “A No fly Zone” over Syria would be appointed.
Michèle Angelique Flournoy, a former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy is Hillary’s choice for the position of Secretary of Defense, who favors the “No Fly Zone” option.”
Most considerate and informed commentators now accept that a No Fly Zone is an act of war. Clinton of all people should know this after Libya.
Loosening Legal Requirements for War
Last week, vice presidential running mate, Tim Kaine, said that if elected, Hillary Clinton would press lawmakers to rewrite the Sept. 14, 2001, Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) – making it even easier to ‘go to war’ without having the actually declare war with a Congressional vote. This bill has been a favorite of Obama who has used it as an open-ended executive path to multiple undeclared wars of aggression, and to make his war on ISIS appear legal, for now anyway.
According to Kaine, Clinton believes that, “it’s time for us to take that now-outdated authorization, and really think about what we are confronting, and work together to reach some legislative-executive accord about what it is we’re doing.” Kaine told Axelrod. “It’s time for Congress to get back in the game and refine and revise that authorization.”
This is nothing more than another Washington lawyer’s parlor trick – to pass another AUMF bill to cover the old one. The script just keeps getting revised.
This was reiterated by Clinton campaign spokesman Jesse Lehrich in July when he told Yahoo News that Clinton “agrees with Senator Kaine that if we are serious about confronting ISIS, Congress ought to express its resolve to stand behind our military and win this fight by passing a new AUMF.”
“The legislation reflected his national security aides’ desire that it not tie his hands. The document authorized airstrikes in Iraq and Syria in the following three years. It forbade the use of American ground troops in “enduring offensive ground combat operations” — a term the White House described as deliberately vague. It also allowed strikes against “individuals and organizations fighting for, on behalf of, or alongside ISIL” anywhere in the world.
Democrats have balked at supporting such a sweeping measure. Republicans have pointed to the three-year limit and the ground-combat language to argue that the AUMF improperly binds the hands of Obama’s successor.
The truth of the matter is that both sides see political peril in the president’s proposal. Democrats recall how voting in favor of the Iraq War helped to doom Clinton’s 2008 presidential ambitions. And Republicans, who could vote to remove the language they describe as objectionable, prefer to criticize Obama’s handling of the conflict without taking any steps that might make them co-owners of the strategy.”
A lawyer’s blueprint for a continuation of Washington’s status quo: unconstitutional open-ended, undeclared wars of aggression, anywhere, any time.
A Threat to World Peace
Like Obama, and Bush before him, and Bill Clinton before them, as president Hillary Clinton will be expected to expedite an establishment agenda written by transnational corporations and other nebulous international crime syndicates. The financial engine for this is the banking houses of Wall Street and the City of London. A basic review of the Clinton’s intimate relationship with Goldman Sachs investment house should provide amble proof of Bill and Hillary’s ties to that circle. This shows how, throughout their career, the Clintons have been owned and operated by these banking houses.
Suffice to say, based on this and many other exhibits which we have left out here, Hillary Clinton is a clear and present threat to world peace.
This is not to say the Donald Trump presidency will be a halcyon affair either, but we don’t know that yet. This is another problem with this heavily politicized topic in the US. In order to derail any critique of Clinton’s chequered past, many Clinton supporters and die-hard liberal Democrats will try to equate to words of private citizen Donald Trump with the actions of public official Hillary Clinton. If we are having a rational argument then that would simply be a false comparison.
If Donald Trump were to assume the office of Presidency, then I would not hesitate to apply as harsh an analysis to his actions and policies.
In terms of foreign policy and government corruption – Trump is an unknown quantity, while Hillary Clinton is very well-known one, as we have demonstrated. We have already seen her handy work in both Libya and Syria. Likewise, we have seen the fruits of Bill Clinton’s misadventures in Bosnia, Serbia and Kosovo, not to mention his menacing economic sanctions in Iraq which killed upwards of 1 million Iraqi civilians over a ten-year period, and sowed the seeds for future wars.
It should also be noted that Senator Hillary Clinton voted for the Iraq War in 2003 – a war waged on a false pretense, although she now claims the war was a “mistake.”
After a joint US-Terrorist operation that ended in the assassination and street lynching of Libya leader Mumaur Gaddafi near the town of Sirte in October 2011, during a CBS interview, a gloating Hillary Clinton made one of the most callous and disturbing remarks ever from a high-ranking diplomat when she said:
“We came, we saw, he died!” and proceeded to laugh on camera.
This clip really sums up the attitude and moral vacuum we might experience with a Clinton White House:
The evidence really speaks for itself.
SEE ALSO: Hillary’s Russian Hack Hoax: The Biggest Lie of this Election Season
READ MORE ELECTION NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire 2016 Files
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