Friday, June 10, 2016

Hillary Clinton and Libya - Sending A Message to Bashar al-Assad

Updated June 2017

In searching through the Clinton server emails, I stumbled on this email that quotes an article by David W. Lesch, an American expert on Syria and a professor of Middle East History at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas.  The email was sent to Hillary Clinton on June 20, 2011 (please keep this date in mind) by Sidney Blumenthal, Ms. Clinton's unofficial intelligence gatherer and former aide to Bill Clinton, with the following introduction:

"Enclosed is an article entitled "What Could Shake Syria's Regime?" by David W. Lesch, perhaps the U.S. expert with the closest relationship with Bashar al-Assad, developed out of my continuing correspondence with him, an edited version which I have appended. 


The bottom line is that Assad' s gestures at reform are delusional attempts to recreate the pattern of his own recent past when he gained a modicum of respect from the West. Likely the most important event that could alter the Syrian equation would be the fall of Qaddafi, providing an example of a successful rebellion."


Here are some key quotes from David Lesch's article:


"Of the many occasions that I met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad from 2004 to 2009, this one seemed different.  He was always very affable and unpretentious, certainly not the profile of the brutal Middle East  dictator that he appears to be today with the violent crackdown against Syrian protesters. 

But in a February 2006 meeting, he was much more confident than usual in discussing the state of U.S.-Syrian relations; in fact, he was almost cocky.  He knew by then that he had survived the intense pressure the United States and its allies had applied on him following the U.N. investigation into the assassination the previous year of  former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, which initially had implicated the Syrian leadership.  His new-found confidence lasted. A few months later in a follow-up meeting, he triumphantly  remarked that, "I don't want the United States. I don't need the United States." 

After successfully weathering that storm, Assad and his cohorts may well believe that they can once more emerge intact from a major challenge to their regime.  Assad has an exaggerated sense of Syria's importance on several Middle East fronts, from  Lebanon and Iraq to the Arab-Israeli conflict. 

Before policymakers in the West started thinking that Syria was too big to fail, he thought it.  To Assad's way of thinking, the enemies of Syria are at it once again in 2011, somehow  transporting premeditated instability to Syria under the guise of the Arab Spring. What other delusion could have possibly led to the pathetic speech he gave on March 30 -- his initial public response to the uprising -- in which he blamed terrorists and malevolent external forces for the  unrest rather than the underlying socioeconomic problems and political repression that lay at the root of the protests in other Arab countries and his own." (my bold)

I found it quite interesting that Bashar al-Assad clearly stated that he neither wanted nor needed the United States, insight that became quite apparent when he invited Vladimir Putin and his Russian forces to help repel the advance of ISIL.  One has to wonder if the relatively fresh example of deposed Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein dangling from an American rope had something to do with his unwillingness to contemplate allowing a U.S.-led coalition to "assist" in Syria?"

Let's go back to David Lesch's article which was written before the fall of Muammar Qaddafi:

"One game-changer could be the fall of Col. Moammar Gadhafi in Libya. Until now, the only models for removing dictatorial regimes in the region have been mass unrest combined with the splitting of the military from the ruling circle, as happened in Tunisia and Egypt (and unlikely in  Syria), or many American boots on the ground, as happened in Iraq (and is unlikely to happen again anytime soon). 

If Gadhafi falls within the next few months, there will be another model for regime change: that  of limited but targeted military support from the West combined with an identifiable rebellion. Not that this can be easily applied in Syria. It hasn't even been easily applied in Libya, and Syria would be a much harder nut to crack. Furthermore, the Syrian opposition is far from united or  being able to establish a Benghazi-like refuge from which to launch a rebellion and to which aid can be sent. 

But if there is regime change in Libya, the international community would be emboldened with  the precedent, with maybe even the Russians finally getting on board, and it would give the Syrian regime something to really think about. Perhaps it would even give Bashar al-Assad the upper hand with his ruthless brother and security minders to finally do what he should have done  in the beginning -- forgo violence, offer and implement real reform and enter into a national dialogue with the opposition.  The options are not pretty. The Syrian regime does not want, nor can it probably survive, long-  term international pressure or isolation, but it is used to sanctions, special tribunals, the withdrawing of ambassadors and similar actions. These are marginal levers that will have very little effect on the regime in the near term.  Success for the rebels in Libya might change that." (my bold)

Remember the date of this email?  It was sent to Hillary Clinton on June 20, 2011.  Interestingly, on June  27th, a mere 7 days later, the International Criminal Court issued this:









By August 22, 2011, Muammar Qaddafi was ousted from power when Tripoli fell to rebel forces after the Qaddafi leadership compound was bombed by NATO powers.  Here's what President Obama had to say on that date:


Remember, President Obama stated that "...the future of Libya is in the hands of its people".

Here's what Hillary Clinton had to say on August 26, 2011:

"The events in Libya this week have heartened the world. The situation remains fluid, but it is clear that the Qadhafi era is coming to an end, opening the way for a new era in Libya -- one of liberty, justice, and peace.

"We join the Libyan people in celebrating the courageous individuals who have stood up to a tyrant and defended their homes and communities against Qadhafi's violence.

"The United States and the international community have stood by the Libyan people during many difficult days in the last six months. Together, we prevented a massacre, and we supported the people's efforts to gain their freedom. We will continue to support them as they take on the regime elements that still pose a threat to Libya's future -- and as they address their humanitarian needs and rebuild their nation. The Libyan people made this revolution and they will lead the way forward, but they deserve our help. Libya's future is not guaranteed. Considerable work lies ahead."

Not to mention the powerful message that was being sent to Syria.

Looking back at the article by David Lesch that was forwarded to Secretary of State Clinton by her unofficial minion, Sydney Blumenthal who just happened to be the author of over 800 emails to Secretary Clinton that have been released so far, it is not a great stretch to see that the United States, particularly  the Department of State, was quite likely sending relatively blatant messages to Bashar al-Assad's, attempting to force his hand by providing him with another fine example of what happens to the deposed leaders of countries that fall on the wrong side of America's agenda for global hegemony.  With the gory example of Muammar Qaddafi's death at the hands of his captors, it's really not terribly surprising that al-Assad moved toward the welcoming arms of his long-term friends in Russia when looking for a world power to watch his back and protect his regime from ISIL.  It is also interesting to note that when you take the time to dig through the emails on Hillary Clinton's controversial server, you find a great deal of information about how Washington functions, how the thinkers at the top of the political heap form their opinions on issues that impact civilians in other nations over the long-term and who they rely on as sources for that information.  


3 comments:

  1. This is very interesting information. My biggest and as of yet unanswered what is the real reason behind the US wanting to oust Al Assad? Don't give me the nonsense about violence against the early protests as the why. We all know that is not the why. I mean the real why I have heard its about a pipeline but there is so many other ways a pipeline from Qatar could travel you don't have to have it run through Syria. My other guess at why could be just simply because the US can. The US has shown it will go after people and countries that are not on board with their global domination. Is that why? It makes no sense that even after failing in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya the US would still aim to overthrow yet another peaceful and relatively stable country(prior to the on going war). I will also say Afghanistan was necessary due to the Taliban allowing Al Qaida to operate and reside in Afghanistan. But we have 13 years later failed there.

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  2. Hi, I think all conflicts and wars are about money (don't believe the human rights, democracy, dictator blabla propaganda)
    US is always involved because of the petro-dollar. If countries no longer have to first buy dollars to purchase oil, the US will be bankrupt.
    Khadaffi wanted a golden dinar for afriva, Sadam wanted to trade oil for Euros. Iran too.
    Russia and China are now leading the de-dollarisation. It's the only way to stop US aggression.
    Al Assad is not the real target, it's the de-dollarisation coalition

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  3. As I had suspected,in Libya as in Ukraine, and many other nations, the "people's uprisings" were used as masks for the executions of western plotted coups.

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