Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Obama & the Gaddafi regime, a friendship gone awry















In March of 2011, the once-close-knit relationship between the Obama administration and the Gaddafi regime came to an abrupt end when President Obama decided to cut off all ties with his former ally, Moammar Gaddafi.

In a speech on March 28, 2011, Obama proclaimed that, "For more than four decades the Libyan people have been ruled by a tyrant -- Moammar Gaddafi. He has denied his people freedom, exploited their wealth, murdered opponents at home and abroad, and terrorized innocent people around the world."

Let us take a brief trip down memory lane and reminisce about the good ol' days when, despite Gaddafi's wealth exploitation, his murdering of opponents at home and abroad, and his terrorizing of innocent people around the world - he still found a trusworthy ally and caring friend in the White House.

From The Cable, March 3, 2010:
Obama administration hopes to deepen Libya ties:

Gene Cretz, the U.S. ambassador to Libya, said Tuesday that the United States is hoping to "put some flesh" on the bones of American efforts to deepen ties between these two former foes.

He outlined a number of steps the two countries might take in the coming year, including closer military-to-military relations, U.S. training of Libyan forces, a new trade agreement etc.
From the AP - March 9, 2010:
A senior State Department official said Tuesday he's sorry for a joking remark he made about Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi that prompted Libya to threaten diplomatic retaliation unless he apologized.

Chief department spokesman P.J. Crowley said he regretted any offense caused by his response to a reporter's question about Gadhafi's recent call for a holy war against Switzerland. Libya said last week it might take action against American business interests there if a formal apology was not made.

"I understand that my personal comments were perceived as a personal attack," Crowley told reporters. "The comments do not reflect U.S. policy and were not intended to offend. I apologize if they were taken that way. I regret that my comments have become an obstacle to further progress in our bilateral relationship."

Crowley had already said his offhand remark questioning the "sense" of Gadhafi's speech to the U.N. General Assembly last year had not been intended as a personal attack. He met with Libya's ambassador to the U.S. late last week to try to clear the matter up, but he had not apologized until Tuesday.

He made the remark in question on Feb. 26 when he was asked what the U.S. thought of Gadhafi's appeal for "jihad" against Switzerland after the country banned construction of new mosque minarets. Crowley said he was reminded of Gadhafi's lengthy speech at the UN last September in which the Libyan leader ripped pages from the U.N. Charter.

"I saw that report and it just brought me back to a day in September, one of the more memorable sessions of the U.N. General Assembly that I can recall: lots of words and lots of papers flying all over the place, not necessarily a lot of sense," he said.

Within days, the Libyan government summoned the U.S. charge d'affaires in Tripoli, Joan Polaschik, and threatened negative repercussions if the U.S. failed to apologize...

After Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton became aware of the situation, Crowley and the top U.S. diplomat for the Middle East, Jeffrey Feltman, met the Libyan ambassador on Friday to explain that the Obama administration was "strongly committed" to the U.S.-Libyan relationship. But the Libyans insisted on an apology.

Crowley said Clinton had instructed Feltman to travel to Libya next week for broad discussions on bilateral ties.

State Department officials said the furor over the comments jeopardized a phone call Clinton had been planning to make to Gadhafi this week to discuss a summit of Arab leaders that Libya is hosting on March 27. The conversation would be her first with the Libyan leader.
It's a shame that this endearing relationship with Gaddafi had to end so abruptly. But, as is often the case with friendships, they can evolve into acrimony and end in heartbreak.

President Obama expained his sudden breakup with Gaddafi so eloquently in his March 2011 speech:
"For more than four decades the Libyan people have been ruled by a tyrant -- Moammar Gaddafi. He has denied his people freedom, exploited their wealth, murdered opponents at home and abroad, and terrorized innocent people around the world."
Hence, after 40 years of grueling tyranny and excruciating terror, Obama decided it was time to end his relationship with Gaddafi.

But thankfully, things are looking up: An al Qaeda flag now flies over the courthouse in Benghazi [the provisional headquarters of the National Transitional Council], and a new relationship is currently blossoming between Obama and the new Libyan regime.

Yes, a new dawn is upon us......

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