For a while now, Professor Edward Luttwak, an American political scientist and analyst better known in Rome than in Washington, has been present in all our country's media: from Vespa to Formigli, from Lilli Gruber to Zanzara, Luttwak has been interviewed by everyone about everything. He gives advice to Italians on all aspects of human knowledge, some of which is really inspired (like when he proposed entrusting the management of the Pompeii site to Disney), some a little less so, especially when he talks about foreign policy and lapses into its tireless defense, regardless of the White House.
A while ago, on the Italian TV show Piazza Pulita, he went too far. Speaking about Libya, he explained that the U.S. had nothing to do with the disastrous 2011 war. "The intervention was carried out by the French and the English" he exclaimed, and went further: "Cameron and Sarkozy are responsible, they were the enthusiasts." Not even the likable Luttwak can be pardoned for something as enormous as this.
Four levels of responsibility
Recently, the Washington Times used secret documentation found in Tripoli after the fall of Gadhafi to reconstruct the operation of manipulation orchestrated by Hillary Clinton (then American secretary of state) to legitimize the U.S. military intervention in Libya.
The documentation consists of a series of recorded telephone calls (confirmed by those involved) between high-up Pentagon officials, a Democratic member of the American Congress and Seif Gadhafi, the colonel's son, during the crucial days of the war. From the documents, four levels of irresponsibility and approximation which linked Washington to the Libyan crisis have clearly emerged:
1) The Pentagon acted independently of the State Department, in order to avoid a war which (incredibly) soldiers did not want and politicians imposed.
2) The CIA did not have the slightest idea of what was really happening on the ground inside the civil war.
3) The State Department (that is, Clinton) had not established any direct crisis management channel with the Libyan regime (which, on the contrary, the Pentagon did) nor was it aware of who the "anti-Gadhafi rebels" really were or how many jihadists and Islamists were among them.
4) Clinton manipulated information on an alleged genocide carried out by the Libyan government; genocide which the Pentagon and humanitarian organizations operating in Libya denied.
Sarah Leah Whitson, executive director of Human Rights Watch's Middle East and North Africa Division, has confirmed to the Washington Times that there were atrocities but "we didn’t feel that [these] rose to the level of imminent genocide-like atrocities.”
In a September 2011 report, Amnesty International revealed that crimes were also carried out by the rebels (torture, summary executions of civilians and kidnappings of foreign workers).
"Pacifist" generals and warmongering politicians
As we were already saying in 2011, Hillary Clinton forced the information, introducing the theory of preventative humanitarian war: get Gadhafi not for crimes he had committed, but for those that he could have committed. Complete madness. Military intelligence explained that, on the contrary, Gadhafi had given precise orders not to hit civilians in order to avoid an international response.
From the recordings it is evident that the Pentagon (in the form of Admiral Mullen, then chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff) did not trust the accounts that the State Department and the CIA packaged up for Obama, but there was "nothing he [could] do about it."
Mrs. Clinton was determined to drag the White House into the Libyan escapade (and Obama was determined to allow it to be dragged) ignoring the Pentagon's warnings that "no U.S. interests were at stake and regional stability could be threatened."
Charles Kubic, one of the Pentagon's mediators in Libya, has revealed that after the first week of America bombing Libyan bases, Gadhafi was ready to surrender his government for a peaceful transition on two conditions: sanctions against him be lifted and the establishment of a military force in Libya which would prevent the country being turned over to jihadists; "everybody thought that was reasonable. But not the State Department."
Let's remember this story
With all due respect to Professor Luttwak, the White House cannot excuse itself from responsibility for that disastrous war.
Within a year, Mrs. Clinton could be a candidate for the presidency of the United States; let's remember all this when we start to read the praises of obliging Italian journalists about the "first woman president of the United States" — whose irresponsibility and ineptitude are part of the causes behind the spread of the Islamic State in the Mediterranean.